Peakviewing Transatlantic, established less than two years ago as the international sales division of seven-year-old Peakviewing Productions in Gloucestershire, England, is attending NATPE for the first time, and debuting its first children’s series, Filligoggin. Peakviewing Productions teamed up with Listerfilm in Johannesburg, South Africa, to produce the 52 x 11-minute or 26 x 22-minute episodes. Budgeted at US$75,000 to US$100,000 per 22-minute episode, the series is filmed as a live-action drama in real time with rod puppets using a single camera, and is aimed at ages two to six. The original premise centers around a mongoose named Filligoggin that lives in an imaginary African village. The series will be ready for delivery by March, and Peakviewing is searching for a concept for another preschool series.
The company is also introducing three recently completed movies by Peakviewing Productions: The Fairy King of Ar, The Last Leprechaun and The Little Unicorn. All are live-action films incorporating 3-D animated effects, and targeted at children ages five to 14. Each film is 96 minutes, and budgeted at US$6.25 million to US$7 million. A second Leprechaun film is planned for delivery by November.
Los Angeles-based distributor MediaWorks International is touting two new animated series at NATPE: D’Myna Leagues and Wondrous Myths & Legends.
D’Myna’s cast of characters fields curveballs from all sides, including the struggles of being a teen, not to mention battling their arch-enemies, the Weasels. The 13 x half-hour series is the first homegrown concept from Studio B in Vancouver, Canada, and is budgeted in the range of US$259,000 per episode. Aimed at kids ages five to 12, D’Myna Leagues is scheduled for fall delivery. At press time, MediaWorks was finalizing a deal to bring on Sony Wonder as a financing and promotional partner, which would help the series break into the Japanese market and build alliances with U.S. promotional partners. Studio B is distributing the series for Canada and the U.S., and MediaWorks for all other territories. In Canada, CTV has picked up the series. MediaWorks is looking to do extensive licensing spin-offs for the series, as well as tie-ins with baseball. MediaWorks and Aston Entertainment have been named the U.S. merchandise distributors.
Wondrous Myths & Legends, geared to children ages five to 11, is co-produced by D’Ocon Films in Barcelona and Los Angeles-based Sony Wonder. Siblings explore well-known myths and legends from around the world. The 13 x half-hour series has a budget of US$325,000 to US$350,000 per episode. Wondrous Myths will be ready for delivery by April, and has been picked up by Televisa in Mexico, Channel 13 in Chile, SABC in South Africa, Mediaset in Italy and RTL 4 in the Netherlands, as well as to Young Futures Entertainment in the Middle East for Arab-speaking distribution. D’Ocon is handling distribution in Spain and Portugal, Sony Wonder in the U.S., and MediaWorks for all other territories.
Super Kid-The Series, co-produced Ocean Studios in Vancouver and Um Productions in Korea, is making its first-ever appearance at NATPE. The animated 52 x 25-minute series follows on the heels of the Super Kid animated film that was released in 1997 and sold to more than 40 countries. Budgeted at US$200,000 per episode, the series is targeted at kids ages six to 14. The first 13 episodes will be delivered in June, and another 13 will be delivered every four months following. MP Consulting International in New York is handling all distribution, and deals have been signed with Vision Plus to syndicate the series in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Thailand and the Philippines; Kallanbach for syndication in South Africa, and Hallas World for video and TV distribution in Greece.
London-based HIT Entertainment’s HOT Animation in Manchester, England, is unveiling High Hills, the second special in a second batch of four new Brambly Hedge specials. Budgeted at US$2 million in total, the four half-hour specials use model animation to depict stories based on Jill Barklem’s Brambly Hedge book series. The specials are targeted at kids ages five to eight and family audiences. The BBC aired the first special in the batch, Secret Staircase, on Boxing Day. High Hills will be ready for delivery this month, Sea Story by May and Poppy’s Babies by August. All four specials have been picked up by Starz/Encore in the U.S., ARD in Germany and TF1 in France. The first batch of four Brambly Hedge specials was produced at Cosgrove Hall during 1996 and 1997.
AGS Media of Louisville, Kentucky, is trekking to NATPE with Wild Life. The 78 x seven-minute series for six- to 11-year-olds features a gang of animals that face difficult situations, including peer pressure and bullying, as they grow up in the town of Wild. The series concept is based on a classroom kit published by AGS called Getting Along, which is designed as a violence prevention and conflict resolution package. The animated series will be budgeted at US$250,000 for three episodes. AGS Media is looking for production partners at NATPE, and a delivery date is not yet determined.
CDC United Network in Brussels is bringing The Bored Witch, produced by Cromosoma in Barcelona, to NATPE for the first time. The animated 13 x half-hour series is budgeted at US$250,000 per episode, and aimed at children ages four to 12. Based on a book of the same name by Rose Capdevilla and Enric Larreula, the show features a witch who gets into adventures when she uses her magical powers. The show will launch in March on France 3 and Canal J in France. CDC is distributing the show in Latin America, Paris-based Storimages in France and Cromosoma in other territories.