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The series began its initial 95-episode run on 3 September 2003 on France's France 3, and ended its run on 10 November 2007. In the United States, the show was first broadcast on 19 April 2004 on Turner and Time Warner's Cartoon Network. On 31 May 2011, production company MoonScoop revealed on Facebook that the show is returning with a fifth season, rebranded as Code Lyoko: Evolution, that is set to air in late 2012. The season will be 26 episodes long and contain a mixture of live-action and CGI.
Code Lyoko has spawned an array of related merchandise, including three videos games, a tie-in book series, figurines, a new MMORPG in development, a Facebook social game due in spring 2012, and a merchandise store in CafePress. The show achieved ratings success in multiple countries.
OriginsCode Lyoko originates from the film short Les enfants font leur cinéma (The children make their movies), directed by Thomas Romain and produced by a group of students from Parisian visual arts school Gobelins School of the Image. Romain worked with Tania Palumbo, Stanislas Brunet, and Jerome Cottray to create the film, which was screened at the 2000 Annecy International Animated Film Festival. French animation company Antefilms offered Romain and Palumbo a contract as a result of the film. This led to the development of the pilot, Garage Kids.
Garage Kids was released in 2001. The project was created by Palumbo, Romain, and Carlo de Boutiny and developed by Anne de Galard. Its producers were Eric Garnet, Nicolas Atlan, Benoît di Sabatino, and Christophe di Sabatino. The project was produced by Antefilms.
Similar to the succeeding Code Lyoko, Garage Kids was intended to be a 26-episode series detailing the lives of four French boarding school students who have discovered the secret of Xanadu, a virtual world created by a research group headed by the Professor. The Professor plunged into madness, and the resulting disturbances within Xanadu threaten the real world. The pilot featured both 2D and 3D animation.
Garage Kids evolved into Code Lyoko, which began broadcast in 2003. Romain, however, left the show to work on Japanese series Oban Star Racers. Palumbo stayed as the show's artistic director.
SynopsisCode Lyoko is about a group of four boarding school students enrolled at Kadic Junior High School: Jeremie Belpois, Odd Della Robbia, Ulrich Stern, and Yumi Ishiyama. The students travel to the virtual world of Lyoko — which is found in a supercomputer housed in the basement of an abandoned factory near the school — to fight against a deadly multi-agent system named XANA and prevent him from taking over the world. In the first season, they also tried to bring a virtual being trapped on Lyoko, Aelita Schaeffer to Earth.
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Once the danger is averted, the Lyoko Warriors can use the supercomputer to return to the past, leaving no one except themselves to remember any of the events that transpired. To complicate the situation, they must do this while ensuring their classmates and teachers are not killed (going back in time cannot bring back the dead), and deal with many clashes of personality at the same time. Once back in time, they can use their knowledge of the future to alter events in their favor. This usually entails taking steps to keep one of XANA's attacks from taking place, though they do use the knowledge to prevent other unfavorable events that may not be related to XANA. As a downside, returning to the past adds a qubit to the supercomputer, doubling its power and therefore XANA's with each use (in the first two seasons only, as XANA's connection to the supercomputer is lost by season three).
PrequelIn the prequel, Jeremie Belpois discovers an old abandoned factory containing a complex supercomputer. He reboots it and learns that it contains a virtual world called Lyoko and a virtual humanoid named Aelita, who does not remember her name and is thus called "Maya". Strange attacks begin to occur in the real world as a result of re-activating the supercomputer. Odd Della Robbia, Ulrich Stern, and Yumi Ishiyama become involved in these attacks, and Jeremie has no choice but to share his secret with them. The three are sent into Lyoko using scanners to stop the deadly force attacking their world. Once the attacks are stopped, the group discovers that the havoc caused is XANA's doing, a powerful AI which wants to dominate the world. "Maya" learns that her actual name is Aelita when she is deactivating the tower.
In the second part, Jeremie discovers a back in time function in the supercomputer, but nobody knows who or what created Lyoko, Aelita, the supercomputer, and XANA.
