Skyland (full French title: "Skyland, Le Nouveau Monde", or "Skyland, The New World"), is a CGI animated series developed in France in partnership with Canada and Luxembourg for television channels France 2, Teletoon, NickToons Network, ABC and CITV,. A series of young-adult novels by David Carlyle is based on the show.
A 60-minute, worldwide preview was aired on November 26, 2005, at multiple times during the day and the following day. The program was hosted by Chase Francisco. It was launched on April 22, 2006, at 7:30 p.m. on Teletoon. On July 2, 2006, an encore of the one hour pilot aired on Nicktoons Network, with the full series commencing on Saturday, November 18, 2006. The show is produced by Paris's Method Films and Toronto's 9 Story Entertainment.
"It is the 23rd century; the Earth has shattered into billions of pieces which orbit around a central core. In this new world named Skyland, an evolved form of humans has appeared: Seijins, beings with supernatural powers activated by sunlight. Skyland is ruled by the Sphere, an organization which controls the fragmented blocks water supplies and maintains its power thanks to Guardians - promising Seijin children who have been taken away from their families and given a special training. Some Seijins have escaped the Sphere and joined a group of rebel pirates to fight against it's oppression."
"After the capture of their mother by the Sphere, Mahad and Lena, a young Seijin still learning to control her powers, are rescued by a group of pirates. They join the pirate rebellion, determined to free their mother and help bring the Sphere down."
The first part of the animation was produced by Attitude Studios of Paris, France, with large amounts of facial animation work and rendering outsourced to DQ Entertainment in India. Subsequently, the later part of the season has been completely animated and finalized in DQ Entertainment of Hyderabad, India, using a completed motion capture shot in Attitude Studio. It appears to make extensive use of motion capture technology (i.e. animation modeled upon data from live actors) for a next-generation animation look.
The music was composed by Paul Intson, of Canada. The extensive sound design and 5.1 surround mix was done by Jim Longo of Rhythm Division in Toronto, Canada. Music editing was performed at Rhythm Division by Rob Kirkpatrick on season 1 and Kevan Staples for season 2. Additional editing by Bojan Risojevic.
The Flemish production company Studio 100 has acquired rights to remake Skyland into a live-action television series. The series will be available in Dutch and is expected to air in a primetime slot.
David Carlyle released three young adult novels in his Skyland series: "Skyland".
- Islands in the Wind
- The Storm Ship
- The Water War
- Mahad (voice: Tim Hamaguchi, performer: Julien Girbig) - Age 17. Mahad is full of life, a show off, likable, charming, full of himself and adventurous. When he was younger, he was always unhappy because he didn't have a father and his mother was a lot like Lena. In pilot school, he was always in detention due to making extreme moves on the simulator. Though not a Seijin, his goal is to free his mother. Until that time, he will slug it out with the Sphere. Though young, Mahad is unequalled as a pilot of his father's ship the Hyperion and following him, he is the best pilot in all of Skyland. Though his younger sister, Lena, always insists Dahlia is "too old for him", Mahad keeps trying to convince her he's the guy for her. He has enormous, often misplaced, self-confidence. His weapon of choice is his boomerang.
- Lena (voice: Phoebe McAuley, performer: Christelle Ouvrard) - Age 12. An intelligent but often impetuous young girl. When someone she loves is in danger, Lena is a very rash but formidable, 12-year old girl. She alternates between carefree playing and grim determination. Adventure isn't an end in itself, only a necessary step along the way. Lena is a powerful Seijin, believed by Oslo to be the 'Lady of Light' from the prophecy. She has the powers of telekinesis and telepathy, as well as other abilities such as powering energy and creating energy bolts and balls, projecting memories, and remotely sensing the presence of things and people. She can even levitate herself to great heights, as seen during an aerial battle with Diwan in the episode Heart of the Arena. She is beginning to control her telekinesis, but it tires her quickly. She has still very little control over her telepathy.
- Aran Cortes (voice: Jack Langedijk, performer: Dominic Gould) - Age 37. Gruff, and severe but just, with a tendency to be blasé. He's aware of his responsibilities as "father figure" and protector of Puerto Angel. He tends to be quick to irritation. Cortes was part of the original Pirate Rebellion and knew Marcus Farrell "by reputation." His weapon of choice is a shotgun. In the English dub, he has a dubious Scottish accent. Despite wearing his uniform with the Pirate crest even when "off duty" in Puerto Angel, Cortes "personalizes" it with a Tartan instead of a belt. He knew Cheng's mother before she was supposedly killed, and seems to have had a soft spot for her.
- Cheng (voice: Cameron Ansell, performer: Max Gruber and Emile Kaczorowski) - Age 12. Cheng, despite his incredible intellect, is really still a child. He loves to fool around: missions are like video games in the great outdoors and he loves to play practical jokes on people. He is a very good hacker. He'll do anything for attention, like speaking in rhymes. He also has a crush on Celia. Cortes is his foster father. His parents were Pirate scientists that he believes are deceased. His only living relative is his grandfather, Tybald Ye, a scientist who is truly on the Pirates' side but is forced to be a Sphere supporter. His weapon of choice is a laser bazooka.
