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Code Lyoko Evolution is a sequel series of the French animated series, Code Lyoko (2003-2007). It consists of twenty-six episodes. Unlike the original series, it consists of live-action for scenes on Earth as opposed to 2D hand-drawn animation, but still contains 3D computer animation for Lyoko and other virtual areas. The soundtrack has been overhauled. It first premiered on December 19, 2012 in France, and was later officially released online with English subtitles in 2019 on the official YouTube account. On February 28, 2013, a version of Rivalry that was dubbed in English aired in the USA, but the dub was ultimately cancelled and no other dubbed episodes are known to exist.

This series is also sometimes referred to as the fifth season of the original Code Lyoko cartoon, although it is more accurately a soft reboot as it makes multiple deviations from the original's plot and setting, including technology updates and being set at a later date than the original cartoon. It is also predated by Code Lyoko Chronicles, a novel series which features an alternative continuation of events after Season 4.


Plot

After the events of the fourth season, Jeremie Belpois, Odd Della Robbia, Ulrich Stern, Yumi Ishiyama and Aelita Schaeffer return to their daily lives and routines at Kadic Academy. However, they soon find out that their old virtual archenemy has been successfully reborn with the potential to gain even more strength and power than ever before. The Lyoko Warriors resume their former double lives in order to protect humanity from X.A.N.A.'s evil schemes once again. Joined by William Dunbar, who has finally been accepted as the sixth Lyoko Warrior, and an unreliable girl-genius named Laura Gauthier, the seven heroes are bent on unraveling the reasons for such a return and to exterminate the evil artificial intelligence that is threatening both worlds once and for all.

In addition to X.A.N.A., the Lyoko Warriors discover that they have another dangerous enemy, a mad scientist named Lowell Tyron, who seems to be the one responsible for inadvertently returning X.A.N.A. to life. He commands the Ninjas, a group of several virtual human avatars in black and green striped costumes to counter the Lyoko Warriors. In Tyron's lab the group also discovers Aelita's long-lost mother and seek to discover why she is with their newest enemy and how to reunite the mother with her daughter.

In the finale, it is revealed that Tyron has been married to Anthea for four years, and is now Aelita's stepfather and legal guardian. His only purpose of marrying Anthea was not out of love, but to get his greedy hands on her late husband's archives so that he could effectively create the Cortex region, which then the recovering X.A.N.A. secretly inhabited to carry out its plans for world domination and destruction once again.

Differences from the Original Series

Weapons and Abilities

Abilities Used:

Weapon Upgrades and Modifications Used

Abilities Never Used:

Weapon Upgrades and Modifications Never Utilized:

