A US$12 million agreement with the London-based HandMade will see the company buying New York’s Animation Collective to launch HandMade Kids and starting up a joint venture with National Geographic Kids Entertainment.
The new kids and family division will combine HandMade’s Eloise brand, along with the NatGeo JV and Animation Collective, while investing a further US$5.27 million in children’s productions. It’s also brought on a trio of new execs to lead the new entity, including Richard Northcott as chairman, TV-Loonland’s Simon Flamank as COO/CFO and Keith Luxon as non-executive director. The company will also be recruiting experienced execs in merchandising, sales and creative.
HandMade Kids has also acquired the Duchess of York’s children’s IPs (Tea for Ruby, Little Red) and the company will have a total of 11 kid-targeted productions currently being broadcast on US TV with another show slated for broadcast and an additional eight in development.
The prodco’s US$70 million CGI animation film Planet 51 is hitting the big screen next month in the US, being distributed by Sony in more than 3,500 theaters, while the first Eloise feature film, Eloise in Paris is set to begin pre-production shortly with another six films to be released over the next two years.