Brazil’s Monica Gang to Take On the World

     Brazil's Monica Gang to 
Take On the World

    Brazilian comics creator
    Mauricio de Souza and his characters
    like Monica and Jimmy Five are already known in Italy, Portugal,
    Japan, Greece, France, and Indonesia besides Brazil. The father
    of the most popular comics in Brazil now wants to widen even
    more his universe taking his creatures to Arab countries and China.
    By Isaura

    Monica is a big-toothed
    girl, owner of a blue plush bunny, and is always fighting with her friends
    Jimmy Five (Cebolinha) and Smudge (Cascão). Jimmy Five has a problem
    pronouncing the letter "r," and Smudge does not like water.

    They have another friend
    Maggy (Magali), whose weakness is food, and who is capable of eating ten watermelons
    in one go. The four are the main characters of Monica’s Gang, the most famous
    comics series in Brazil, recently made into a movie and which may be sold
    in Arab countries.

    Mauricio de Sousa, the
    cartoonist who created the characters, released movie Cine Comics,
    with the gang members, last June, and has shown interest in taking his stories
    to the children in the Arab countries.

    "Who knows, we might
    even have Monica speaking in Arabic," he stated.

    Monica’s Gang stories
    are already known in Italy, Portugal, Japan, Greece, France, and Indonesia,
    through the comics and strips published in newspapers and magazines.

    "We are also trying
    to open the markets in Mexico and China," he added.

    Monica’s Gang first entered
    Italy in the form of cartoons. Channel RAI Due has been airing the cartoons
    for over nine months. The comics only entered the Italian market in June.
    In Brazil, the Gang became popular through comics.

    A total of two million
    copies are sold a month, currently. The characters, however, are advancing
    into the audiovisual means of communication. Apart from the movie versions,
    a cartoon was aired by cable television channel Cartoon Network.


    Jimmy Five, Monica, Maggy,
    and Smudge had been on the big screen in Brazil in the 1980’s and 90’s. The
    cartoons on Italian television and those aired by Cartoon Network are productions
    from that time, having been recovered. The flick released in June, however,
    is new. The movie was shown at 150 theatres in Brazil.

    Cine Comics tells
    the story of Franklin, the scientist in Monica’s Gang’s, who created a machine
    to transform comics into movies. Jimmy Five, Monica, Maggy, and Smudge go
    to the movies to see the flicks and see five stories already in comics.

    On leaving the theatre
    to go to the bathroom and buy popcorn, the four meet Brazilian television
    and music celebrities, including popular singer Vanessa Camargo, and duo Pedro
    and Thiago, television hosts Fernanda Lima and Luciano Huck, and cartoonist
    Mauricio de Sousa himself.

    Mauricio de Sousa’s intention
    is to take the film, and the other cartoons, to other countries. The first
    to receive Cine Comics is going to be Italy, next year.

    "We are going to
    change the actors from country to country," stated Mauricio, referring
    to local celebrities to participate in the movies.

    There are already another
    four Monica’s Gang stories ready for filming: Travel in Time, Horacio
    (a little green dinosaur with big dreamy eyes), Chico Bento (a young
    country boy), and Magic Star. Investment in the development of this
    first movie totaled around US$ 1.6 million, and the director was José
    Márcio Nicolosi.


    Mauricio de Sousa’s creations
    have 70% of the kid’s comic market in Brazil, and have been in print since
    1959. At the time, the cartoonist drew Franklin and Blu, a strip about a young
    inventor and his dog, for newspaper Folha da Manhã, in the city
    of São Paulo, in southeastern Brazil, where he was a police reporter.

    Character Monica was born
    in 1970, inspired on Maurício’s daughter. Currently, 150 artists work
    with the cartoonist in production of the stories.

    The characters are so
    successful that they generate another 3,000 sub-products, including dolls
    and licensed games.

    In Brazil there are also
    two Monica’s Gang amusement parks, one in São Paulo and another in
    Rio de Janeiro.

    Monica’s Gang website:

    Isaura Daniel is a Brazilian reporter. This article was distributed by ANBA
    – Brazil-Arab News Agency.

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