Jetpack is blasting off with animated series Emmy & Gooroo. It has picked up the international distribution rights for season one (52 x 11 minutes) and season two (104 x 7 minutes), which is in production and set to be delivered this summer, from co-producers Barcelona’s Tomavision and China’s Leftpocket. The show’s cute 2D-animated style brings something new to the London-based distributor’s catalogue of 3D and educational IPs, says the company’s CEO Dominic Gardiner.
Aimed at two- to five-year-olds, the show centers around five-year-old Emmy and her furry friend Gooroo, who live and adventure together in a magical forest.
Emmy & Gooroo premiered in China in 2017 via free-to-air broadcaster CCTV and on 50 other Chinese broadcasters, including Kaku Kids (Beijing) and Jiajia Kids (Guangdong). It aired on Chinese online video platform Youku, where it received more than 30 million views in two weeks, making it the most watched show on the platform, according to Jetpack. Several international broadcasters have also picked up the show, including VPRO (Netherlands), VRT (Belgium), YLE (Finland), be Junior (MENA) CJ ENM (South Korea) and Paka Paka (Argentina).
“It was unlike anything we had in our portfolio,” says Gardiner. “We looked at it and thought it was very cute, very sweet. It had an intricate design and felt a little classic.”
Other shows that Jetpack distributes include plenty of 3D toons such as Yoko (52 x 11 minutes) and Kazoops (75 x seven minutes), and live-action educational shows like Our Family and Time for School. The distributor will kick off selling Emmy & Gooroo at Annecy Animation Festival next month.
Originally in Spanish, Emmy & Gooroo was dubbed into English, which gives Gardiner confidence that the series will sell well in multiple territories. It has also been dubbed in Chinese, Finnish and Flemish.
Tomavision and Leftpocket also tweaked the length of the second season’s episodes from 11 minutes to seven, which Gardiner thinks will be a better duration for digital audiences, and help make the show more compelling.
French distributor Superights picked up the global rights (excluding China and Spain) in 2017, however it is no longer distributing the series.
While Gardiner couldn’t speak to why that partnership ended, it didn’t effect Jetpack’s decision to purchase the property. “When we were brought it, it had already been in the market and we did our due diligence,” he says. “We looked at the sales history and there were still a lot of open territories. There were some deals in place, but we liked the people that had bought it already. We thought, if it’s sold in Finland and Belgium to buyers that we know, then maybe we can make a few more deals.”
The distributor has seen success selling other shows after they were renewed for a second season, including with Beano Studios’ animated series Dennis & Gnasher: Unleashed! (52 x 11 minutes). It’s first season has been sold to distributors in 24 countries, including free-to-air broadcasters RTL (Germany), RAI (Italy) and France Télévision. Following its renewal, this past February, Jetpack sold the show to broadcasters Emirates Cable (United Arab Emirates), VTMKIDS (Belgium), TV Derana (Sri Lanka), TVNZ (New Zealand), ClanTVE (Spain), SVT Barnkanalen (Sweden) and RTÉ (Ireland).