Gruppo Alcuni Interview For Señal – Kidscreen 2023


Gruppo Alcuni is thrilled to attend Kidscreen Summit 2023 in Miami!

Francesco Manfio, co-founder and CEO of Gruppo Alcuni, describes to Señal News the outstanding animation projects that the company will present at Kidscreen 2023 and weights the current production challenges in the industry.

Gruppo Alcuni will be at Kidscreen 2023, what do you expect from this key market?

Francesco Manfio, co-founder and CEO of Gruppo Alcuni: We’re very happy to be back in Miami, considering that we haven’t been able to attend in-person since 2020. We’re sure this will be a great opportunity to present our newest productions and original projects in development.

First of all, a series that many kids are looking forward to: “Mini Pet Pals and Mini Dinos” (52×6’). After four seasons in our successful Mini Pet Pals brand – for a total of 208 episodes – we decided, together with co-producer Rai Kids, to set the adventures of our adorable little animals in a whole new context where they face new exciting challenges.

Beyond the idea of having our Mini Pet Pals enter a mysterious cave that takes them to the hidden world of the Mini Dinos, the series really is about the meeting of two worlds that, at first glance, seem to have very little in common. In fact, they appear to be complete opposites. The different lifestyles, habits, games and ways of thinking surprise both Mini Pet Pals and Mini Dinos. Fighting the urge to try and convince others that their idea is better, they all learn the true value of diversity.

Gruppo Alcuni feels that animation in general, but more specifically children’s content, should promote values like open-mindedness, respect and solidarity which are crucial for living together peacefully.

S. I’m guessing this new series will feature lots of new characters.

Francesco Manfio: Sure! This past season, when they all went to school, was already enhanced by lots of new characters…and for this new production, our writers and designers had fun creating incredibly cute and unique characters, including: a couple of pterodactyl twins (Attila and Dactyla), a shy stegosaurus (Ego), a triceratops (Smash), a blue brontosaurus (Bump), a clever sabre-tooth tiger (Smilla), a bold T-Rex (Toothy) along with lots of others.

The second new series we will be presenting at Kidscreen is “Gateway 66” (26×6’) co-produced with RAI Kids, the MUSE Museum (the science museum in Trento), the Renzo Piano Foundation and the Trentino Film Commission. It’s a series aimed at talking about science to youngsters in a fun and innovative way. The two main characters (Anna and Gabriele) go on an amazing journey through a space-time portal (and the audience along with them) in search of a scientist apparently lost in another dimension. This series is also particularly challenging to produce, since it mixes live action with animation.

Finally, the Summit will be the ideal setting in which to present the highly awaited “Leo da Vinci 2” (52 x 13’). This new season consists, like the previous one, of 52, 13-minute episodes and is co-produced with Rai Kids, HR, ARD and Cosmos Maya. The phenomenal boy-genius returns with his buddies: they embark on a risky mission to recover a legendary ruby disclosed by Marco Polo in his Travels.

We are confident that Leo da Vinci 2 will confirm the excellent ratings of the first season, which has been distributed worldwide.

S. Can you tell us more about the original projects you are developing and which you will be presenting in Miami?

Francesco Manfio: We’re currently in pre-production with “The Black Diamond Race” (9×45’), which is definitely a series for older kids. Each episode revolves around the extraordinary adventures of a group of teens from different backgrounds, who are forced to rally race against the sinister Mr. K.

Seemingly, the prize is supposed to be four famous and precious diamonds, but in actuality there’s much more at stake. The series takes place in Europe and India at the end of the 1920s, and, as a full CGI venture, it’s incredibly challenging from a creative and a production perspective. Creatively speaking, it’s a series that involves relentless, exhilarating plot twists. From a production point of view, it means accurately reconstructing the characters, locations and cars (strictly inspired by the actual 1929 ones) of that time.

S.: To conclude: how is the current political and economic situation affecting animation production for your company?

Francesco Manfio: We are definitely experiencing a very challenging moment worldwide, which is impacting almost all areas of production. Fortunately, creative industries such as ours, are suffering less as they are not directly affected by the shortage of raw materials. As a matter of fact, despite the current situation, I would say that Gruppo Alcuni is growing in all its business fields.

Credits: Señal News

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