To replicate some of the success it has seen in the adult space bringing locally specific content to an international audience, Netflix is building up its international kids and family team with several new hires and promotions.
Dominique Bazay (pictured), formerly the director of content acquisitions for kids at Netflix, has been promoted to director of original animation, international and will relocate from LA to Amsterdam to head up the team starting in January, Kidscreen confirmed. Also joining the international team in the Netherlands is Janine Weigold as manager of original animation, international. Weigold moved from Germany, where she was the head of children’s content for RTL Disney, to Netflix in November.
Former director of acquisitions and co-productions at Turner Ed Barnieh boards as manager of original animation, international out of Singapore. He reports to Aram Yacoubian, who serves as director of original animation, international based in LA.
A big focus for the Netflix kids team over the past few months has been on building out local stories that can reach a global audience. It recently picked up Mighty Little Bheem, which is a spin-off of Chhotta Bheem, for a third season. Produced by Green Gold Animation, Chhotta Bheem originally premiered on WarnerMedia’s Pogo in 2008 in India. Netflix also picked up Mama K’s Team 4, its first animated original out of Africa from South Africa’s Triggerfish Animation and UK-based CAKE earlier this year, and followed that up with former Pixar animator Sanjay Patel’s Ghee Happy about five Hindu deities. Most recently, the the streamer nabbed the rights to Tonko House’s new hybrid series Oni about Japanese mythology.
Due to this shift in focus to the international team, the preschool team has also undergone some changes. Both based out of LA, Heather Tilert has been upped to director of original animation, preschool, and the SVOD hired Mary Tai as the manager of original animation, preschool. Tai used to serve as the director of current series and development at Nickelodeon.
The pair will oversee Netflix’s recently expanded preschool slate such as Go! Go! Cory Carson, which premieres in January; as well as WildBrain’s Go, Dog. Go!, Kickstart Entertainment’s StarBeam, 7ate9 Entertainment’s What-To-Doodles and The Dodo’s Izzy Bee’s Koala World—all premiering in 2020.