France 3Les Marmottes


The first collaboration of Mikros MPC and Dream On on “Les Marmottes” is dating back to 2015 following the need for France 3, the second largest French public television channel and part of the France Télévisions group, to renew its TV idents. Every two years, France 3 used to launch a new TV ident concept, broadcasted as a bi-annual series during summer and Christmas time, while keeping the strong guiding principle of featuring animals.

For the initial 2015 campaign, Dream On and Mikros MPC decided to focus on a single iconic animal rather than several ones and chose marmots to accentuate the incongruity at summer time. The first series featured the characters as music bands, playing a piece of music in multi genres (jazz, reggae, hard rock, ….), and in different sceneries that would evoke a variety of holiday locations. With the backdrops being entirely filmed, Mikros MPC provided 3D animated characters and post-production services for the integration of the characters in the different scenes. The animation of the marmots was based on the moves of musicians who were filmed for this special occasion.

“The challenge was to create realistic characters, with a right balance between human and non-human behaviors, “as if marmots were bred to play music” and bring them to life in absurd situations”, says Guillaume Ho, Lead 3D, Mikros MPC.

The nine films produced for the first summer series made an incredible hit, viewed by 3 million people on Facebook within 15 days, and reached 10 million views at the end of the summer 2015.

In 2017, France 3 decided to move away from Les Marmottes concept but the French audience requested to the TV channel to bring back the characters. Dream On and Mikros MPC collaborated once more on the new series. This time, Mikros MPC created both the characters and background in 3D, making them perform in spoofed scenes from iconic French and international movies of France 3 film catalogue, that would resonate with the various audiences of the TV channel. And the new series brought renewed success and benefits from its own replay channel on France TV website.

“More than a project, Les Marmottes is a unique experience. From a creative standpoint, we had the challenge to bring to life these characters, reaching a high level of realism while respecting the intent of Dream On for fictional and funny universes. As we developed new series, the animation and rendering of the marmots benefited from our own technological and creative advances to make them more realistic and allowed us to design close-ups. Beyond the artistic and technological process, the real success relies in our close collaboration with Dream On in stirring up emotion and enthusiasm amongst the French viewers year over year,” says Benoit Holl, Head of Studio, Mikros MPC.