- Dahlia (voice: Alyson Court, performer: Tadrina Hocking) - Age 20. She has moved into the world of adults but nevertheless seems to be attracted to Mahad's rebellious and youthful spirit, as well as his love for freedom. She finds Mahad's arrogance both irritating and appealing, which sets an interesting tension between them. She seems to enjoy giving Mahad grief. She often acts "serious" in order to distinguish herself from the "kids" but she breaks down from time to time and shows her mischievous side. She is proud to fight alongside Cortes and protect the people of Puerto Angel. She is a valued member of the pirates. Her weapon of choice is an energy bow
- Diwan (voice: Athena Karkanis, performer: Lena Kowksi) - Age 25. Female seijin with well trained, but naturally weaker Seijin powers compared to a number of other characters. She was appointed by Oslo as his second in command and later to personally capture Lena. She's bald and has a red tattoo above her left eye and eyeshadow on both. Currently, Diwan would do anything to show her devotion to Oslo, who treats her like garbage in return.
- Marcus Farrell Former leader of the Pirate Rebellion. He is the father of Mahad and Lena, partner to Mila. Back when he was Mahad's age, he stole water from the Sphere in broad daylight and also obtained the Hyperion in the process. Mila and Oslo were sent to capture him and Mila got to him first. He helped Mila to see what the Sphere truly is, and they ran away together. Through their combined efforts, they built up the rebellion in six years, posing a real threat to the Sphere. He mysteriously disappeared during an attack on the Sphere leaving the Pirate Rebellion in disarray. Mahad and Lena discover in episode 10 that he may have survived, and might be hiding on one of the last free blocks.
- Mila (voice: Alex Belcourt, performer: Julie Delaurenti) - Age 35. Mahad and Lena's mother. Kept in hiding on the Sphere Block, Babylonia, she appears rarely and always in a very symbolic way. She was taken to the Sphere Academy of her own free will after spending an unspecified amount of time on the Ningxia block. She was a highly gifted student in the Guardian School, where she spent time with Oslo. On her first mission with Oslo, they were sent to capture Marcus Farrell. According to Oslo, she got to him first and chose to renounce her exceptionally strong paranormal powers, as well as many privileges, after seeing how terrible the Sphere was. She later joined the rebellion
- Oslo (voice: Juan Chioran, performer: Simon Flossaut Masnay) - Age 35. Brother of Darius Oslo comes from Vandegaard, a Scandinavian block. Leader of the Guardians and Commander of the Sphere, he was a top student along with Mila. It has been hinted at that they were friends before Mila left the academy and joined the rebels. After hearing that her daughter was far more powerful, he decided to capture Lena. He has mastery of his highly developed Seijin powers and has artificially enhanced himself to be able to use his powers during both the day and night.
- The Vector (voice: William Colgate, performer: Olivier Breuils) - Age 60. A very intelligent older man. The Vector has always lived as a recluse and was almost never interested in the "practical" aspects of life. He is eccentric and often unaware of danger. He can be pensive, and can usually be found daydreaming and lost in his thoughts or working on a project. He rarely leaves his lighthouse on Puerto Angel and has helped Lena learned to use her powers. The Vector is working on mapping Skyland, though it is incomplete. He helped Mila escape the Sphere Academy.
- Wayan (voice: Milton Barnes, performer Pete Thias) - Age 30. Wayan is Cortes' First Lieutenant. He is an excellent marksman, capable of total concentration and self-mastery during a battle. Conversely, he is much less organized in real life. Although he is talkative, a joker and a great storyteller, his perpetual optimism doesn't detract from his mastery of weapons and inborn sense of adventure. His weapon of choice is the triangular Shock Blaster.
Alice - A recently graduated Guardian who crash-landed on Puerto Angel and was captured. She believed that the Sphere were the "good guys" and the pirates the "bad guys." She managed to escape by tricking Mahad - who was on guard duty - and hid in the Mosquito bay. When Mahad captured her, she promised not to tell the Sphere about their location but he didn't trust her. Alice threw Mahad out an open door but used her powers to save him. Out of pity, he hid her in his closet. However, Lena discovered her during a block-wide search and, through a telepathic communion, Alice learned from Lena that she was wrong about the Sphere. With the help of Cheng who fixed her Patroller, they planned to have Alice find their mother. Suddenly, they were intercepted by Diwan, whom Alice tricked into allowing them to escape. Now a supporter of the pirates, Alice plans to tell the other Guardians the truth, wherever she is reassigned.
Astrid - Astrid is the daughter of Max. She seems to be very close to her father, as she always calls him 'Daddy.' She seems to be close in age to Mahad, towards whom she displayed requited interest. When she learned that her Dad was not the famous Sean of Aragon, she went to the Sphere but ended up hostage.
