Huntik: Secrets & Seekers

Last updated
Huntik: Secrets & Seekers
Rainbow Huntik logo.svg
Genre
Created by Iginio Straffi
Directed byIginio Straffi
Simone Borselli (assistant director)
Creative directorSimone Borselli
Voices of Yuri Lowenthal
Drew Aaron
Marc Thompson
Karen Strassman
Rebecca Soler
Opening theme"Huntik Go"
Ending theme"Heroes and Titans"
Composers
  • Michele Bettali
  • Stefano Carrara
  • Fabrizio Castania
Country of originItaly
Original languagesItalian
English
No. of seasons2
No. of episodes52 [1] (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producerJoanne Lee
ProducerIginio Straffi
Production companies Rainbow (Viacom)
Rai Fiction
Distributor Rainbow (co-owned by Viacom)
Release
Original network Rai Due
Picture format NTSC: 480i
Audio formatStereo
Original release12 January 2009 (2009-01-12) [2]  
11 December 2011 (2011-12-11)
External links
Website

Huntik: Secrets & Seekers is an Italian animated television series created by Iginio Straffi, the creator of Winx Club . The series centers on four adventurers who are part of a group called the Huntik Foundation. The Huntik team, led by their top operative Dante Vale, works to defend the world from the forces of two adversarial groups, the Organization and the Blood Spiral. Each episode takes place in a different historical city and features magical elements inspired by European mythology. The characters are designed in a style that combines Japanese anime with Western animation.

Contents

Iginio Straffi conceived Huntik in 2006. To outline the show's characters and storylines, Straffi organized a series of meetings with an international crew at his animation studio, Rainbow SpA. Huntik's visual elements, artwork, and music were produced entirely in Italy, while animation and some scriptwriting were done abroad. Rai Fiction financed a portion of the show's budget, and the series premiered on Rai Due in Italy on 12 January 2009.

Huntik debuted to high ratings on Rai Due and set a record number of viewers for Rai Gulp in 2009. [3] Production on a second season began shortly after the premiere of the first. The second season eventually debuted in 2011 on Rai Due. Also in 2011, Viacom gained 30% ownership of the Rainbow studio, and Huntik's second season premiered on Viacom's Nickelodeon networks internationally. The show has spawned various forms of licensed merchandise, including action figures, trading cards, and tie-in novelizations.

Series overview

The series follows Lok Lambert as he uncovers the secret legacy of his missing father. His father, Eathon, was a member of the Huntik Foundation and a part of a secret world of magic users known as Seekers and creatures known as Titans. On his mission to uncover what happened to his father, Lok is joined by Dante Vale, Sophie Casterwill, Zhalia Moon, and a talking Titan called Cherit. [4]

Season one focuses on the fight against the evil Organization, led by a powerful Seeker known as the Professor. Along the way, the team discovers the Amulet of Will and the powerful Legendary Titans. Though the Professor eventually acquires the three Legendary Titans of Mind, Body, and Spirit in a bid for immortality, he is defeated by the Huntik team.

In season two, an ancient and evil group known as the Blood Spiral reveals itself and seeks to summon evil and destructive beings known as the Nullifiers. This will have ramifications for everyone, with the Blood Spirals being linked to the destruction of Sophie's remaining family, the descendants of the powerful Lord Casterwill. A new hero, Den Fears, joins the Huntik team as Zhalia goes undercover within the Blood Spiral. A new set of Legendary Titans are uncovered, but their discovery only heralds the resurrection of the Blood Spiral's founder, the Betrayer.

Cast and characters

Production

Iginio Straffi conceived Huntik in 2006 [5] as a spiritual successor to his previous show, Winx Club. Just as the Winx characters were modelled on popular singers, Straffi looked to movie stars when designing the Huntik characters: Johnny Depp served as the basis for Dante Vale, Demi Moore for Zhalia Moon, and Gwyneth Paltrow for Sophie Casterwill. [6] In developing the show, Iginio Straffi wanted to create a "cultured alternative to Japanese manga and American cartoons, giving viewers the opportunity to learn about Italian and European culture." [7] A first season of 26 episodes was announced in October 2006, along with a reported budget of approximately US$8.62 million. [5]

