The Italian Almanac

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the Wynx Club

Winx Club at Cannes

The Italian creators of the six trendy fairies at the centre of the Winx Club phenomenon are ready for the next stage of their bid to conquer the world - or at least all girls aged between five and 12. Rainbow SpA, based in the central Italian region of Marche, is about to take a new 3-D film featuring the Winx characters to Cannes and is also planning to build swish new headquarters by 2009. Next week, Rainbow will be offering the 25-million-euro movie to international distributors at the Marché, the hub of business activity at Cannes. The company, founded by illustrator and director Iginio Straffi 11 years ago, has already arranged to cover the front of a building on the Croisette with a massive image of its famous fairies.

Given the success of the Winx Club TV series, the film is expected to be among the first to be snapped up. The three series of animated adventures involving the foxy enchantresses are already showing in 130 countries, from the United States to Japan. The Winx Club is a group of six fairies who study magic at a school in the world of Alfea. They dress like the hippest of teenagers, tussle with adolescent-type problems and also frequently save the world from the powers of evil.

After the planetary success of Winx, Rainbow is about to start building new production and design studios in which its 70 employees can continue churning out its popular animation products. The company says plans for the new site, which will still be in Marche, were inspired by one of its own creations - a Winx Club character called Flora, who is the 'fairy of nature'. What this means is that the new 8,000 square metre Rainbow HQ will involve the latest in 'green' building techniques. It will have solar panels to produce electricity, a non-polluting air conditioning system and a structure which does not block views of the landscape.

Syd Mead, who wrote screenplays for films such as Blade Runner and Alien, apparently played a role in the planning of the buildings. Meanwhile, the Winx Club continues to generate business for Rainbow all over the world. Winx fairy dolls are the third most popular dolls in the world and Winx merchandise such as books, bags and toys produces global turnover of over a billion euros a year.