From the creators of Cartoon Network’s hit series “The Amazing World of Gumball” comes a new animated gem: “The Heroic Quest of the Valiant Prince Ivandoe.” This imaginative show whisks viewers into a world of heroes, royal rivalries, and magical creatures. Originally premiering as shorts on Cartoon Network Africa in February 2018 and ranking as the #1 show among kids’ channels in Africa during its slot*, the series is now back with a full five-chapter adventure. Join Prince Ivandoe as he embarks on a perilous quest through The Five Kingdoms, including encounters with old foes like Prince Svan and the Robber Princess Jezebel. His ultimate goal: the legendary ‘Golden Feather,’ which grants one’s heart’s deepest desires.
Crafted by Danish animators Christian Bøving-Andersen and Eva Lee Wallberg and produced by Hanna-Barbera Studios Europe, this expanded series offers 20 exciting 11-minute episodes, packed with humor and captivating characters. “The Heroic Quest of the Valiant Prince Ivandoe” promises laughter and thrills for viewers of all ages.
We got the opportunity to talk to Christian and Eva to learn more about Ivandoe’s intriguing characters, slapstick comedy, and exciting adventures of the new show:
Christian: We both grew up with all of the 90s Disney movies and the films from the 90s. So, we’re very inspired by classic stuff, but also a lot of fantasy such as the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit and Game of Thrones and Harry Potter and all these like big classic stories were used as reference. Monty Python and the Holy Grail was one of the main references because of the silliness and the environment, which has a feel of Nordic.
Christian: We wanted to tell bigger stories with the characters. We wanted to explore personalities and the world a bit more. Also, we wanted to build on Ivandoe and Bert’s friendship. So, we were thrilled to develop it into a longer format.
Eva: You can look forward to discovering the world with Ivandoe. He’s going into it quite cool as well. He’s always been sheltered by the castle and his kingdom, and now suddenly, he’s set free into the world. Children and families can go on this journey with him through all these kingdoms.
Christian: We’ve worked on different TV shows earlier in our career, such as The Amazing World of Gumball for Cartoon Network. We were trained as animators and have much experience with varying styles of animation and techniques. Then when we started to do Ivandoe, we worked with some of the same team from Cartoon Network and some of our old friends. So, we brought in an excellent team. We did a lot of experiments with different styles for the look, how it would work technically, and what would fit the story best. So, it took a few years to figure it out, it did take some time, but we’re thrilled with how it ended up.
Eva: I think he’s a very silly prince and probably not like your typical prince. He’s an unlikely hero. Ivandoe is quite pompous but very good at heart. He’s just excited about the world and the quest but doesn’t know how to behave.
Christian: He has been pampered in the castle, and it’s his first time out in the big world. He has a lot to learn and experience.
Christian: Bert is his squire, who is also very well-read and cleverer. He’s definitely the clever one. But he’s also a bit naive sometimes because he is so devoted to Ivandoe and thinks he is the greatest person in the world and can do anything. So, they live in this little bubble, and Bert is always there to help him. He’s an earnest little guy who also has a good heart. Sometimes he’s like Ivandoe’s little conscious on his shoulder, helping him through the world.
Eva: Bert would never get out of the castle if it wasn’t for Ivandoe, and you know, Ivandoe wouldn’t get very far if it wasn’t for Bert.
Christian: Ivandoe is very adventurous, and Bert keeps to himself.
Christian: I mean, we have a lot of new characters and brought back all the characters from the season one shorts. So, we got to know them even more and met them again several times. Even though we have seen them before, they feel a bit like new characters because we get to know them better. When they go through these different kingdoms, we also learn how the royal families are and their different personalities and traits. We also meet all the other silly characters that live there.
Eva: Well, I think it’s for family viewing as there are a lot of different layers in the story, and there are definitely things that the parents can enjoy. There are fairy tales that they know about that the kids might not know about yet.
Christian: We wanted to make a show for the whole family to watch together. So there’s a lot of silliness, and humour was a high priority. We also incorporated action, excitement, epicness and magic because it’s a fairy-tale world with monsters and silly creatures. We tried to get a bit of everything so there’s something for everybody.
Eva: This world we have built is so diverse, and there are so many different characters. You have everything from elves to wolves and weird animals, and the list goes on. One of the things we were conscious about, for example, me growing up, I remember I was excited every time I saw a character with the same hair colour as me, but it might sound trivial.
The voice director was trying to cast broader. What we would get was just a variety of voices to choose from.
Christian: We chose based on how it sounds without names or faces.
Eva: I definitely think so because fairy tales are for everyone. Even with the themes, it’s something everyone can relate to.
Christian: The stories, the personalities and the issues that Ivandoe goes through should be something all kids can relate to. The problems they have and dilemmas should hopefully be universal amongst kids. They would also be able to relate to how he views things.
Eva: In the show, no one believes in Ivandoe except for Bert and himself. So, it helps to have a good friend that sticks by you no matter what and helps you believe in yourself regardless of what everyone else is saying.
Christian: In most episodes, Ivandoe meets new characters, and we always wanted to make a show where there are no bad guys who are just evil, like in some classic films and stuff. All the characters have reasons for being the way they are when they get to know them. You understand why they behave the way they do. So basically, they all have a little something good inside them, which Ivandoe and Bert get to learn about. So, we wanted to show that everybody has flaws, and it’s not just good and evil.
For most of the characters, if they misbehave, we often find out why in the end. Maybe they are just looking for friends, or perhaps they’re just insecure, lonely, or want to be acknowledged. I think most of the characters have these insecurities that make them do these bad things, but none are just evil.
Eva: But I think the goal with the series was to make children laugh, having them enjoy it. We wanted to make a real kids’ show full of fun they could enjoy with their families.
Christian: It may be Ivandoe and Bert, even though maybe that’s a bit too obvious. They were probably the most complex characters to make, mainly because the show relies on and follows them. We were happy with how it turned out because we wanted to make this character you can follow around the journey and experience the world with him and somebody who is silly, believes in himself, and has flaws.
Eva: It sparks many ideas. How would that play out if we imagine him in a situation or facing another character? But it’s hard to pick because now there are so many characters.
Christian: There’s also Jezebel, the girl who meets Ivandoe. We’re pleased with the dynamics we created between them and how she turned out.
Eva: I think I relate to Bert a lot more, not that I am smarter at all. I think it’s nice to have such an earnest character. He’s such a kind character, and he always tries to see the best in everyone. Even though he is a cautious guy, he is courageous.
Christian: I don’t know. Some people say Ivandoe. I see parts of myself in both Ivandoe and Bert.
Eva: Christian is actually the voice of one of the characters, the Sassy Gnomes.
Tune in details:
The Heroic Quest of the Valiant Prince Ivandoe airs on Cartoon Network, DStv channel 301, on weekdays @ 16:50 CAT. The series is also available on DStv Catch Up. Watch the Ivandoe promo here.