First seasonThe first season of the show has little plot development. The only major plot developments are made in the two-part finale. Episodes are mostly filler. Until the finale, each episode consists of the group discovering an attack, stopping the attack, and resetting time to cover it up. Other subplots are included, such as their relationships with one another and other students and teachers at the school. Usually the interaction with their classmates and teachers early in each episode contributes to XANA's attack. This is the only season were Xana attacks the Lyoko Warriors directly. In the Episode Ghost Channel, Xana reveals he was the duplicate jeremey taking in a voice that specters did not talk in. Throughout episodes, Jeremie works on a program to materialize Aelita in order to shut down the supercomputer safely. He eventually completes the program and runs it in the two-part finale, but XANA takes measures to keep Aelita linked to the supercomputer, preventing the group from shutting it down without killing her in the process, leaving a cliffhanger opening for the second season.
Second seasonThe second season, in contrast to the first, is much more plot-focused, though a decent portion of episodes are still filler. Animation has changed (due to switching production companies) and sectors have been redesigned and are much brighter and Jim and Sissi's personalities have changed significantly, though some traces of their old personalities exist in some form. In the first episode of the second season, Aelita enrolls at Kadic under the name of Aelita Stones. She poses as a cousin of Odd, using a forged birth certificate created by Jeremie, therefore allowing her to live on Earth. Jeremie's new super scan program also means that Aelita doesn't need to stay on Lyoko to check for XANA's activity; however, due to her links to the supercomputer, Aelita will die if she runs out of Life Points on Lyoko and can only be devirtualized through one of the towers. Aelita also begins having visions of a life she supposedly never lived, and a man named Franz Hopper is shown to have connections to Lyoko. Also adding to the group's troubles is a new student named William Dunbar, who has begun to take an interest in Yumi and, as a result, makes Ulrich jealous.
Each member of the group now has vehicles to quickly transport them in Lyoko: Odd receives a hover skateboard called an "Overboard," Ulrich receives a one-wheeled motorcycle called an "Overbike," and Yumi receives a hover scooter called an "Overwing." Aelita can ride any vehicle by herself if necessary, but usually rides with another person. A fifth sector, Carthage, is discovered in Lyoko and turns out to be XANA's home sector, from which all of his data can be accessed, so the group goes on several journeys into this sector to do so. At the same time, XANA begins sending the Scyphozoa after Aelita to steal her memories that he can use as "keys" and escape the supercomputer. XANA also has created four new monsters (including the Scyphozoa) that are much more powerful than previous monsters. The operations of the supercomputer are also somewhat demystified. Return trips are fewer (though still common) now, because it makes XANA stronger. Throughout the season, XANA's true purpose is revealed slowly, as are the origins of the supercomputer, Lyoko, and Aelita herself. In the end, despite the group's best efforts, Aelita's memories are stolen, apparently killing her; but Franz Hopper (revealed to be Aelita's father) revives her and restores her memory. However, XANA escapes the supercomputer, and the group, though unsure of how to do so, vows to continue fighting him.
Third seasonIn the third season, XANA has been strangely quiet in both the real world and Lyoko, having done nothing during the group's summer vacation. It still needs a computer to exist, but is no longer limited to a specific one, instead being free to roam the Internet at will. Jeremie has developed a new scanning program capable of tracking XANA, which reveals that XANA appears to be residing in the United States, but the team lacks the means to strike against XANA. Jeremie's current goal at the moment is to find a way to transfer the group directly into the Internet.
Because Aelita had her memories returned by Franz Hopper, she can be devirtualized normally. She even has a new power to defend herself within Lyoko — energy fields. Also, Yumi has decided having a relationship with Ulrich would change her life, preferring to go out.
In Carthage, the group finds Lyoko's core, which XANA wants destroyed. Being free of the supercomputer, XANA's attacks are far more powerful. Tower activation is still required to initiate them, but XANA can perform attacks on levels far beyond what he could when imprisoned. XANA can possess mass numbers of people at once, making it that much more difficult for the group to make their way from the school to the factory. In the hopes of isolating the group from Carthage, since destroying Lyoko directly would prove difficult, XANA has turned his sights to Lyoko's sectors, hoping to remove their ability to access Carthage by deleting the sectors, one-by-one, they use to get there. By using the Scyphozoa to possess Aelita, XANA can use her to enter the code "XANA" in a way tower. This gives XANA full access to the sector, after which he can delete it. Despite their best efforts, XANA eventually succeeds in deleting all four sectors. Luckily, Jeremie finds a way to access Carthage directly.
