NATPE has come a long way since it opened 35 years ago with 71 attendees. Last year, close to 17,000 people came to New Orleans from around the world, making NATPE arguably the largest stop on the fast-paced international television market circuit. KidScreen’s special report on NATPE looks at how the once mostly American television market has grown with the expanding television industry to represent a truly global perspective, including, especially in recent years, a greater Latin American presence.
* * *
Headbone Interactive, a producer of children’s CD-ROMs and the Headbone Zone Web site (www.headbone.com), is attending NATPE as an exhibitor for the first time. The Seattle, Washington-based company has recently announced the creation of Headbone Television, an in-house animation studio designed to bring its existing characters-Elroy, Iz and Auggie-and some newcomers to the small screen. Six series concepts are in development. Headbone plans to complement its programming with content on its Web site.
Children’s Television Workshop (CTW) is making its NATPE debut this year, and cites the Latin American presence and the opportunity to meet with many of its partners as among the reasons for attending. CTW programming to be highlighted includes The New Ghostwriter Mysteries, Problem 13, Plaza Sesamo, Big Bag and Dragon Tales.
This year will mark the first NATPE for New York-based GoodTimes Entertainment. The international multimedia entertainment company has announced an alliance with Tycoon, a Latin American licensing agency, to distribute GoodTimes’ children’s animated videos in Mexico. Tycoon will release over 50 titles, including Camelot the Legend and Animated Classics, over the next three years.
*Other NATPE news
Mondo TV of Rome, Italy, is announcing a co-production with Seoul, Korea-based Han Shin for a 39 x half-hour animated series called Super Little Fanta Heroes. The story features descendants of the legendary heroes Hercules, the Thief of Baghdad, Hua Mulan, Ulysses, King David and Geronimo. These children are united in a mission to save the Earth. The partners are also preparing four theatrical releases based on these characters. Theatrical agreements have been signed in Italy, Korea and China. Mondo TV recently opened Mondo TV China in Beijing in a joint venture with Nan Yang Cultural Developing Corporation. * Marina Productions will present an animated series based on the adventures of oceanographer Jacques Cousteau. The 26 x 26-minute series, The Fabulous Adventures of Jacques Cousteau, is co-produced with France 3. Marina is still looking for other television partners and toy licensees. * The Prime Minister of Canada, Jean Chržtien, will make his NATPE and acting debut in Evergreen Releasing’s Incredible Studio Story, a 13 x 30-minute dramatic children’s series. Each episode of the series showcases two dramas based on original stories written by kids. * Canal+’s new kids distribution arm, KIDS+, will introduce the new animated series Witch World at NATPE. The 26 x 26-minute series is the story of a 300-year-old witch and her 10-year-old granddaughter.