Emmy Award-winning French animation, production, and distribution company Dandelooo has secured a deal with popular free-to-air television channel, Tiny Pop, for Billy the Cowboy Hamster. The preschool series is set to premiere exclusively on UK Free TV in May 2023.
Commissioned by France Televisions, Billy the Cowboy Hamster (52 x 11’), produced by Dandelooo’s animation studio Ooolala in la Cartoucherie, Valence (France), with Belgian co-production partners Digital Graphix, Atmosphere Media and RTBF, is directed by the talented Swiss illustrator Antoine Rota (Kaeeloo) and Caz Murrell.
Targeted at four-to-seven-year-olds, Billy the Cowboy Hamster is based on the eponym series of seven books by Dutch author and illustrator Catharina Valckx, published by l’école des loisirs. With over one million books sold in France and numerous other countries such as Germany, Italy, Poland, Spain, China and Japan, Billy the Cowboy Hamster follows three friends, Billy, Jean-Claude the worm and Suzie the stone marten as they embark on thrill-seeking adventures.
Billy wants to become a cowboy, but he is only a little boy, well a little hamster really! He has grown up in the Wild West, raised on the captivating tales told to him by his father, who used to roam the plains in search of adventure. He already has his cowboy outfit and, more than that, a burning desire to explore the fabulous playground that beckons to him every morning: the Wild West! So, accompanied by his faithful friend Jean-Claude, the earthworm, and Suzie, the little ferret… off he goes! But just like life, the Wild West is full of surprises, and it isn’t long before Billy and his friends are faced with unexpected problems, some as thorny as cacti! By overcoming them side-by-side and finding solutions together, Billy, Jean-Claude and Suzie turn each situation into an unforgettable slice of life!
POP Channels at Narrative Entertainment head of programming Claudia Dalley says, “We are delighted to have Billy the Cowboy Hamster joining our Tiny Pop family next year. The show is an excellent adaptation of the much-loved book, with beautiful 2D animation that emulates and brings the illustrations to life. Characters and storylines are well-written, and the comedy embedded throughout gives the show that magical co-viewing appeal we are always looking for at Tiny Pop.”
Dandelooo co-founder Emmanuèle Pétry Sirvin adds, “I’m delighted that Tiny Pop will once again be sharing our beloved, famous French characters with British children, our young friends over the channel. Billy the Cowboy Hamster is such a special series which will, I’m sure, enthral kids with its humour and quirkiness.”