Final episode date
10 November 2007
First episode date
3 September 2003
AdventureScience Fiction ActionComedy
Tania PalumboThomas Romain
Sharon MannMatthew GéczyMirabelle KirklandBarbara Weber-ScaffDavid Gasman
Theme music composer
Franck KellerYgal Amar
Sharon Mann, Barbara Scaff, Mirabelle Kirkland, Matthew Géczy, David Gasman, Jodi Forrest, Allan Wenger, Paul Bandey
Ulrich Stern, William Dunbar, Jeremie Belpois, Franz Hopper, Milly Solovieff
Code Lyoko is a French animated television series created by Thomas Romain and Tania Palumbo and produced by Moonscoop. The series centers on a group of six teenagers who travel to the virtual world of Lyoko to battle against a malignant artificial intelligence named X.A.N.A. who threatens Earth. The series is presented in 2D hand-drawn animation and CGI.
The series began its first run with ninety-five episodes on 3 September 2003, on France's France 3, and ended its run on 10 November 2007. It aired in the United States on 19 April 2004, for the first time on Cartoon Network. The show later spawned a live-action/CGI series Code Lyoko: Evolution, which began at the end of 2012. It kept the 3D computer animation style while it focused on Lyoko, the digital sea and the Cortex, while live-action for the real world.
Between 2004 and 2007, Code Lyoko aired every day on Cartoon Network (Miguzi) at 4 PM Eastern Standard Time, sometimes showing two episodes consecutively, in the cases of season finales.
On 31 May 2011, MoonScoop announced on its Facebook page that the show will be returning for a fifth season; this was partially due to a large dedicated fan base. The season consists of 26 episodes, as well as containing a mixture of live action and CGI. The show was then renamed Code Lyoko: Evolution, and premiered 19 December 2012.
Jeremie Belpois, a 13-year-old boy attending boarding school at Kadic Academy, discovers a quantum supercomputer in an abandoned factory near his school. Upon activating it, he discovers a virtual world called Lyoko with a young girl, Aelita, trapped inside it. A series of bizarre events begin to occur at Kadic Academy. Jeremie learns of X.A.N.A., a malevolent artificial intelligence multi-agent system who also dwells within the supercomputer. X.A.N.A.'s goal is to conquer the real world and all human beings.
Throughout Season 1, Jeremie works to materialize Aelita into the real world and stop X.A.N.A. Jeremie is aided by his three friends Ulrich Stern, Odd Della Robbia, Yumi Ishiyama as they, along with Aelita, are virtualized into Lyoko in order to save both worlds from the sinister virtual entity. In "Code Earth" Aelita is finally materialized, but the group discovers that X.A.N.A. had planted a virus inside Aelita, which prevents them from shutting down the supercomputer.
The second season focuses on the group as Aelita adjusts to life in the real world while Jeremie searches for an anti-virus for Aelita. In Lyoko, a fifth sector is discovered and the group explores more of Lyoko's secrets and mysteries, while X.A.N.A. attempts to steal Aelita's memory in order to gain the keys to Lyoko and free itself.
In the third-season finale, the group is joined by William Dunbar. Once virtualized in Lyoko, William is possessed by X.A.N.A. He remains under X.A.N.A.'s possession for majority of the season, but is saved later on. After he returned he had a difficult time gaining the trust of the Lyoko Warriors. In Code Lyoko: Evolution he was referred to as a permanent addition to the group for the first time.
Code Lyoko originates from the film short Les enfants font leur cinéma ("The children make their movies"), directed by Thomas Romain and produced by a group of students from Parisian visual arts school Gobelins School of the Image. Romain worked with Tania Palumbo, Stanislas Brunet, and Jerome Cottray to create the film, which was screened at the 2000 Annecy International Animated Film Festival. French animation company Antefilms offered Romain and Palumbo a contract as a result of the film. This led to the development of the pilot, Garage Kids.
Garage Kids was first released in 2001. The project was created by Palumbo, Romain, and Carlo de Boutiny and developed by Anne de Galard. Its producers were Eric Garnet, Nicolas Atlan, Benoît di Sabatino, and Christophe di Sabatino. The project was produced by Antefilms.
Similar to its succeeding show Code Lyoko, Garage Kids was originally intended to be a 26-episode miniseries detailing the lives of four French boarding school students who discover the secret of the virtual world of Xanadu; created by a research group headed by a character known as the "Professor". The pilot featured both traditional animation and CGI.
Garage Kids evolved into Code Lyoko, which began broadcast in 2003, with the virtual world renamed to "Lyoko". Romain, however, left the show to work on the Japanese anime series Ōban Star-Racers.
The factory and boarding school are based on real locations in France. The factory was based on a Renault production plant in Boulogne-Billancourt, which has since been demolished. The school, Kadic Academy, is based on Lycée Lakanal in Sceaux.