Seeing that their numbers aren't enough against XANA's increasing power, the group decides to add William Dunbar to the team to balance things out. However, a chain of events lead to only Aelita and William being able to make it to his first trip to Lyoko. Once they arrive, the two are separated, and XANA uses the Scyphozoa to possess William. Using William, XANA is easily able to overpower the other Lyoko warriors and destroy Lyoko's core. The act renders the supercomputer useless. Within the empty supercomputer, William is transformed into a dark version of himself, now possessed by XANA to an even greater degree. Afterwards, Jeremie gets a coded message from the internet from none other than Franz Hopper, who has somehow survived the destruction of Lyoko.
Fourth seasonIn the fourth season, the virtual world Lyoko is recreated, allowing the group to continue tracking XANA. Traveling into the digital sea in Jeremie's latest creation, a submersible ship called the Skidbladnir, the group finds a number of "Replikas", single-sector recreations of the virtual world. Each of these 'Replikas' are controlled by another supercomputer, controlled by the AI XANA. To stop XANA, Jeremie devises a way to send the main characters to the real world locations of the controlling supercomputers, with their virtual world abilities. As a result of this effort, the group attempts to destroy supercomputers controlling these worlds one by one.
In the final few episodes of the season, the creation of a monster known as the Kolossus causes the realization that another solution will need to be devised to stop the artificial intelligence. To this end, Jeremie works to complete a multi-agent program to stop the artificial intelligence further, as well as to free the captured human William check it out . In the final episode, the combined efforts of Jeremie and Franz Hopper successfully stop XANA, with the price of Hopper's life. In the epilogue, Aelita and the rest of the group reluctantly shut down the supercomputer.
In addition to plot changes, this is the first season in which the character's outfits are significantly altered, in both the physical and virtual worlds. 
Fifth season (Evolution)This season, officially identified as "Code Lyoko: Evolution", is a series reboot and is set to be aired in the Fall season of 2012. The series will be filmed in live-action in France, but the Lyoko scenes will still be CGI. The official logo for Code Lyoko: Evolution was revealed on the website on the 3rd February 2012. On February 29, it was announced that the new season will be co-produced by Angoulême-based production company, Norimage. The season is estimated to have a budget of €5,600,000.
Casting CallOn January 2012, Canal J announced they were starting a casting call for Code Lyoko: Evolution running until the end of March. Applicants had to be over 14 years old and speak fluent French. Filming will take place in June through August 2012 in Angoulême.
Recurring charactersThere are many recurring characters in Code Lyoko. There are also characters that are specifically developed for a single episode.
MonstersThere are many types of monsters in Lyoko. XANA creates them in order to keep the towers it activates safe and battle the group. Some are a mere nuisance while others are a major threat. The ones that can be considered a nuisance make up for this fact by traveling in packs. All of them, however, try to impede the group. The monsters remain until they are destroyed or a return trip is activated. XANA has eleven types of monsters. These monsters are the Krabbe, Blok, Kankrelat, Megatank, Hornet, Creeper, Kolossus, Kongre, Sharks, (Flying)Manta, and Scyphozoa. Each Lyoko warrior has special weapons in Lyoko in order to destroy the monsters. Aelita mostly relies on the protection of the others when it comes to dealing with the monsters in the first two seasons, but gains a weapon in the third.
Other monsters exist that do not fall into the same category as XANA's monsters. One is a monster Jeremie produced, called the Marabounta, which only appeared in episode one . There is also an entity known as the Transport Orb. It is a giant white sphere with an Eye of XANA printed on it, like all of XANA's monsters. Unlike the other monsters, however, its only purpose is to ferry passengers from the edge of any region to the center of the fifth sector, Carthage, and back again. Both Jeremie and XANA can access it at will. This entity's classification as a monster is arguable, but it is included for the sake of completion.
Also, there are monsters located in the digital sea. These monsters must be destroyed using torpedoes shot from the Skidbladnir or Nav Skids. Also there are different types of monsters, some big and powerful or some small but not so powerful.
LyokoLyoko (English pronunciation: /liːˈoʊkoʊ/ lee-OH-koh) is the virtual world contained within the supercomputer. It is composed of five sectors, the first four, Forest, Desert, Ice, and Mountain, superficially resemble various real-world ecosystems. The fifth sector, Carthage, serves as the central hub of Lyoko; it contains all of Lyoko's data, and X.A.N.A's as well. It also contains the core of Lyoko, the code which maintains the virtual world. The first four sectors are arranged by four points leading to the center, around the fifth sector, a ball like figure. In the later episodes they used an underwater sea to "re-create" some of the sectors.
