From left to right: Mom, Lola, and Chichi, with Curly the sheep in the background.
|Directed by||Bruno Bianchi|
|Country of origin||
|No. of seasons||2|
|No. of episodes||26 (list of episodes)|
|Running time||22 minutes|
|Distributor||Buena Vista International Television|
|Original release||September 6, 2004 – February 13, 2005|
The Tofus (French: Les Tofou) is a French-Canadian animated sitcom created by Fabrice de Costil and Bertrand Victor. The animated series is a satirical parody of the environmentalist lifestyle epitomized by its title family, which consists of Mom, Pop, Chichi, Lola, and Buba. The show is set in the fictional town of Beauvillage, and lampoons many aspects of the environmental movement, including environmental organizations, animal rights, and pacifism.
The Tofus was co-produced by SIP Animation and CinéGroupe. It was directed by Bruno Bianchi, and produced by Bianchi and Danielle Marleau with the assistance of several other executive producers out of Maple Pictures Corp., and scripted by twenty-six writers, including series creators Fabrice de Costil and Bertrand Victor. All the scripts were story edited by Florence Sandis in charge of the script directing. Original music was composed by Alain Garcia and Noam Kaniel.
Each episode of The Tofus was budgeted at US$230,000, and each thirty-minute time block was divided into two fifteen minute-long episodes. Production of the show began one year before it was incorporated into Teletoon's schedule. In addition to Teletoon Canada, SIP Animation also presold the series to the France 3, CITV, and Fox Kids Europe networks.
The first episode of France 3's French-language version of The Tofus premiered on January 3, 2005. As Fox Kids was sold to The Walt Disney Company in 2002, the program was broadcast under the new brand Jetix when it arrived in other European countries in 2006.
There were five main cast members who voiced The Tofus. Aaron Grunfeld performed the voice of Chichi, while Brigid Tierney performed the voice of Lola. Maria Bircher played Mum, Marcel Jeannin voiced Pop, and Sonja Ball took the role of Buba. Additional voices were provided by Daniel Brochu, Harry Standjofski, Pauline Little, Jason Szwimmer, Kayla Grunfeld, Michael Yarmush, and Jesse Vinet. Script direction was overseen by Florence Sandis.
Environmental activists Mom and Pop Tofu, concerned that their family is suffocating from urban routine, decide to move to a farmhouse in the town of Beauvillage and embrace a more natural way of life, much to the horror of their pre-teen children, Chichi and Lola. They would rather watch TV and go shopping than amuse themselves with Grandma Buba's animals: Cracker the Rooster, Curly the Sheep, and Suzie the Goat. The siblings must cope with their parents' ecology-friendly world vision and the humiliation that results from their efforts to encourage others to protect the environment.
The neighborhood that the family settles in is filled with electronically able individuals, contrasting the Tofus' all-organic lifestyle. Unlike her mechanical-genius brother Chichi–who believes in peace within the family–Lola is more cynical and averse to being deemed oddballs in their new home. She occupies herself with her attraction to Billy Hubbub, the boy next door, despite his parents objections.
- Meek but smart. Has a crush on a local teen named Candy. Good friends with Candy and Phil.
- Loyal to her brother, best friends with Lily. Has a crush on her neighbor, Billy Hubbub.
- She's a zen mother trying to keep her house in line.
- He's considered oblivious a lot of the time which ends up proving false since he's usually fairly early in discovering what's going on in his house. He is also something of a handy-man, as he is often seen inventing machines made of environmentally friendly material, or otherwise run on clean fuel.
- Lola and Chichi's grandmother. She's the one who grew up in the farm land and it's the life she knows.
- She is a girl who often hangs around the Tofu household. Since her parents work in the emergency ward, she is often left lonely and so grew attached to the more attentive and sincere Tofus. She also developed a quick attraction to Chichi, giving him pet names like 'Chichi honey-bun.'
William "Billy" Hubbub
- Son of Tidus and Beth Hubbub, he's Lola's next door neighbour and biggest all-time crush. The only real thing keeping him from pursuing her is disrupting the families, who will often determine that they don't want the polluter's and the biodegraded's kids together.
- Master of Alarms, Tidus is Billy's father and number one hater of the Tofu family. He is also their next-door neighbour.
Elizabeth "Beth" Hubbub
- She runs the restaurant Burger Palace and this tends to cause a lot of conflict between the families since the Tofus don't like that she uses artificial ingredients.
- The neighbour on the other side of the Tofu household. He is Chichi's best friend and confidant.
- Lola's best friend and confidant. She is a bit quirky, being a hopeless romantic and a boatload of advice.
- Lola's rival and the queen bee of her school.
- Chichi's rival. The leader of the team of the bullies at Beauvillage.
Susan "Suzie", Cottontail "Kerli", Cracker
- Buba's farm animals. Suzie is a goat. Suzie likes to eat everything and accidentally destroys it. Curly is a sheep with a lot of hair. Cracker is a rooster.
The Tofus was generally well received by viewers. It has been called "a modern gloss on the classic family sitcom [that] aptly skewers the granola-munching righteousness of the eco-hippie archetype," and has been commended for its use of ecology as a unique background theme. The Tofus also received top audience ratings among the France 3 Youth Programs in 2005.
- "Fall 2004 Highlights: Teletoon" (Press release). Toronto: Teletoon. Channel Canada. August 23, 2004. Archived from the original on October 21, 2013.
- "Television Program Logs". Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission. 2016-03-02. Archived from the original on 2016-05-16.
- SIP Animation. "SIP animation". Archived from the original on March 21, 2007. Retrieved 2007-05-23.
- CinéGroupe. "CinéGroupe - TV series filmography". Archived from the original on October 13, 2007. Retrieved 2007-05-22.
- Téléfilm Canada. "Téléfilm Canada - Index des productions". Retrieved 2007-05-22.
- AnimeGuides. "AnimeGuides - Les Tofou". Retrieved 2007-05-25.
- Simon Ashdown (2003-06-01). "KidScreen Magazine - Up Next: What's Developing in Kids Production". Retrieved 2007-05-23.