Celia - A young Seijin girl who was taken in by the Pirates. When the crew was captured, Lena helped Celia discover her powers to defeat Jelola and Artemis. On Puerto Angel, Lena was her teacher in her quest to unlock the full potential of her powers. Celia couldn't talk while captive. She may have a crush on Cheng, calling him cute.
Christophe Cortes - Full name "Christophe Mendias Theodore Cortes". Cortes' older brother. He refuses to call him Cortes and calls him by his first name: Aran. He arrives at Puerto Angel in a Mosquito asking a favour from Cortes to help him get his damaged ship that's stuck in ice barriers in a Sphere zone. Christophe's ship is the Callisto, a 'sister' to the Saint Nazaire. After Cortes helps Christophe free the Callisto from the icebarriers, Lena reveals him in possession of exalarium which is only useful to the Sphere in anti-Seijen containment technology. Christophe claims that he was only to going to deliver the supposedly worthless metal to maintain the Sphere's confidence. Unfortunately, when the Sphere left by Diwan assaulted both frigates and the Saint Nazaire being low on power, Christophe pretended to meet with Diwan to discuss their surrender before self-destructing the Callisto. Afterwards, he managed to escape Sphere custody with the promise to reunite with his brother soon.
Darius - Oslo's twin brother. Was born minutes after his brother and his existence prevented Oslo from gaining his full Seijin potential. Was banished for life on the Vandegaard block.
Hailong Zalo - An elder Seijin and ruler of Ningxia. He used to know Mila. He was imprisoned in a room where light felt like an intruder. Yet his apprentice Lee rescued him. Unfortunately, while being ambushed by Diwan, Zalo physically transmitted to Lena a message from her mother. Currently, he is weak but he left Lee in charge of Ningxia.
Jonah - A scientist who was hired by the Sphere to design an Anti-Seijin holding cell on the Monolith for a very special Seijin. However, he heard that he would be executed after the job was done, compelling him to escape. He was intercepted by the pirates who asked for his help to sneak Mahad and Lena onto the Monolith. Instead, he took off in the Hyperion but was captured by Diwan. After a series of fights on the Monoliths, Jonah escaped with Mahad and Lena so the Sphere could never use his genius. Jonah was seen in the episode "Infiltration."
Lee - Lee comes from Ningxia, and apprentice to an old friend of the Vector, Hailong Zalo. He came to Puerto Angel in search of "Little Phoenix" (Lena) for his master had a message from her mother. He was dismayed when the Sphere had turned against Ningxia with the aid of fellow apprentice, Feng. He helped Mahad and Lena escape from the guards and enlists their aid to save his master. He made it look like he was following Feng's orders to capture them. Once he distracted the guards, he freed Mahad, Lena and Zalo. But, they were ambushed by Diwan. Lee went a little offscreen for a while. After Ningxia was freed, Zalo put him in charge to protect Ningxia if the Sphere returns.
Max- Max is father to Astrid, and was a delivery man to a famous but now dead scientist, Sean of Aragon. He pretended to be that scientist in order to impress his daughter, but was, in reality, little more than a con man. Pretending to be the Sean of Aragon brought nothing but trouble, however, as the Sphere wanted to find the scientist, who had been working on a formula for an endless source of water when his lab 'mysteriously' blew up.
Patrucci - An extremely paranoid citizen of Puerto Angel, Patrucci lives in constant fear of the Sphere, and of betrayal from his fellow rebels. He doesn't trust Mahad and Lena, nor seemingly Cortes, although he displayed concern for Dahlia in 'Manipulations'. His character model is often recycled, but most fans agree that the 'true' Patrucci only appeared in 'Manipulations'. Though he wanted to leave, he reappeared in "Alice" who ratted to Cortes that Mahad, Cheng and Lena were helping a Guardian escape.
Shinseiki - A Guardian student who was banished to the Fringes for her attempts to fulfill the Prophecy on her own. Even in exile, Shinseiki brooded from revenge. Using dark powers, she kidnapped several Seijins in order to absorb their powers to unify the blocks of Skyland and recreate Earth, no matter how many suffered. To this end, she telepathically reached out to Lena to bring her to the Great Wall and then to her tower. However, Lena tricked Shinseiki, overloading her with power and destroying her tower, but the mad Seijin had survived the blast. Shinseiki moves like a circus performer and has a small brigade of Brigadiers as escorts
Tibald Yee - Tibald Yee is Cheng's grandfather. He lived in the time before Earth broke up. When it did, he joined the Sphere when it brought order to the chaos. His daughter and her husband were Pirate scientists. Tibald made every last scrap of the Sphere's technology, from the Brigadiers to the S-22 Patrollers to the Monolith. While delaying development on his missile defense system, Tibald dispatched Patrollers all over Skyland to find Cheng. When he succeeded, Diwan found out and arrested him as well as Mahad and Lena who came to rescue Cheng. When the Pirates arrived, he fought with Cortes, passing him the plans to his missile defense system, and they settled on a trade for him, for Cheng. He is now a supporter of the Pirates secretly.