Other Differences

  • Due to now being in live-action, many characters have undergone changes in appearance or mannerisms.
    • Instead of wearing the same clothes most of the time, each individual has a number of similar outfits.
    • Odd's hair on Earth is now dark brown, but still features his trademark violet streak at the front.
    • Jim looks a bit different. He is not as muscular nor does he have a potbelly.
    • Mr. Delmas seems to have a fresh shave instead of his normally seen beard in the animated series, and does not wear glasses. He may be seen as a younger version of his original design, resembling a French Michael Richards (the actor for Kramer on Seinfeld).
  • Several characters are missing, relegated to minor roles, or replaced entirely.
    • Kiwi never appears. His disappearance is explained in the episode Obstinacy: this time, he is staying with Odd's five older sisters - Pauline, Louise, Marie, Elizabeth and Adele.
    • Sissi only makes two appearances in the live-action series rather than messing around with the Lyoko Warriors or trying to compete for Ulrich's attention like she used to. This could be explained as being due to her now being on more friendly terms with them as of the last episode of the original series, thus removing her motivation to antagonize them.
    • Yumi's home, parents and younger brother are mentioned but do not appear.
    • The character of Samantha Knight has had her role in the series replaced by a new girl, Samantha Suares. They share the same first name and role as Odd's love interest, but Suares is in fact an adaptation of Knight, not the same character.
    • Herb and Nicholas do not play a role in the series, although Nicholas is named by Mrs. Hertz and briefly seen in the episode Chaos at Kadic, when the latter is revealing test grades to the class.
  • Different 3D computer-animated software was used for the creation of virtual scenes.
    • Towers have had a drastic redesign. They are now rectangular rather than cylindrical. They cannot be entered if not activated, with the exclusion of Way Towers.
    • Avatars look like those from Season 4, but with several minor differences. They are also slightly more detailed and realistic-looking.
    • The Ice and Forest Sectors are lost due to the long inactivity of the Supercomputer.
    • Abilities on the virtual world have an entirely different appearance and color, such as Ulrich's Super Sprint leaving a pale blue trail instead of pale yellow, and Aelita's strengthened Creativity has a light blue aura without any angelic, siren-like sounds heard.
  • The Lyoko Warriors' voices have a slight electronic sound to them while in the virtual world.
  • The powers and attacks of X.A.N.A. and the spectres are drastically mitigated. This results in the conflicts on Earth being far less intense than the desperate life-or-death scenarios from the original series.
  • Yumi has a new weapon in addition to her Tessen Fans: the Bo Staff.
  • Some characters seem to act like they never entered towers before, as seen when Odd tried to deactivate the tower for the first time.
  • There are frequent inconsistencies in regards to Aelita and Franz Hopper's false names.
  • The Sewers, as well as the manhole to them, have drastically changed. Also, the characters are never shown on the bridge to the Factory, which can only be seen very far in the background.
  • The Supercomputer itself has gone from a cylindrical shape to a rectangular one, much like the Towers. While virtual changes may be explained by the Supercomputer's software updating, that would not alter its physical casing.
  • After someone is devirtualized, it takes twelve hours in order to be virtualized onto Lyoko again. In the original series, it did not seem to take that long to be re-virtualized, as shown in several episodes such as Missing Link, Cold War and Lost at Sea.
  • The time period of the series was altered by ten years. While the original series takes place in the early 2000s, Evolution jumpstarts events by having them take place ten years later than in the original series. This was done to bring the series up to date with the year it was released in. 

Production

Development

The idea for a live-action follow-up to Code Lyoko was first suggested by director Jérôme Mouscadet and the head writer for seasons 1-3 Sophie Decroisette soon after the series ended.[1] The show's broadcasters however were not interested at the time. The concept first leaked to the public in October 2008 through a presentation for Code Lyoko Reloaded.[2] Moonscoop confirmed in July 2010 they were trying to get a fifth season picked up, but the broadcasters had not greenlit it yet.[3]

A fifth season of Code Lyoko quietly leaked in April 2011, but went unnoticed by fans.[4] Moonscoop officially announced a live-action sequel on the series' Facebook page on May 31, 2011.[5]

Mouscadet and Decroisette signed on and wrote the initial draft of the series' bible.[6] One of the main ideas they had was the appearance of Waldo Schaeffer's long dormant enemy, Alan Meyer.[7][8] Florian Ferrier and Luccio Di Rosa were contacted in April 2011 to work as co-directors on the series for the 3D and live-action segments, respectively.[9] Unlike the original series where Mouscadet directed both the 2D and 3D, two separate directors were needed due to the differences between directing animation and live-action. The two met the previous November at the French Film Festival of Angoulême to see if they would work well together, and the two found they "very quickly began to get along. We had the same vision and we knew what we were going to do with Code Lyoko Evolution". David Carayon was brought on as head writer in January 2012, with other writers and editors being hired around that time.

After they were brought on, Ferrier and Di Rosa were explained the show's concept and watched episodes of the original series to help familiarize themselves with it, mostly ones from Season 4 that involved the Network.[9] Initially the two "[didn't] understand any of [it]", and needed more information "before anything started to make sense". The pair felt the concept of the series was "extremely complex and unclear", citing an example of how when they asked what made up the white void underneath the platforms in certain rooms of Sector Five, "nobody was able to give [us] a precise and certain response".

