André Roche (born 1952) is a French artist, illustrator, and author of comics and children's books.
André Roche received a bachelor's degree in Tourism, Hotel Administration, and Culinary Arts (= "BTH") from the Lycée Hôtelier Alexandre Dumas in Strasbourg. He began his career in Germany, working in various establishments in order to perfect his knowledge of German. In 1971, he decided to settle in Bavaria while working at the prestigious Tantris restaurant in Munich.
At this time, he was able to realize a childhood dream, learning to do film animation (animation, claymation, and stop-motion) at studios located in Munich. In 1975, he went on his own, free-lancing for publishing houses and advertising agencies.
As an artist and illustrator, with the help of a team of writers and artists, he created and drew about 160 comic stories and also did merchandising artwork for "Maya the Bee", then others for "Wonderful Adventures of Nils", "Taotao", "Tom and Jerry", "Alice In Wonderland", "Vicky the Viking", "Heidi", "Mickey Mouse", "Donald Duck", and the "Pink Panther". For his ability to create new characters perfectly in line with the style of a series, Medien Bulletin 9/89 (Kellerer & Partners publisher) named him "best adapter of licensed characters in Germany".
In the late '70s, he was a pioneer in the use of air-brush techniques for cartoon and animated characters and their backgrounds. This approach gave them a three-dimensional look that only became common decades later with the introduction of computer colorization and the construction and use of avatars in 3D modeling programs.
At the same time, he did cover art, illustrations, and caricatures for various magazines such as "Das Rechtsmagazin" (legal), "Das Industriemagazin" (industry), and "Die Funkschau" (electronics), later also for "AV-Invest" (electronic equipment), which later became "AV-LIVE".
As a founding member (1981) of The German Association for Comics "ICOM", André Roche belonged to a small group of artists who, in 1984, succeeded in convincing the culture office of the town of Erlangen that it would be a good idea to have a comedy show there. This show is now held every two years.
In 1983, André Roche began creating small three-dimensional characters to put in the chocolate eggs called "Kinder Surprise", manufactured by the Ferrero company. The first ones he did were to expand the "Happy Frogs" (1986) and "Tapsy Turtles" (1987) series. He also drew the model sheets and the puzzles for the licensed series "Taotao" (="Pandi-Panda"), Pumuckl, Disney's version of The Jungle Book (1967 film) characters, Maya the Bee, Donald Duck, the Smurfs, the Aristocats, and Mickey Mouse.
In 1987, he created, for Ferrero, the characters "Happy Hippos", which over the years came back as "The Fitness Hippos", "The Happy Hippos' Dream Cruise", "The Happy Hippo’s Enterprise", "The Happy Hippos Get Married", "The Happy Hippos Hollywood Stars", "The Hipperium" (a send-up of the Star Wars Trilogy authorized by George Lucas), "The Happy Hippo Talent Show". The popularity of the "Happy Hippos" characters led Ferrero in 1993 to put new products on the market: the "Kinder Happy Hippo Snack" and the "Kinder Happy Hippo Cacao".
More André Roche creations followed, such as "The Crazy Crocos", "The Funny Pingos", "The Tiny Turtles", "The Drolly Dinos", "The Elephantos", "The Bingo Birds", (crows playing tennis) and the "Eco Bunnies" (skiing rabbits). These series had different names from country to country. Several of them were also used in ad campaigns for other Ferrero products. André Roche directed and did the animation of the most animated cartoon TV spots used in German-language markets.