WildBrain (formerly DHX) has picked up worldwide distribution rights to Spanish prodco Wise Blue Studios’ non-dialogue comedy series Hero Dad (pictured). Co-produced by Spain’s À Punt Mèdia in collaboration with the Valencian Institute of Culture, the 26 x five-minute preschool comedy series is about a single father who plays and learns with his curious little daughter. The CG-animated series is produced using the Unity game engine, the same tech that Disney TVA used to produce a series of animated shorts based on its show Big Hero 6 The Series, last year. Wise Blue used the engine to render its show in 4K in real-time, letting the prodco streamline its production process.
CBBC and BBC Wales have commissioned The Snow Spider a new five x 30-minute series from London’s Leopard Pictures. The live-action fantasy drama is scheduled to air on the two pubcasting channels beginning 2020. Based on the eponymous trilogy of books by British writer Jenny Nimmo, the adventure series is set in Wales and follows a young boy who receives presents that have special powers. Liverpool-based Sparkle VFX is producing visual effects for the show. The upcoming series is executive produced by Kristian Smith and produced by Lindsay Hughes from Leopard Pictures with Amy Buscombe as commissioning editor for BBC.
Belgium’s Studio 100 has presold season two of its CG-animated series Heidi to a number of international broadcasters. The new broadcasters to pick up the series include TF1 (France), Canal Panda (Portugal), TVPabc (Poland), MTVA (Hungary), RTVS (Slovakia), ProPlus (Slovenia) and LRT (Lithuania). Targeting kids five- to eight-years-old, the animated series follows an orphan who lives with her grandmother in the Swiss Alps. Season two will be completed in December, ahead of upcoming toy launches from Germany’s Playmobil in January 2020, according to the company.
German distributor Global Screen has picked up worldwide distribution rights (excluding North America, the UK and GST) to the upcoming English-language 2D- and 3D-animated feature The Amazing Maurice. Produced by Ulysses Filmproduktion and Dublin-based Cantilever Media, German distributor Tobis Film is a co-production partner and holds distribution rights for GST. Germany’s Studio Rakete and Canada’s Squeeze Animation are handling the 3D animation. Global Screen will start pre-selling the new family-skewing animated film at the American Film Market November 6 to 13. Based on a bestselling book by English author Terry Pratchett, the film is a humorous retelling of the story of the Pied Piper which sees a streetwise cat and a kid work with a group of talking rats to con villagers.
Growing its catalogue, Canadian kids content SVOD Ameba TV has signed a deal with Russian prodco Red Carpet Studio for its animated web series Blinky and Knobby (26 x one- to two-minutes). This is the first international distribution deal for Red Carpet Studios. Blinky and Knobby is a non-dialogue 3D-animated web series about space travelers who were exiled to Earth for being lazy. A second season is set to be completed spring 2020.