TeamTo has acquired the television, film, and licensing rights to NINN, a popular series of graphic novels by Jean-Michel Darlot and Johan Pilet, marking the content producer’s first foray into limited series animation for the seven years plus market.
NINN follows the stories of the young Parisian girl, Ninn, who has an unusual passion for the city’s underground, Paris Metro. Skateboarding through its tunnels is her favourite hobby, where she encounters all manner of fantastical happenings, such as swarms of butterflies visible only to herself, or an origami tiger that guides her on her search for the secrets of her past.
Despite her father’s concerns, Ninn and the tiger explore every dark tunnel and abandoned station, eager to uncover the clues and connections she has been searching for her whole life.
“As soon as I saw the first album, I immediately felt attracted to its graphic design style, which is both classic and fantastical,” said TeamTo executive producer, Corinne Kouper.
“I fell in love with the independent and free-thinking spirit of this little urban girl on the platform of the Paris Metro, visibly protected by her large and warm white tiger. I also liked the idea of Ninn roaming freely through the underground tunnels on her skateboard as if it were her bedroom, and her unique and touching relationship with her two dads.”
Mary Bredin, TeamTo creative development executive, added: “Stories that are grounded in locations are really appealing to me and this one is set in the Paris Metro – how surprising and intriguing is that?!
“Our hero’s story is at once unbelievable and yet so relatable. Adapting graphic novels is a bit of a trend right now but I think it is because they play in a darker, more dramatic space which provides a depth that isn’t normally present in a lot of animated series.”
Jean-Michel Darlot, author of Ninn, commented: “I have definitely been influenced by Miyazaki in finding the magical in the ordinary, and I have always been inspired by the Paris Metro. This is where the story comes from, the Metro is not just a means of transportation. It has its own personality and we portray it as a character in our story – a character with some secrets of its own.”
Published by boutique Belgian publisher Kennes Éditions, the series was written by Jean-Michel Darlot and illustrated by Belgian artist Johan Pilet. To date, four graphic novels have been distributed in France, Belgium and Canada, with over 100,000 copies sold in France; a fifth and sixth novel of the series are in production.