Calimero is an Italian/Japanese/Dutch/French cartoon about a charming, but hapless anthropomorphized cartoon chicken; the only black one in a family of yellow chickens. He wears half of his egg shell still on his head. Calimero originally appeared on the Italian television show Carosello on July 14, 1963, and soon became a popular icon in Italy.
The characters were created by the animation studio Organizzazione Pagot and originated as a series of animated advertisements for Miralanza AVA soap products shown throughout Italy. The creators of the main character were Nino Pagot, Toni Pagot and Ignazio Colnaghi. At the end of each episode, it turns out that Calimero is not actually black, but only very dirty, and becomes white after being washed by the advertised soap products. The characters were later licensed in Japan as an anime series, twice. The first was made by Toei Animation and ran from October 15, 1972 to September 30, 1975, and the second, with new settings and characters, was made in 1992. Altogether, 99 Japanese episodes were made (47 in the 1972 Toei series, and 52 in the 1992 Toei series). The series mostly consists of the many adventures of Calimero and his friends as they solve mysteries and make documentaries. However, their adventures usually get them into quite a bit of trouble. The first series was also broadcast on European networks such as TROS (Netherlands and Belgium), ZDF and RTL II (Germany) or TVE (Spain). A third animation series about the character, in Computer animation, has premiered in TF1 in 2013. The production team includes France’s Gaumont Animation, rights owner Calidra, Italy’s Studio Campedelli and Japanese partners TV Tokyo and Kodansha. The series is expected to be aired in several other TV channels.