- Série animée
A series that traveled around the world
A success built by various partners sharing the same visual ambition, combined with technical and artistic choices designed for the quality and efficiency of the animation.
Broadcasted in 114 countries with millions of viewers
- Over 30 artists working at Dreamwall for 2 years
- An average of 6.5 seconds per day per animator
- No production break during COVID
- 75% of season 1 and 2 episodes were animated at Dreamwall
- A delivery rate of 3 episodes per month
Origin & context
At the beginning of the 1980s, Schtroumpfmania became a worldwide phenomenon. The Smurfs, who until then had only lived in the pages of the comic books published by Dupuis, became the undisputed stars of a 2D animated series produced in the United States by Hanna-Barbera Productions.
Nearly 40 years later, Peyo Productions and Dupuis Audiovisuel embarked on an ambitious 3D version of the series. This time, the production was based in Europe and made its grand return to Belgium, where the Smurfs were born in Charleroi within the Dupuis publishing house. The production was based in Dreamwall studios in Charleroi.
Many broadcasters were quickly convinced: 3D animation, new stories, new characters, without losing the "Smurfs" spirit. The project became international, for international broadcasting from RTBF to Nickelodeon.
A rich and efficient animation style
Working on such a large-scale license is a real challenge, both artistically and technically. The expectations were high. From the initial stages, the creative teams' goal was to find an animation style that was close to the spirit of the comic book pages while adding a contemporary touch.
The teams also faced technical and artistic constraints related to financial resources, far from American standards, and high-quality objectives for a series project. All of this resulted in a style that translates into lively animation, strong poses, and real still frames.
A Franco-Belgian collaboration in production
The creation and production were divided among several studios, as is often the case in a series or animated film project. Our partner, Ellipse Animation, was responsible for executive production, as well as the various stages from writing to post-production. Animation was split between two studios: Gao Shan (Reunion Island) for 25% of the episodes and Dreamwall for 75% of the series. Dreamwall also had the pleasure of leading the animation direction for all teams of animators, whether they were Belgian or French.
A truly resilient production process
The series' particularity lies notably in the transposable animation bank from one Smurf to a hundred! In the first months of pre-production, Dreamwall developed specific tools to streamline the workflow, optimize exchanges, and streamline the manufacturing and validation processes.
The studio also shares Open Source tools. This is notably the case with the DreamWall Picker, which allows animators to quickly select different parts of characters to manipulate them. This tool is now used by other studios around the world!
Halfway through the production of the first season, the COVID-related health crisis disrupted production. Dreamwall had been considering remote work for its teams for several years. At the time of the lockdown, activating the tools developed in this context only took 24 hours.
This alternative pipeline allowed everyone to continue production from their homes, while keeping the supervision of team leaders and the follow-up of production teams... all assisted by the studio's IT and technical directors.
Today, in-house and remote pipelines are fully integrated and transparent, allowing teams to work interchangeably from any site.
The results of the series have been Smurf-tastic, meeting and exceeding expectations with its broadcast in over a hundred countries and achieving impressive audience numbers.
- Synopsis / Project summary
More than 30 years after their first appearance on the small screen, Peyo's beloved blue characters return to television in a brand new 3D version with high stakes.
- Distribution date
- Type of project / Format
- 2 x 52x12’
- Producer / Director / Distributor
- Peyo Productions - Dupuis Edition & Audiovisuel - Dagaud Media - Kika - KetNet - RTBF.be / William Renaud / Ellipse Studio - Dreamwall - Gao shan Pictures
TF1 - CNC - Region Reunion - RTS - Wallimage - Screen Flanders - VAF - Belgian Tax shelter - BNP Paribas Fortis Film Finance