Smurfs owner International Merchandising, Promotion and Services (IMPS) has tapped DHX Media’s WildBrain to handle YouTube distribution and taking over the classic brand’s 41 existing channels. Plus Spanish distributor Planeta Junior has inked a licensing agreement with IMPS to manage the IP’s consumer products program in Spain and Portugal.
All of this activity comes ahead of a new animated Smurfs series (52 x 11 minutes) that’s in production with co-pro partners KiKA (Germany), Pevo Productions (Belgium), TF1 (France), Ketnet (Belgium) and Ouftivi (Belgium) for a global launch in 2020.
The Smurfs started out as a comic book property in 1958, and more recently has spawned three blockbuster films produced by Sony Pictures.
In addition to managing The Smurfs YouTube channels, WildBrain also recently signed a two-year agreement to exclusively manage content on YouTube for Playmobil. The German toy brand’s library currently consists of 15 animated shorts streaming on Playmobil channels in German, English, Spanish and Portuguese.