With the help of Carayon, they voluntarily chose to "simplify the concept and most of all to remove the incoherent aspects" and reworked Evolution's bible for the first time.[9] They cited the new writing team as a reason, who were also unfamiliar with the series, saying: "We couldn't work properly if regularly, the writers asked questions like, “And what is there once you leave this room in Sector Five?” and we were unable to respond." These changes ultimately caused Decroisette and Mouscadet to depart the series after writing synopses for the first couple of episodes, who Di Rosa and Ferrier admitted they had not interacted with "a whole lot".[6][9] Decroisette explained: "[...] I quickly saw that production wanted to be on a particular story level that didn't agree with my ideas on the series. So I quit production." She revealed the moment they decided to leave was when she turned in a story about Odd and Carayon told her it was "not Code Lyoko".[10] While not every change they made to the bible is known, Decroisette revealed they kept the main ideas she and Mouscadet had planned, but they weren't interested in using the original series' backstory "at all" and made "narrative choices that moved away from the continuity we had installed".[11][1] The only writer from the original series to return was Season 4 head writer Bruno Regeste.

One of the largest known changes resulted in the disappearance of the Ice and Forest sectors, which Di Rosa and Ferrier removed to "better exploit the remaining ones".[9] They clarified their removal wasn't "by chance", but "the fruit of some reflection around the world of Lyoko but also the originality of each one of these Sectors". Another change was allowing the rest of the Lyoko Warriors to deactivate towers.[12] They also simplified Sector Five and "part of the vocabulary used in the series" so people unfamiliar with the original series could follow Evolution. The role of Schaeffer's enemy Alan Meyer was also altered, and he was renamed Lowell Tyron after a production document leaked onto the internet.[13] Although encouraged by Moonscoop to make Evolution more episodic like Season 1, they "tried to make [a ...] season with real development in the plot".

Another major change was the inclusion of Laura, who Di Rosa and Ferrier described as "fundamental" to the series.[9] She was initially created as "the character who could ask questions to bring about explanations" to new viewers who didn't watch the original series. Her role changed as the writing developed and she didn't debut until later on. Calling her "the female equivalent of Jeremy", they said "she's the new arrival. Her determination to join the team is going to cause a mess, because she is going to ask questions that should not be asked and put herself right in the middle of the sentimental connections between the characters."

Filming/Animation

The change to live-action had a number of affects on the series, "when XANA attacks, we can't make explosions in the middle of the city".[9] They wanted it to "accentuate the physical side of the series" and placed extra focus on the humor to replicate the atmosphere of the original series. The action elements were moved almost exclusively to the 3D segments. They worked a lot on replicating "realism" in order to make the fights more "dynamic" and "fluid". The overall budget for the live-action segments was €2.1 million, while the 3D animation's was €3.5 million, totaling €5.6 million all together.[14]

Auditions were announced on February 3, 2012.[2] They were looking for roughly 15 actors in total; 7 for the main characters with the rest being for secondary characters.[14] Moonscoop noted the popularity of the series, saying: "[...] we started casting without announcing that it was 'Code Lyoko'. As soon as we gave the name, the applications soared from 40 to 250 in three days." Auditions were set to finish near the end of March, but were extended a few days to help search for Yumi.[15] Mélanie Tran was selected on April 1.[2] The cast spent a week with each other starting on the 28th to bring them closer together, where they went out to a restaurant, played laser tag and saw their 3D characters for the first time at Antefilm's studio.[16] Casting for extras was announced on June 27th and took place on July 4.[17]

Filming began on July 2, 2012 and lasted until August 30.[16] The first four weeks were spent filming at the Transpasets studio in Saint-Yrieix, where sets were built for scenes at the Factory and other locations. Four more weeks were filmed on-location for the scenes at Kadic. Although the school in the original series was modelled after Lycée Lakanal in Sceaux, France, the scenes in Evolution were filmed at Lycée Guez-de-Balzac in Angoulême where the rest of production took place.[9] Another week of shooting on-location was also scheduled for miscellaneous outdoor scenes.[16] Filming took place Monday through Friday, beginning at 7:30 AM for makeup and filming taking place from 9 AM to 6 PM.[18] According to script assistant Morgane Di Domenico, she was the only person on-set who had seen the original series from start to finish.[19] The rest ranged from having never heard of it (people older than 40), those who heard of it but never watched it, and the rest being younger people who saw a few episodes growing up. An error she caught the day they started filming at the school was one of dorms having a sign underneath it for Yumi. She also helped make Aelita's room more accurate and lent her DVDs of the series to Bastien Thelliez to help him get into the role of Jim among others.

