It’s market season and the deals are flowing fast. We’ve got you covered with updates on some of the biggest stories in the industry.
New Zealand’s Pūkeko Pictures has appointed 9 Story Brands as its global merchandising partner for preschool series Book Hungry Bears (excluding China). Meanwhile, Pūkeko gave worldwide distribution rights for the 52 x 11-minute CG-animated show to 9 Story Distribution International (excluding Canada, China, Australia and New Zealand) with Toronto’s 9 Story Media Group handling distribution of the show in Canada. Created by British author and illustrator Martin Baynton, the series turns the page on three bears who love to read and adventure to find new books to share together. Co-produced by Pūkeko, Toronto’s Breakthrough Entertainment and China’s Hengxin Shambala Kids, the series was commissioned by Canadian broadcasters TVOKids, TFO and learning channel Knowledge Kids and has been picked up by TVNZ (New Zealand) and ABC Australia this past September.
London-based distributor CAKE, meanwhile, has signed a number of broadcast deals for its animated preschool series Pablo. The 104 x 11-minute series about a young artist on the autism spectrum who uses magic crayons to take on challenges was picked up by TVE (Spain), RTP (Portugal), Czech TV, NRK (Norway), TV Brazil and RTS Switzerland. Season two of the 2D-animated series was acquired by Nat Geo Kids (LatAm), ABC Australia, Majid TV (UAE) and is already set to launch on CBeebies (Britain) and RTE Junior (Ireland) on October 7. Produced by Paper Owl Films for CBeebies and RTE Jr, the series is also expanding with a series of books from Penguin and a musical theater show in 2020.
Across the Channel, France’s APC Kids, the children’s entertainment arm of producer/distributor APC Studios, has signed a distribution deal with Russian broadcaster CTC Media for CTC’s animated series Little Tiaras (pictured). APC kids previously picked up CTC’s popular series KID-E-Cats, and now the distributor will launch the broadcaster’s 52 x seven-minute series at MIPJunior and MIPCOM. Produced by Russia’s Melnitsa Animation Studio, APC holds global rights for the series outside of Russia, CIS and mainland China. The girl-skewing series that targets kids four- to seven-years-old first launched in 2018 and a second season will be completed and available in 2020.
Paris-based distributor Federation Kids & Family has acquired worldwide distribution rights (excluding Italy) to Italian broadcaster’s RAI’s animated TV special The Star of Andra and Tati. Based on the true story of two sisters who were deported to Auschwitz during World War II, the 26-minute special targets tweens and is produced by Italian prodcos RAI Ragazzi and Lacadarte.
On the consumer products side of the industry, US apparel maker Mi-Pac is launching a limited-edition collection of Peanuts items. Three new backpacks featuring the brand are now available online through Mi-Pac’s store and through select retailers in the UK and France. The deal was brokered by WildBrain CPLG, on behalf of Peanuts Worldwide. WildBrain CPLG is also growing the Charlie Brown-led brand with a partnership with London-based womenswear line Chinti & Parker. Chinti & Parker is launching a cashmere and wool knits, track pants and t-shirts featuring the brand’s characters. More apparel will be coming as the Peanuts gear up for its 70th anniversary next year.
Finally, London’s Penguin Ventures has partnered with theatrical production company Selladoor Family to develop a stage show based on UK writer Eric Hill’s picture book Where’s Spot? Puffin Books is launching a 40th anniversary edition of the title in 2020 and Selladoor is kicking off its show, titled The Selladoor Spot show across the UK in summer 2020.