Lyoko (pronounced /liːˈoʊkoʊ/) is the virtual world contained within the supercomputer. It is composed of five different regions or sectors, each one representing a different landscape and environment. The first four being the Forest, Desert, Ice/Polar, and Mountains, superficially resembling various real-world landscapes, climate, and ecosystems. The fifth sector, Carthage (mostly recognised as Sector 5), serves as the central hub of Lyoko; it contains all of Lyoko's data, and X.A.N.A.'s as well. It also contains the Core/Heart of Lyoko itself, the code which maintains and supports the whole virtual world; and the hangar for the group's virtual submersible ship, the Skidbladnir. The first four sectors are arranged by four points leading to the center, around the fifth sector, a ball-like figure. All five sectors are eventually destroyed by the end of the third season; by destroying the Core of Lyoko in the third-season finale, X.A.N.A. made it so that the five main characters would no longer pose a threat to him and his evil schemes to destroy the real world. In the fourth season, all five sectors are eventually recreated by Jeremie and Aelita due to a recreation, restoration program given to them by Franz Hopper.
The Digital Sea (or Digital Void) is a liquid sea and ocean that resides below all of the four main sectors and is how the Lyoko program portrays the supercomputer's DOS or DOS's quantum computer equivalent. When something falls into the Digital Sea, a white/green column of light emanates from it; this represents that the person or thing is sent to the World Wide Web. It is the most forbidden place on Lyoko due to the permanent deletion, as well as eternal virtualization on Lyoko. Only three people have actually fallen in it: Yumi, who was brought back by a materialization program originally made for Aelita, Aelita who was eventually brought back by her father, and William, who while under X.A.N.A.'s control seemed able to travel through it unharmed. X.A.N.A. intended to constantly throw Aelita into the digital sea in order to lure Franz Hopper out of hiding so that he could destroy him once and for all. X.A.N.A. also created three monsters specifically for combatting the heroes underwater during their forays with the Skid, the Kongres the Sharks, and in the fourth season, the Kalamar.
Lyoko is hosted on a supercomputer that is located in the abandoned factory. After destroying the original Lyoko, X.A.N.A.'s plan was to host more Lyoko copies on different supercomputers so he could use them to take control of facilities all around the world to complete its plan to dominate the world. A Replika is a complete replica of one sector of Lyoko, complete with its own Towers. The group attempted to rid the Network of all of the hundreds of existing Replikas, as each one destroyed greatly weakens X.A.N.A., but there were too many to destroy one by one. Eventually, Jeremy's multi-agent program, due to Franz Hopper's sacrifice, had possessed enough energy and power to wipe them all out entirely, along with X.A.N.A. itself from existence.
Code Lyoko was voted as the best show by Canal J viewers in France, and has achieved international fame as well; the show has been rated as one of the best shows on Cartoon Network and Kabillion in the United States, with Cartoon Network having it rated as the #2 best performing show in 2006 and Kabillion having it as #4 in monthly average views in 2010. The show has reached success in Spain as one of Clan TVE's highest rated shows, on Italy's Rai2 network, and in Finland and the United Kingdom as well. The show also won France's Prix de l'Export 2006 Award for Animation in December 2006.
Several Code Lyoko products have been released, including DVDs, a series of cine-manga by Tokyopop, a series of four novels by Italian publisher Atlantyca Entertainment, apparel and other accessories. In 2006, Marvel Toys released a line of Code Lyoko toys and action figures.
The Game Factory has released three video games based on the show: Code Lyoko and Code Lyoko: Fall of X.A.N.A. for the Nintendo DS, and Code Lyoko: Quest for Infinity for the Wii, PSP, and PlayStation 2. There have been other games released through various mediums, one being Facebook.
A series of Clan TVE festivals in Spain included live stage shows based on Code Lyoko among other things. A game show known as Code Lyoko Challenge was planned to be released in late 2012, but fell through.
In January 2011, all four seasons of Code Lyoko were released on iTunes in the US and in France by Moonscoop Holdings. in October 2011, all four seasons were released on Amazon Instant Streaming and via DVD in the same countries, however these DVDs are now out of print and extremely difficult to find. On 6 August 2012, all four seasons were made available on Netflix DVD and Instant Watch.
A series of four chapter books was released by Atlantyca Entertainment and distributed in Italy and other countries. The novels delve deeper into the unanswered questions of the series. Taking place after the end of the series, X.A.N.A. has miraculously survived and returns, though weakened and initially missing its memories. X.A.N.A. takes control of Eva Skinner, an American girl, and travels to France in order to infiltrate the gang and kill them off. Unaware of their enemy's presence, the group works to find clues about Aelita's past, left by her father Franz Hopper, and confirm whether or not her mother is still alive somewhere. But at the same time, a terrorist group, the Green Phoenix, has become interested in supercomputer and intend to use both it and the virtual world of Lyoko for evil purposes.
It was confirmed that the series will never be released officially in English, nor the final two books released in French. However, some time later, a fan community came together and sought to not only finish the series but translate it into more languages, including English. They have since completed their work and made it available for free download in September 2014.
In the United States, the series premiered on 19 April 2004 on Cartoon Network. The second season started on 19 September 2005. The two-part XANA Awakens prequel aired on 2–3 October 2006, and the third season started a day later, on 4 October 2006. The fourth and final season began on 18 May 2007. The last episode aired on Cartoon Network was "Cousins Once Removed", and the remaining seven episodes have been released online. The show also aired in Japan on Jetix.