Inanimatti’s Chris Bangle

Inanimatti is the home of an extensive narrative world created by renowned car designer Chris Bangle and his partners. Its first animated kids’ project is Arky Arch Adventures. The animated comedy adventure, targeted to kids 6 to 12, follows the story of Arky, a hopeful, young Roman Arch who embarks on a high-stakes journey across the planet Tredi to uncover his true purpose—and save the world from devastation. Bangle, co-founder of Inanimatti and creator of Arky Arch Adventures, tells TV Kids about tapping into his background as an automotive designer and positioning Inanimatti in the children’s programming landscape.

TV KIDS: What led to the launch of Inanimatti?
BANGLE: The inception of the Inanimatti universe and Arky Arch Adventures is deeply ingrained in my background as an automotive designer. During my 17-year tenure at BMW, my strategy was to infuse design with emotion. Car designers have a unique perspective, seeing objects as living entities. Concurrently, my passion for cartoon drawing also played a role. The initial concept for Arky Arch was actually rooted in a retro 1950s comic book style—a creative outlet that allows my inner cartoonist to flourish.

The project evolved significantly when my team and I transformed the concept into a grand sculpture: a towering walking arch. This structure took on profound symbolism, representing a bold interpretation of car design—extracting abundant character and charm from what is typically deemed a static architectural construct.

With this foundation established, the narrative for Arky Arch needed to be crafted. What kind of world would he inhabit? Who would accompany him on his journey? We aspired to utilize an array of “man-made” objects to ignite children’s imagination and encourage them to perceive the world through the eyes of car designers. Thus, Arky’s companions, both friends and rivals, materialized as objects and architectural creations, each endowed with a distinct personality. Together, they coexist within the realm of Inanimatti, an imaginative universe where the inanimate is alive. We had an impactful moment when we shared an animation of a character reminiscent of the Brooklyn Bridge that stood upright and strolled away from its river. A 13-year-old girl’s response encapsulated the project’s success: “I will never be able to look at a bridge again without seeing it walk!”

TV KIDS: How are you positioning the company in the competitive marketplace?
BANGLE: After my tenure at BMW, I founded a design firm, Chris Bangle Associates (CBA), based in Clavesana, Italy. Collaborating across a wide spectrum of skill sets, we cater to a diverse clientele spanning from luxury goods and home electronics to superyachts and automotive design. Arky Arch Adventures stands as our inaugural original entertainment IP that is now being transformed into an animated TV series.

Naturally, we’ll work with partners in the industry to move Arky Arch forward. A few years back, we provided a sneak peek of our project at MIPCOM, and during that event, we had the opportunity to connect with Eric Rollman, an Emmy Award winner, former president of Fox Family and an alum of Saban Entertainment and Marvel. It was evident that he shared our enthusiasm and vision for the project, and we embarked on a collaborative journey, working together to refine the project into the form it takes today.

TV KIDS: What are you leveraging from your previous experience to drive this new venture forward?
BANGLE: I translate my car design background into the world of the Inanimatti by infusing inanimate objects with the principles and perspectives honed during my career. Much like designing cars to evoke emotions and convey character, I imbue objects in the Inanimatti with distinct personalities, forms and attributes. Just as car designers see vehicles as living entities, I apply a similar mindset to objects in this imaginative universe.

My co-creator Fiorella Marengo is a linguist, and together, we strive to have each object’s design reflect its unique purpose, history and a touch of whimsy. Just as a car’s lines and proportions communicate its essence, objects in the Inanimatti embody their function and essence through their design. By bringing attention to detail, storytelling and a keen understanding of aesthetics to the objects, we are able to add depth and relatability to the characters within the Inanimatti universe.

TV KIDS: What types of productions would you like Inanimatti to become known for?
BANGLE: Arky Arch Adventures stands as the first property within the expansive Inanimatti universe that we have created. This series serves as the introduction to a realm that is literally brimming with countless tales and escapades that we’ve been painstakingly developing, all waiting to be uncovered in subsequent seasons.

TV KIDS: What makes the show unique amid a very crowded kids’ landscape?
BANGLE: Arky Arch Adventures harnesses the power of animation in a distinct manner, ingeniously transforming ordinary objects into relatable characters within an extraordinary dimension. This series offers captivating, on-the-edge-of-your-seat narratives, enriched by its exceptionally original world construction. The result is a lively, humorous and engaging adventure series that will establish a meaningful connection with children across the globe. In the history of long-form storytelling, these adventures not only mark a pioneering achievement but will fuel discussions for years to come, particularly around the concept of purpose.

TV KIDS: What, above all, do you want our readers to know about Inanimatti?
BANGLE: Together with Fiorella and the whole team of creatives at CBA, I’ve devoted years to crafting the enchanting universe of the Inanimatti. Our primary objective has been to reshape perspectives, enabling people to perceive the vitality within all things and grasp the intentions behind object designs, transcending mere functionality. The idea behind the Inanimatti is to encourage people, particularly children, to see the world around them in a new and imaginative way, fostering a deeper appreciation for design and creativity.