England’s Edutainment Licensing has picked up the global digital distribution rights for the 2D-animated series Bino & Fino. Produced by Nigerian studio EVCL and aimed at kids two- to six-years-old, it tells the story of a brother and sister who learn new things about different countries in Africa in every episode.
Season one (three x eight minutes) and two (five x 11 minutes) are completed now, and a new season is expected to be ready next year.
Available in English, French, Portuguese, Dutch and local African languages Yoruba, Swahili, Igbo, Haya and Twi, the educational preschool show has previously been picked up by KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Dutch kids channel Pebble TV, as well as US university and public library streaming service Kanopy. EVCL provided Edutainment Licensing with stats from its YouTube channels, which also motivated the distributor to acquire the series.
“We didn’t have anything in our portfolio about Africa or about African culture before this show,” says Edutainment Licensing’s owner Denise Deane. “We wanted to have something for kids of color who are underrepresented on TV. From a numbers standpoint, the show has very strong viewing among kids of African descent who live outside of Africa and are curious about the continent and we want to meet that demand.”
Recognition of and demand for African content has been growing in the kids entertainment industry in the past year. Most recently, BBC Africa’s tween-skewing news series What’s New? became the first show from Nigeria to earn a nomination from the International Emmy Kids Awards. Tanzanian prodco Ubongo is building on the growth of its YouTube channels and rolling out original animated series Ubongo Kids and Akili and Me to the global market. Meanwhile, global SVOD Netflix is collaborating on Mama K’s Team 4—its first African animated original—with South Africa’s Triggerfish Animation Studios.