LocationThe show is set in France (most likely a suburb of Paris), which can be seen in various scenes through the series. The episode "Satellite", for instance, shows a military satellite zooming in on France to target the junior high school. Despite this, the English dub of the series occasionally confuses this fact. For example, in the episode "Attack of the Zombies", Milly Solovieff asks Sissi what her feelings are about her father starting a language-exchange program with France (despite them already being in France). The English version also tends to use American terms in place of the French equivalents (Washington St. and Franklin Ave., for example), further confusing this fact. In episode 84, the coordinates of Jeremie are those of a nuclear power plant in France.
The factory and boarding school are based on real locations in France. The factory was based on a Renault production plant in Boulogne-Billancourt, but has since been demolished. The school, Kadic Academy, is based on Lycée Lakanal in Sceaux.
Reused scenesMany scenes in the program are reused, particularly transitional scenes. The intro sequence changes in the transition from the first season to the second, but not in the third. In the third season, the logo in the final scene is merely recolored green. The fourth season intro is done in the same style as the last two seasons, but using new clips. CGI scenes are also reused occasionally, though with different backgrounds in some cases.
Awards and recognitionCode Lyoko was voted as the best show by Canal J viewers in France, but it has achieved international fame as well: The show has been rated as one of the best shows on Cartoon Network and Kabillion in the US, with Cartoon Network having it rated as the #3 best performing show in 2006 and Kabillion having it as #4 in monthly average views in 2010. The show has reached success in Spain as one of Clan TVE's highest rated shows, on Italy's Rai2 network, and also received success in Finland and the United Kingdom. The show also won France's Prix de l'Export 2006 Award for Animation in December 2006.
MerchandiseSeveral Code Lyoko products have been or are being planned for release, including DVDs, a series of cine-manga by Tokyopop, a series of four novels by Italian publisher Atlantyca, apparel and other accessories. In 2006, Marvel Toys released a line of Code Lyoko toys and action figures. In July 2007, Carl's Jr. had a kids' meal toy promotion for Code Lyoko, followed by a similar promotion from its sibling restaurant chain, Hardee's.
Game Factory has released three video games based on the show: Code Lyoko and Code Lyoko: Fall of X.A.N.A. for the Nintendo DS, and Code Lyoko: Quest for Infinity for the Wii, PSP, and PlayStation 2. An MMORPG by Korean company CJ Entertainment is also in development and set to be released in the summer of 2012. In November 2011, MoonScoop announced on Facebook the development of a new social game with 3DDUO. The game is set to be released in May 2012 on Facebook and other online platforms.  A trailer was later released showing footage of the game and other features. On November 2011, an online store on CafePress was opened with official Code Lyoko merchandise such as clothing, bags, and drinkware. 
As of January 2011, all four seasons of Code Lyoko have been released on iTunes in the US and in France by MoonScoop Holdings. As of October 2011, all four seasons have been released on Amazon Instant Streaming and via DVD in the same countries.
A series of Clan TVE festivals in Spain included live stage shows based on Code Lyoko among other things. The same stage show was also shown across Madrid in May.
A game show known as Code Lyoko Challenge is due to be released in late 2012
Books (Only Given out in Europe)
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- Book 1 (The underground castle) - Beyond the gate there was a deserted courtyard, and beyond this courtyard a door that was ajar. Beyond the door there was a huge abandoned factory, and the back, right back, a switch from stond. De military supercomputer that they have just re-activated, brings Jeremy, Yumi, Ulrich and Odd to the heart of Lyoko, a parallel digital world, inhabited by XANA, a malevolent artificial intelligence, who wants to check the real world. There they meet the four friends also an antivirus girl, the only weapon against XANA Her name is Aelita, and remembers almost nothing about her past. A past, inextricably linked to Lyoko and its secrets ...
- Book 2 (The City Without a Name) - By Eva Skinner carried into the factory of the supercomputer realize Jeremy, Aelita, Ulrich, Yumi and Odd are not that valuable information they have released. Their worst enemy can now find out where the access to Lyoko is located. And not only informed but also their worst enemy Nictapolus Grigory, a ruthless agent of the terrorist group Green Phoenix. Thus it is that X.A.N.A. manages to recapture his old powers when Jeremy Lyoko worlds and unites the First City. X.A.N.A. decision to an alliance with the Green Phoenix, so the terrible army that the virtual world is home to activate?
