I list down some of Europe’s creations that went on to mainstream popularity
Eponine posted a few photos on her Facebook that triggered my nostalgia as a kid who collects issues of kids’ magazines.
Now that I thought of it, I read on series that are made in Europe during my childhood, and on this post I’ll list the series I knew, and my thoughts on each of them.
Code Lyoko. I actually didn’t watch this series (but I wish I could’ve done so). Imagine teenagers in a 2D world go to the 3D world and battle an enemy to save the world. That’s as far as I understood its premise.
Shuriken School. I glanced upon two or so episodes at the time when we had Disney Channel before, and it seems quite a pretty good series by cartoon standards — the thing is that it didn’t tick me. Nevertheless, this was broadcast over local station ABS-CBN.
Monster Allergy. I remember having a copy of the comic magazine published by Summit Media a decade ago. We have a guy who can see monsters and a girl who is a “Potato” before being a potato became the new cool thing years after. As far as I know, this originated in Italy, but Summit Media released comic-mags of this attributed to Disney.
Martin Mystery. Probably the same as Monster Allergy, but I can consider this as “Scooby-Doo without Shaggy, Scooby-Doo and Scrappy-Doo.” There’s this young detective guy, his female friend and a caveman acquaintance who solves mysteries. This was shown on another local station GMA Network.
Oggy and the Cockroaches. We have Tom and Jerry, but what if we replaced Jerry with three cockroaches? That’s how I defined it. While it did felt sub-par to me (Tom and Jerry pa ‘rin, mamen), I get the premise. This was aired over the local TV5.
Winx Club. There are two popular magical girl series that originated from Italy, and this is one of them. While I didn’t watch the episodes completely, I was gushing over Tecna, followed by Bloom. The comic-mag of the Winx Club was released by the One Mega Group (who publishes the MEGA fashion magazines). ABS-CBN showed this on weekend mornings.
W.I.T.C.H. This is the other magical girl series made in Italy and was also released in the Philippines as a comic-mag (through Summit Media, also attributed to Disney).
I still remember the only copy that got—one of its lead characters Irma Lair, on an advice column, attended to a guy who likes the series and is sorta afraid of sharing his love for it (the series is intended for the young girl audience): She said something between the lines of “Just tell them you got a copy of it because you have a crush on someone,” to which I say “I have a crush on [one of the lead characters] Wilhelmina—or Will, as everyone knows.”
Totally Spies!. What made me tick is the costume design—heroines wearing catsuits of different colors is a concept that I can think of only in tokusatsu, but this series was the bomb to me back then. Just because of the costume design. While others call this an “American anime,” this was produced in France by the same company who did Martin Mystery, Marathon Animation. (Later, Marathon was folded over to Zodiak Media of the Banijay Group; and as I’ve checked, only Totally Spies! remains in their lineup, placed alongside newer titles.) Aired over ABS-CBN as well.
Miraculous Ladybug. What supposed to be a 2D concept became 3D all of a sudden, though it still delivers the expectations they gave to its viewers: Magical Girl in France with a Tuxedo Mask-like companion around the same age as the heroine battling out enemies born out of hate and frustration of themselves. Talking about the fanfic love stories will be a looong yet good thing to do, but let’s save that for later.
Animation in Europe sure is brilliant; that’s coming from me who looks after the storyline more than the visuals. They are now on the lookout to make the next W.I.T.C.H. or Ladybug, and we consumers will be waiting for their next big export.