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Netflix partners on trio of animated preschool series

The commissions consist of two toy-based programs - one from 9 Story-owned Out of the Blue Enterprises (pictured) and another from Hong Kong's VTech Electronics - plus a third series from Silvergate Media.
February 13, 2018

Global streaming giant Netflix has ordered three new original animated preschool series—two based on hit toy lines from 9 Story-owned Out of the Blue Enterprises and Hong Kong’s VTech Electronics—plus a third series from London-based Silvergate Media.

The first series, Charlie’s Colorforms City (pictured), is based on Colorforms, a classic toy brand owned by New York-based Out of the Blue. The storytelling adventure series follows the titular character on unpredictable and imaginative shape-filled expeditions. Out of the Blue co-founders Angela Santomero (Creative Galaxy, Blue’s Clues) and Samantha Freeman are executive producing alongside Canada’s DHX Media.

Charlie’s Colorforms City marks the first greenlight for Out of the Blue since Toronto, Canada-based 9 Story Media Group acquired the children’s media company last month.

The second toy-based show, Go! Go! Cory Carson, is based on the popular toy line Go! Go! Smart Wheels from VTech Electronics. Set in Bumperton Hills, the series follows the daily childhood adventures of a young car. Alexander Woo, founder and CEO of California-based indie animation prodco Kuku Studios and a former Pixar story lead (Ratatouille), is producing with Stanley Moore (Finding Dory) and Tone Thyne (Wonder Pets). Berkeley-based studio Tonko House (The Dam Keeper) is production designer on the project, while Parisian company Superprod Studio (Pat the Dog) is working on the show’s 3D animation.

Meanwhile, Chico Bon Bon: Monkey with a Tool Belt is a construction-themed comedy based on the picture book series of the same name by author Chris Monroe and published by Lerner. Produced by Silvergate Media (Sunny Day, Peter Rabbit) and its EVP of creative content Kurt Mueller, the show teaches preschoolers about the mechanical world and how things work. The town’s creative team also includes Bob Boyle (Wow Wow Wubzy), Gabe Pulliam and Stephanie Simpson (both of Octonauts), and Michael Goldberg (Sesame Street).

Launch dates are yet to be announced for the series.

The new project announcements coincide with a Kidscreen Summit panel presented today in Miami, where Netflix’s global kids director of content acquisitions, Dominique Bazay, alongside production partners Santomero, Woo and Mueller, discussed the company’s new approach to preschool programming. Bazay outlined a plan that will see the SVOD launch multiple pieces of content and immersive worlds around its originals and franchises.

The news also follows Netflix’s recently announced partnership with Pearl Studio (formerly Oriental DreamWorks) on Over the Moon, the company’s first animated feature. In other recent Netflix deals, the streamer and DreamWorks Animation Television are set to release six new exclusive original series in 2018 including Trolls: The Beat Goes On!, She-Ra, The Boss Baby: Back in Business, Harvey Street Kids and The Epic Tales of Captain Underpants.

About The Author
Jeremy is the Features Editor of Kidscreen specializing in the content production, broadcasting and distribution aspects of the global children's entertainment industry. Contact Jeremy at jdickson@brunico.com.

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