Eryk Casemiro, the chief creative officer of Zodiak Kids Studios, talks to TV Kids about the music-themed animated series LoliRock.
LoliRock follows the adventures of a teenage girl named Iris who, after joining a female band, discovers that she is an alien princess with magical powers. The show was created by David Michel and Jean-Louis Vandestoc and is distributed worldwide by Zodiak Kids. It is geared toward girls between the ages of 6 and 11.
Thus far, LoliRock comprises two 26×26-minute seasons. The series has been broadcast around the world, including by Disney Channel in territories across Europe, France Télévisions, DeAgostini in Italy and Mediacorp in Singapore. It is also available for streaming on Netflix in the U.S., where it can be accessed with subtitles in French, English, Italian and Chinese.
Music is one of the key ingredients that help LoliRock resonate with young viewers around the globe. Eryk Casemiro, the chief creative officer of Zodiak Kids Studios, says: “We’re culturally in a place of The Voice, where, more than ever, kids are enjoying the aspirations [of others].” He adds: “When LoliRock first hit the air, there weren’t many shows like it…. I think it just sort of hits a nerve.”
One of the challenges that come along with a show like LoliRock is the cost and logistical difficulty of dubbing songs. “When you say you’re going to have music in a show to your sales team for distribution, their eyes roll to the back of their heads,” jokes Casemiro. “When you’re going into different languages, not all dubbing actors and actresses can sing. Then you have the complication of lyric and language; there’s a certain amount of syllables they can get away with for lip-synching speech [but for a] song, you can’t because it’s rhythm.”
There was a debate over whether LoliRock’s songs should be in English or French in France, with the latter ultimately chosen. “Within the community here, there’s a sense that if a performer is [singing] in French, they’re not an international performer, and if LoliRock [had] international performers, then they would be singing in English,” says Casemiro. “But then you didn’t want to deny the kids in France the French version because the lyrics spoke to them more deeply.”
Paris-based YellowsharkMusic oversees the score for LoliRock. “They wrote songs that are super cool tracks you could totally hear somewhere else,” says Casemiro, adding that it’s best to never simplify music in a show just because it’s geared toward children.
There will hopefully be a third installment of LoliRock at some point in the future. Until then, viewers can catch up on the first two seasons and enjoy the property’s many nonlinear extensions, including merchandise as well as video content on its official YouTube channel.