Production began on the 3D segments months before the live-action portion, with them being "in the modelling and storyboarding stage" near the end of April.[16] The 3D animation and special effects for the live-action weren't expected to be complete until November 2012.[18] The actors were then called back into the studio to record lines for the 3D portion during the All Saints' holidays near the end of October.

Premiere

A focus group screening of an unfinished version of Rivalry took place on October 24, 2012, made up of mostly 8-14 year old children of Moonscoop employees and a representative from Codelyoko.fr.[20] The audience was described as "won over by the new series", which Moonscoop considered "extremely promising". An official preview of Evolution consisting of the first two episodes was held on December 5, where the first 50 fans who applied via email were selected to attend.[21]

Code Lyoko Evolution was not picked up by Cartoon Network, but Moonscoop produced an English dub for Rivalry that aired on their channel Kabillion on February 28, 2013.[22]

Reception

Reception of Code Lyoko Evolution depended on the medium. While the improved CGI animation was viewed positively by fans, reception to most of the other changes were either mixed or outright negative. Fans lambasted Laura Gauthier's character and had mixed views about the live-action shooting replacing 2-D animation in real life. Fans also criticized the casting choices and wooden acting of some of the performers. Aspects of the writing have also been criticized and it is generally seen as inferior to the original series.

Reception from the original series' showrunners was mostly negative. Jérôme Mouscadet has said he was "really disappointed" by the series, criticizing the "tiny" budget for the live-action portion and the low budget for the 3D resulting in "bad" action scenes, feeling "[in] the end, it was not a good idea to make [the series]".[10] Sophie Decroisette similarly criticized the low budget, calling Evolution "not very well done" and considers it non-canon to the original show.[23][6]

List of Episodes

Ep No. Pro No. Name Image French Title Airdates
1 (96) 501 X.A.N.A. 2.0
Xana20header
XANA 2.0 FR: December 19th, 2012 (Online)
January 5th, 2013 (TV)
2 (97) 502 Cortex
Cortex 017
Cortex FR: January 5th, 2013
3 (98) 503 Spectromania
Spectromania
Spectromania FR: January 5th, 2013
4 (99) 504 Mrs. Einstein
Mme Einstein title
Madame Einstein FR: January 19th, 2013
5 (100) 505 Rivalry
Rivalité title
Rivalité US: February 28th, 2013
FR: January 26th, 2013
6 (101) 506 Suspicions
Soupçons title
Soupçons FR: February 2nd, 2013
7 (102) 507 Countdown
Compte-à-rebours title
Compte-à-rebours FR: February 9th, 2013
8 (103) 508 Virus
Virus title
Virus FR: February 16th, 2013
9 (104) 509 How to Fool X.A.N.A.
Comment tromper XANA title
Comment tromper XANA FR: February 23th, 2013
10 (105) 510 The Warrior Awakens
Le réveil du guerrier title
Le réveil du guerrier FR: March 2nd, 2013
11 (106) 511 Rendezvous
Rendez-vous title
Rendez-vous FR: March 9th, 2013
12 (107) 512 Chaos at Kadic
Chaos à Kadic title
Chaos à Kadic FR: March 16th, 2013
13 (108) 513 Friday the 13th
Vendredi 13 title
Vendredi 13 FR: March 23th, 2013
14 (109) 514 Intrusion
Intrusion title
Intrusion FR: March 30th, 2013
15 (110) 515 The Codeless
The codeless.
Les sans-codes FR: April 6th, 2013
16 (111) 516 Confusion
Confusion
Confusion FR: April 13th, 2013
17 (112) 517 An Assured Professional Future
An Assured Professional Future 1
Un avenir professionnel assuré FR: April 20th, 2013
18 (113) 518 Obstinacy
Obstination
Obstination FR: April 27th, 2013
19 (114) 519 The Trap
The Trap (Evolution) 1
Le piège FR: May 5th, 2013 (iTunes)
December 12th, 2013 (TV)
20 (115) 520 Espionage
Espionnage
Espionnage FR: December 13th, 2013
HU: July 27th, 2013
21 (116) 521 False Pretenses
21-faux-semblants
Faux-semblants FR: December 14th, 2013
HU: July 28th, 2013
22 (117) 522 Mutiny
22-Mutinerie
Mutinerie FR: December 15th, 2013
HU: July 29th, 2013
23 (118) 523 Jeremy's Blues
23-Le-blues-de-Jeremy

