Blog: How Dandelooo Made Adelaide Fly

La cabane a histoires, Adelaide

Earlier this year we shared news of Adelaide the flying kangaroo’s ascent to stardom, when she appeared in Dandelooo’s popular children’s series La cabane à histoires. We’ve caught up with the TV series’ producer Emmanuèle Pétry Sirvin,  to find out more about the process behind making Adelaide fly.

Sophie Meehan: La cabane à histoires features so many beloved children’s stories. What made you want to feature Adelaide? Did you consider any other books by Tomi or did you have a particular affinity with this plucky little kangaroo?

Emmanuèle Pétry Sirvin: I fell in love with Adelaide when I saw the cover. It is so different from any other book on the shelf! And her personality is so charming; fragile and strong at the same time. We loved her adventure, which made me think of the first Babar book , when he comes to Paris.

Adelaide, Tomi Ungerer

The animation in the Adelaide episode is so beautifully loyal to Tomi’s book illustrations. Can you tell us anything about the animation process behind bringing Adelaide to life? Did the animators study Tomi’s style?

The storyboard artist was frozen with shyness when she heard that she was the “chosen one” to work on Tomi’s book. She worked and re-worked during the whole night before I flew to Dublin to meet Tomi. She was so scared of not doing a good job. And so relieved when I told her that Tomi was pleased with the animatic. (An animatic is an animated storyboard- S.M.)

The animation is loyal because our team of designers actually “take out” the real illustrations and digitalize all the drawings, and then create in the very same style all new elements- if needed.

Did you read Tomi’s books as a child? What was your favourite childhood book? 

Actually no, I didn’t. For some reason, (I grew up in America until I was 9 years old), I didn’t have the chance to fall upon one of his books, but I would have loved them. I think my favourite book was And To Think That I Saw it on Mulberry Street by Dr. Seuss. Imagination at its summit.

Left: Emmanuèle watches Tomi draw a face on his hand as part of their very serious and solemn business meeting. Photo © Aria Ungerer

Do you think it’s important that children are exposed to books from decades past, as well as new books?

Of course it is very important that kids read “older” books. Not only the style, but also the rhythm and the subjects are so different today.  The “retro” feeling in Adelaide still operates, although the historical context is quite different.  



La Cabane a Histoires has been nominated for an international Emmy for children’s TV, congratulations! What do you think makes the series so popular?  

We were so happily surprised about the nomination! I think the series speaks to all kids and parents because we all dream of a sheltered hide-away place where there are no obligations, no rules. With full time for the pleasure of creativity, friendship, and travelling by imagination through great stories.

So many grown ups visit the set and say “Oh! would have loved to have such a treehouse as a child”.

Lastly I’d just like to know: if you were a flying kangaroo, where would you go first? 

Ha! I’d fly over the trees and over the mountains, over the rivers and over the fields.

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See for yourself how Adelaide flies, in this clip from La cabane à histoires: 

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