Emmy Award-winning French animation production and distribution company Dandelooo and independent Belgian film production company Vivi Film announced a partnership to co-produce and co-finance the new animated series The Upside Down River (9 x 26’).

Dandelooo’s animation studio Ooolala in la Cartoucherie, Valence (France) will produce the new 2D animation in co-operation with Canal+ Family. Directed by Paul Leluc (The Wolf, The Long Long Holiday), the series targeted at 8 to 12-year-olds will commence production at the end of this year. Delivery is set for mid-2023, with Dandelooo responsible for worldwide distribution.

The Upside Down River is adapted from the amazing children’s novel “La rivière à l’envers” by leading French children’s author Jean Claude Mourlevat, winner of the 2021 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award (ALMA). Jean-Claude Mourlevat is the first French laureate to receive this year’s award, the world’s largest prize for children’s literature.

Published by Editis Group, La rivière à l’envers has sold over one million copies in France and numerous countries including Japan, China, South Korea, Russia, Spain, and Germany. The English version will be published worldwide by Andersen Press in 2022.

Commenting on the co-production partnership, Veerle Appelmans, Producer at Vivi Film said, “We have a heart for authentic imagery and touching stories. That is why we fell head over heels for “Upside Down River”! We look forward to co-producing this poetic and beautiful coming of age series.”

Emmanuèle Pétry Sirvin, Co-Founder of Dandelooo, added, “My partner Jean-Baptiste Wery and I are so excited to be able to bring to “screen life” this wonderful book, the kind of story you will always remember your whole life. It’s so rare to find a magical composition of adventure, friendship, fantasy, nature and strong emotions and we feel privileged that Jean Claude has accepted our desire to adapt his masterpiece and to collaborate with Vivi Film on this amazing project.”

The Upside Down River is an adventurous quest in a poetic fantasy world following Hannah’s search for water drops from the Qjar river in order to heal her sacred bird. She’s followed in her hunt by Tomek, a shy boy, whose world is turned upside down when she enters his shop.