- Book 3 (The Return Of The Phoenix) - Jeremy, Aelita, Ulrich, Yumi and Odd are unaware that they have access to Lyoko to their worst enemies have betrayed, by Eva Skinner carried into the factory of the supercomputer. And not only to their worst enemy. For there was also Nictapolus Grigory watched them, the ruthless agent of the terrorist group Green Phoenix. Thus it is that X.A.N.A. manages to recapture his old powers when Jeremy Lyoko worlds and unites the First City. X.A.N.A. decision to an alliance with the Green Phoenix, so the terrible army that the virtual world is home to activate...
- Book 4 (The Army from Nowhere)- Aelita, Eva, Ulrich and Jeremy are still trapped in the virtual world and X.A.N.A is now allied to Green Phoenix. Aelita momentarily convinces the human X.A.N.A to help them thus helping them to keep their powers on Earth as they fight Green Phoenix (now controlling the Hermitage and the factory). At the end, Eva is welcomed to the school as an exchange student. Aelita is reunited with her mother and X.A.N.A is virtualized into a human form and joins the group.
- ^ https://www.facebook.com/CodeLyoko/posts/10150205994607141
- ^ Code Lyoko: Evolutions Facebook post Facebook. 2011-05-31. Retrieved 2011-06-05.
- ^ a b c d e f g h CL Presentation MIPTV 2012 2012-04-19. Retrieved 2012-04-19.
- ^ Kidscreen news article about MoonScoop's announcement of Code Lyoko's fifth season. Kidscreen. 2011-06-09. Retrieved 2011-06-20.
- ^ a b French news article referencing Code Lyoko Animeland. 2002-06-01. Retrieved 2011-06-13.
- ^ News article featuring Annecy films made by Gobleins' students (Including Thomas Romain's film) Catsuka. 2011-04-02. Retrieved 2011-06-13.
- ^ Garage Kids Presentation 2002-03-12. Retrieved 2011-06-13.
- ^ Interview with one of Code Lyoko's producers. Kabillion. 2008-02-07. Retrieved 2011-06-14.
- ^ "Manga Kids Code Lyoko articles". http://codelyoko.fr/index2.php?page=lirenews&id_news=286. Retrieved 2007-01-20.
- ^ "Preview video for Code Lyoko's fourth season". http://www.codelyoko.net/ENG/medias/4s_spoiler_cl-com.htm. Retrieved 2007-01-20.
- ^ http://www.moonscoop.com/distribution-6.html
- ^ Code Lyoko Facebook Facebook. 201215-31. Retrieved 2011-12-10.
- ^ http://www.sudouest.fr/2012/02/29/en-chair-et-en-3d-646142-813.php
- ^ The Location of the Factory in Code Lyoko CodeLyoko.net. Retrieved 2011-06-20.
- ^ The Location of Kadic in Code Lyoko CodeLyoko.net. Retrieved 2011-06-20.
- ^ Code Lyoko Game Coming to DS Nintendo World Report. 2005-09-30.
- ^ MoonScoop Group-Partners and Awards MoonScoop. Retrieved 2011-06-20.
- ^ News article including Code Lyoko MMO launch trailer. MMO Culture. 2011-04-05. Retrieved 2011-06-22.
- ^ Blog post with MMO test footage. Hot Games. 2011-04-07. Retrieved 2011-06-22.
- ^ Facebook post about social game. Facebook. 2011-17-11. Retrieved 2011-21-11.
- ^ News article about social game. Kidscreen. 2011-21-11. Retrieved 2011-21-11.
- ^ Facebook game trailer. YouTube. 2012-19-04. Retrieved 2012-19-04.
- ^ http://www.facebook.com/CodeLyoko?sk=app_220171144668400
- ^ Code Lyoko Facebook Page Facebook. 2011-8-16. Retrieved 2011-12-10.
- ^ MoonScoop-Breaking News. MoonScoop. Retrieved 2011-06-20.
- ^ Video showing part of the festival's stage show. YouTube. 2011-01-05. Retrieved 2011-06-20.