After drawing his initial concept art for Huntik, Straffi "hammered out the kernel of the show" with the help of an international creative team at his animation studio, Rainbow SpA. [8] During these meetings, Sean Molyneaux was tasked with creating the Huntik series bible, a "master document" that covered the show's character descriptions, backstories, and episode synopses. [8] Molyneaux, who was co-writing Winx Club: The Secret of the Lost Kingdom with Iginio Straffi at the time, stated that he "was given a decent amount of freedom to flesh out the details of the plot, the main characters, their story arcs and their pasts, and was responsible for the secondary characters pretty much top to bottom." [8]

The designers of Huntik used e-mail to correspond with each other. All of the design ideas began from the descriptions in either the series bible or an episode script, from which the artists either went "off in their own direction" or wrote to Sean Molyneaux for guidance. [8] When writing new characters in scripts, Molyneaux tried to keep his "descriptions minimalist at first, maybe mentioning a single important fact (a personality trait, or a physical trait in the case of a Titan), hoping that maybe this will inspire the designer." [8] To illustrate the backgrounds of the series, the artists studied photos and visual maps online. [6] After the backgrounds and character animations were put together, art director Simone Borselli reviewed every individual scene three times over (for the first season, there were 11,700 scenes to review). [6] Once the audio effects were added, Borselli repeated the process again, this time reviewing each scene twice. [6]

When drafting the show's action sequences, the Huntik staff avoided violence that could be emulated by viewers. They preferred monster fights over human combat scenes, and instead of punches, the writers called for "spheres of energy" to be shown onscreen. [6] Maurizio De Angelis, the show's story editor, supervised all scripts from Rainbow's studio in Italy. In 2009, he explained that "each screenplay is subject to countless changes, the time ranging from two or three weeks to five or six months." [6] The first season of Huntik involved around three years of writing and revisions, [9] while the second season took almost a year and a half. [6]

Broadcast

In Italy, Rai Due first broadcast Huntik: Secrets & Seekers on 12 January 2009 at 7:25 a.m. [2] In the United States, the first season premiered on The CW on 3 January 2009, nine days ahead of the Italian debut. [10] Rainbow first released a trailer for the second season in July 2011. [11] In Italy, the new season premiered on Rai Due on 17 September 2011. [11] Rai Gulp replayed the episodes beginning on 22 September. [11]

Following a 2011 purchase in which Viacom gained 30% ownership of Rainbow, Huntik was broadcast on Viacom's Nickelodeon channels worldwide, [12] including Nicktoons in the United States. The second season made its American premiere on Nicktoons, [13] and the full episodes were distributed on Nicktoons' website. [14]

Reception

In 2009, Will Wade of Common Sense Media wrote that the series "is fun to watch ... if you don't ask too many questions. The action sequences are exciting, the Titans are fearsome, the story is interesting, and the animation is lush and beautiful." [15] Reviewing the show's first DVD release, Mark Beresford of Impulse Gamer positively compared the show's adventure-focused story to the Tintin animations. He commented that the episodes "are pretty addictive and will leave you wanting to get your hands on the rest of the series." [16]

Other media

A tie-in Huntik trading card game was developed by Upper Deck and released in February 2009, along with starter packs and booster packs. [17] A line of 5 inch action figures has also been released, [18] along with a collection of miniature Titan figures. [19] A Nintendo DS game based on Huntik was announced in mid-2009 for release later that year. [20] The game was ultimately unreleased, but it was planned to feature a 20-hour single-player mission as well as a multiplayer mode. [20] In 2010, an IOS app named "Huntik: Titan Defence" was developed by Celestial Digital Entertainment Ltd. and was released on September 26. [21]

In 2011, two Huntik-themed attractions opened at the MagicLand theme park in Rome. One is a shooting dark ride called "Huntik 5D," which incorporates a CGI-animated Huntik short produced by Rainbow CGI. [22] Each of the ride's guided cars cost 120,000 euros to make. [23] The other is a log flume called "Huntik Spillwater" [24] (later renamed "Yucatan").

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References

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  4. "Huntik: Secrets & Seekers". Metacritic. Retrieved August 14, 2015.
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  17. "Huntik Trading Card Game Makes an Action-Packed Debut". Animation World Network. Retrieved 2018-03-10.
  18. "Huntik action figures". The Upper Deck E-Newsletter.
  19. "Huntik Miniatures". Panini.
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  22. "Rainbow CGI Animation Studio Corporate Reel" via www.youtube.com.
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  24. "Huntik Spillwater - Magicland". 26 December 2010. Archived from the original on 26 December 2010.