In an effort to bolster its development slate across multiple platforms, Disney Television Animation has closed overall deals with 17 creators and animators.
The studio has signed agreements with Bruce Smith (The Proud Family), Jeff Howard (Planes), Kate Kondell (The Pirate Fairy), Stevie Wermers (Prep & Landing), Kevin Deters (Prep & Landing), Howy Parkins (The Lion Guard), Amy Higgins (Star vs. The Forces of Evil), Devin Bunje and Nick Stanton (Prince of Peoria), Noah Z. Jones (Pickle & Peanut), Mike Roth (Regular Show), John Infantino (Star vs. The Forces of Evil), Jeremy Shipp (Kung Fu Panda), Ryan Gillis (Pickle & Peanut), Steve Marmel (The Fairly OddParents), Natasha Kline (Big City Greens) and Sabrina Cotugno (The Owl House).
The company declined to provide more information on when the deals were signed, but said numerous new projects were in development.
Closing overall deals with creators—instead of working with them on a non-exclusive basis—has been a growing trend in kids entertainment. Netflix has been leading this charge, and has signed deals with Chris Nee (Doc McStuffins, Vampirina), Darla Anderson (Cars, Toy Story 3) and Kenny Ortega (High School Musical), as well as with brothers Gregg and Evan Spiridellis, the creators of the popular educational preschool property Storybots, this past May. Disney jumped on the trend and closed agreements with with Travis Braun (T.O.T.S) and Eric Friedman (Bizaardvark) last year.
Disney Television Animation is also getting to work producing new content, as Disney Channel greenlit its original animated series The Curse of Molly McGee. It’s a buddy comedy about Molly McGee, a tween optimist, and a grumpy ghost named Scratch who is cursed to always be around her after one of his spells goes wrong.
The supernatural toon is created by Bill Motz and Bob Roth (LEGO Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures) and Steve Lotker (Kim Possible), who all serve as EPs on the series.
The Curse of Molly McGee joins a growing number of Disney Channel shows that center on young women. In May, the kidsnet ordered a second season of its live-action comedy Sydney to the Max, from Disney-owned It’s A Laugh Productions. Prior to that it ordered the horror/comedy series The Owl House in February 2018 from Disney Television Animation, about a young girl who gets to become a witch.