Le blues de Jérémie

FR: December 16th, 2013
HU: July 30th, 2013
24 (119) 524 Temporal Paradox
24-paradoxe-temporel
Paradoxe temporel FR: December 17th, 2013
HU: July 31st, 2013
25 (120) 525 Massacre
25-hecatombe
Hécatombe FR: December 18th, 2013
HU: August 1st, 2013
26 (121) 526 Ultimate Mission
26-ultime-mission
Ultime mission FR: December 19th, 2013
HU: August 2nd, 2013

Gallery

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 "Interview - Sophie Decroisette, partie 2". Ces Dessins Animés-Là qui méritent qu'on s'en souvienne. March 11, 2014.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 "Code Lyoko Reloaded" - CodeLyoko.fr
  3. "Moonscoop, le retour !". CodeLyoko.fr. July 25, 2010.
  4. "«Tituef Le Film» en Avant-Premiere. Charente Libre. April 2, 2011.
  5. "Nouvelle saison de Code Lyoko : Code Lyoko Evolution". CodeLyoko.fr. June 2, 2011.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 "Interview with Sophie Decroisette" - CodeLyoko.fr (2016)
  7. "Lyoko Answers #17 (with Sophie Decroisette)". codigolyoko.net. January 30, 2017.
  8. "Lyoko Answers #18 (with Sophie Decroisette)". codigolyoko.net. June 23, 2017.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 9.5 9.6 9.7 "Interview with Luccio di Rosa and Florian Ferrier" - CodeLyoko.fr
  10. 10.0 10.1 ( "TERTULIA TISTAZO - JÉRÔME MOUSCADET Y SOPHIE DECROISETTE (Director y Escritora de Codigo Lyoko)" (41:52) - YouTube
  11. ( "TERTULIA TISTAZO - JÉRÔME MOUSCADET Y SOPHIE DECROISETTE (Director y Escritora de Codigo Lyoko)" (46:36) - YouTube
  12. "EXCLUSIVE interview with the creators of Code Lyoko... a potential SEQUEL ? ft. @Oliarius" (2:18:20) - YouTube
  13. "Code Lyoko Evolution Characters > Lowell Tyron" - CodeLyoko.fr
  14. 14.0 14.1 "Angoulême : "Code Lyoko" en chair et en 3D". SudOuest.fr. February 29, 2012.
  15. "À la recherche de la nouvelle Yumi !". CodeLyoko.fr. March 22, 2012.
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 16.3 "Tournages en Charente: Code Lyoko Evolution Dans Les Starting Block". Charente Libre. April 28, 2012.
  17. "Découvrez un nouvel ennemi : le Ninja !". CodeLyoko.fr. June 29, 2012.
  18. 18.0 18.1 "« Code Lyoko » : dernière semaine de tournage réel". SudOuest.fr. August 28, 2012.
  19. "L'interview de Morgane Di Domenico" - CodeLyoko.fr
  20. "Codelyoko.fr au focus group de CLE" - CodeLyoko.fr
  21. "Avant-première Code Lyoko Evolution du 05 décembre 2012" - CodeLyoko.fr
  22. "Quentin Merabet fait une twitcam avec ses fans" - CodeLyoko.fr
  23. "Lyoko Answers #16 (with Sophie Decroisette)". codigolyoko.net. November 16, 2016.
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