PARIS, France — Italo Betiol, creator of “Chappy Chapo,” a popular animated series set in the 1970s, died Wednesday at the age of 96 at his home in southern France, a family friend said.
Italian-born director Eric Fallen, collaborator and family friend, relayed a pass from Magic, the company that represents the rights to “Chappy Chapo.”
The main characters were a girl in red named Chapi and a boy in blue named Chapo. Both wore oversized hats – or “hats” in French – making a pun on their names.
First broadcast on October 16, 1974, on French public television, each five-minute episode featured the duo playing with magic cubes.
The show “was broadcast worldwide, including in the United States on Nickelodeon Pinuel,” the statement said.
Specializing in stop-motion animation, which consists of capturing the movements of puppets frame-by-frame in front of a camera, Bettiol originally intended to become an animator.
The Trieste native left Italy for France in 1947 with his colleague Stefano Lonati – who would later direct several episodes of Chap Chapo.
After Bettiol finally turned to animated films, he founded the duo Belokapi in 1968, producing several children’s television shows including “L’ile aux enfants” and “Pepin la Bulle”.
“The indefatigable inventor, now retired, Italo Betiol continued to tinker with unusual machines in his workshop in Anine, near Montpellier,” the statement said. /ra
SUBSCRIBE TO INQUIRER PLUS Access The Philippine Daily Inquirer and over 70 headlines, share up to 5 widgets, listen to the news, download it as early as 4 am and share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.