Rainbow Group’s Pinocchio and Friends joins CBeebies lineup

Italy’s Rainbow Group has inked an exclusive agreement with the UK’s leading free-to-air preschool channel CBeebies to broadcast its new CGI animated series Pinocchio and Friends from early 2022.

The new adaptation featuring the much-loved wooden character ranks as the most watched and top-rated show on Italian channel Rai Yoyo, which premiered Pinocchio and Friends last November.

Produced by Rainbow in collaboration with Rai Ragazzi and Toonz Media Group, the 26 x 12-minute action-comedy show retains the original values that made Collodi’s novel a timeless classic, while taking the audience on brand-new adventures set in the artfully designed, contemporary world.

The puppet is joined on his adventures by Freeda, a pirate doll always ready to board, and grumpy Talking Cricket, appointed by the Fairy with Turquoise Hair to keep an eye on them. Among old and new encounters, modern technology, and surprising twists, Pinocchio aims to take the audience on a funny journey to discover everyday little wonders and universal values such as inclusion, friendship and the power of dreams.

Rainbow’s Founder and CEO Iginio Straffi, who devised the concept for the new show, says: “I have been waiting for the right time to bring this concept to light with the attention and quality it deserves. My new Pinocchio brings out the essence of what makes this story so inspirational while speaking to children in a light-hearted, educational show that empowers their dreams with key life values and exciting dynamics.

“I couldn’t be more delighted that we’ve partnered with top-quality broadcaster BBC to air on CBeebies for British children next year, and we look forward to seeing the series thrive.”




Licensing plans underway for preschool animation Nina & Olga following top award

Nina & Olga, the new animated series co-produced by Enanimation and Mondo TV Iberoamerica (now Mondo TV Studios) along with Rai Ragazzi, has won a prestigious Pulcinella Award 2021 in the Best Upper Pre-school TV Series (4-6 Years) category.

The award was made at the 2021 Cartoons on the Bay, an international festival held in Italy dedicated to television, film and cross-platform animation. The Pulcinella Awards are presented at the festival for excellence in animation production.

Nina & Olga won the award against strong international competition. A full list of winners appears here.

Nina & Olga is all about Nina, a curious little girl with a head full of curls who lives in our world and plays with her friend Teo. One day she meets Olga, who lives up in the sky and becomes a special friend.

A colourful world of children, parents, grannies and teachers, not to mention animals, birds, the sun, the moon and the stars, all come together as part of Nina and Olga’s daily adventures. Together they and their young audience face all the small daily challenges of childhood, learning together how to understand and manage their emotions.

Made in digital 2D animation, Nina & Olga was directed by Lisa Arioli, written by Steve Middleton and scored by award-winning musician Luigi Meroni.

The concept of the series was created jointly by Nicoletta Costa, the author of the books that the show is based on, and Stefania Raimondi. Nicoletta Costa first developed the character of Olga the Cloud over 30 years ago for the publisher EMME Edizioni. Since her first appearances Olga has been a favourite of young readers in many countries.

Licensing plans for the series are now under way. Nina & Olga has already inspired six brand-new books from Mondadori through its Children’s Books Division.

Federica Maggio, Producer, Enanimation, says: “We thank the Cartoons on the Bay International Jury for recognising the value of our TV series and for this wonderful opportunity. We are very proud of our work on Nina & Olga and delighted that it has been honoured at such a prestigious international event.”