Kids round-up: ‘Love Monster’ goes global; ‘Gruffalo’ bound for UKids; ‘Oddbods’ back for Halloween
‘Love Monster’ goes global
Multiple international broadcasters have acquired British pre-school series Love Monster, following a raft of deals with Boat Rocker Studios.
The 54 x 7-minute animated series has been picked up by national public service broadcasters ABC Australia, CBC Gem Canada, RTE Ireland, YLE Finland and TVNZ New Zealand. It has also been acquired by Middle East media company MBC; Iberian kids’ subscription channel Canal Panda for Spain; and free-to-air channel Viu TV in Hong Kong.
The series, which follows “huggable hero” Love Monster on his adventures in Fluffytown, is based on the books by Rachel Bright and is produced in a collaboration between BBC Children’s In-House Productions, Boat Rocker Studios and Chinese kids’ entertainment company UYoung. It was originally launched on CBeebies in the UK in January.
Boat Rocker Studios is managing the global distribution for the franchise, excluding China and South East Asia, which is managed by UYoung.
‘Gruffalo’ and ‘Zog’ among titles bound for China’s UKids
China’s UYoung has acquired six animated features from London-based indie prodco Magic Light Pictures for its educational UKids app and SVOD service.
Titles included in the deal are The Gruffalo, The Gruffalo’s Child, Room On The Broom, Stick Man, The Highway Rat, and Zog, all of which are based on children’s picture books written by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler.
Ukids is UYoung’s recently launched service of global children’s programming for Chinese families aimed at helping to teach children to speak English through developmental content. It is available on OTT, iOS, Android mobile and tablet, and has been developed in partnership with the British Council.
Clara Yang, VP of international business and newly appointed GM for Ukids, said: “We are delighted to have added these wonderful films from Magic Light to our UKids portfolio. They are perfect for the platform’s aim of providing educational and entertaining content in a safe and happy environment to help children grow and develop.
‘Oddbods’ returns for Halloween sepecial
Singapore-based content creation, distribution and licensing studio One Animation is releasing its fourth seasonal Oddbods special in October, to debut on YouTube kids.
Oddbeard’s Curse is a 1 x 22-minute pirate-themed adventure for Halloween, which has also sold to linear broadcasters TV3 Spain and Mediacorp Singapore.
Michele Schofield, SVP of content distribution at One Animation, commented: “We know this extra special episode of Oddbods will bring some spooky fun to kick off the Halloween season.”
Aardman’s Timmy heads to Chile
TV Educa Chile has picked up UK-based studio Aardman’s Learning Time With Timmy.
The series, consisting of 26 x 5-minute episodes and 22 x 2-minute bonus instalments, is aimed at young children learning English as a second language and is a collaboration between Aardman and the British Council.
TV Educa Chile is a free platform established to provide high quality content to young children during the pandemic throughout all of Chile.
The director of the British Council in Chile, Katherine Hutter, commented: “We are very happy to support this alliance, which will enable many children in Chile to access high quality content in English.
“With the help of TV Educa Chile, we are able to make this content more accessible so that more children can continue to learn English at home during the pandemic.”
Gen 1 ‘Beyblade’ comes to YouTube
ADK Emotions NY Inc, the New York-based content and rights management company specialising in Japanese IP, has revealed that “iconic” early episodes of anime franchise Beyblade are now available on the brand’s official YouTube channel.
Early “Generation 1” instalments have been pulled from the archive, with classic episodes dropping each week in both English and Latin American Spanish, as part of a “nostalgic journey back to the origins of the global phenomena” ahead of its 20th anniversary in 2021.
YouTube team, The BeyBlade Geeks, will also release a special episode giving fans the chance to dive into the storylines and concepts of Generation 1.
“The addition of classic content is the perfect kickoff to what promises to be a comprehensive and coordinated campaign of fresh content and bold new consumer products that will take Beyblade into its third decade,” said ADK Emotions NY.