edu-con arm bets on Young Heroes
Just before last October’s MIPCOM, New York producer/distributor Unapix Entertainment announced the addition of a production entity dubbed Unapix-Docere that aims to be a full-service content creator for the educational market. (Docere-pronounced Doh-kay-ray-comes from the Latin root for documentary, and means `to teach’. . .just in case you wonder about those kinds of things.)
One production that’s in the works is Young Heroes, a 13 x 30-minute series with Toronto’s Protocol Entertainment. The series features the lives of child heroes and heroines from every era-from kids who fought against racism in the deep South, to a child who, like Anne Frank, avoided Nazi concentration camps during WWII. The series is being distributed by PBS Plus, and will be ready for the fall. Production is just beginning, as is the search for the US$4 million budget.
Marina delves into
the past to hit with today’s kids
Paris-based Marina Productions’ latest kids offering is ancient history-literally. Aimed at the seven to 10 crowd, Roma 101 AD is an animated action-adventure series about a three boy/one girl quartet of secret agents trying to protect the Roman Emperor from state enemies. The 26 x 26-minute show is the second series of an eventual trilogy, initially covering Egyptian, and ultimately Greek culture, in addition to ancient Rome. France’s Metropole Television (M6) is involved in the US$7.6 million project, which is slated for a 2000/2001 delivery.
Marina has also completed financing for The Last Reservation, with D’Ocon and Germany’s EIV Cartoon kicking in one-third of the US$6.7 million budget. The 26 x 30-minute animated series for ages six to 11 will be created in its own new studio; Marina opened a 15- to 20-person Paris subsidiary especially for the TFI co-production, which will be completed by April 1999.
Rich new classics from Spain’s B.R.B.
Two new animated series from Madrid-based B.R.B. Internacional offer up lush fantasy-adventure with classic pirate and medieval themes.
Yolanda, a 26 x 30-minute series co-produced with Spain’s Antena 3 TV and Italy’s RAI is inspired by the venerable pirate tales of author Emilio Salgari. The 17th century story of the Black Corsair’s daughter and her escapades in the islands of the Caribbean is budgeted at US$6 million, aimed at kids aged four to 12, and will launch in Spain and Italy via the two broadcast partners. Production is scheduled to be completed by Fall 1999.
The colorful, densely-animated fantasy, Fantaghir˜, also budgeted at US$6 million and aimed at kids four to 12, is based on the live-action TV series of the same name. The 26 x 30-minute series delivers tales of timeless heroes and villains along with fairies, princesses, knights and demons in a Middle Ages setting. Fantaghir˜, slated for completion by the end of 1999, is co-produced by Italy’s Mediaset and Spain’s Gestevision Telecinco, and will debut via these broadcasters.
Air dates have not yet been set for either series. Distributor B.R.B. is hoping to sell Fantaghir˜ worldwide at MIP-TV in April.
This regular feature keeps tabs on what’s coming up in kids production. If your company has a new show in development which has just been greenlit, pass the news on to KidScreen West Coast editor Virginia Robertson. Coordinates: Tel (323) 966-4500/Fax (323) 852-0223 (firstname.lastname@example.org)