Netflix is going to catch ’em all, and has picked up the upcoming seasons of The Pokémon Company International’s animated Pokémon series to stream exclusively on the SVOD in the US. Under the agreement, the streamer will launch the first 12 episodes of the 23rd season on June 12. Additional episodes of the long-running show’s new instalment—now titled Pokémon Journeys: The Series—will be added quarterly.
The streamer already hosts previous seasons of the show, and exclusively launched the animated movie Pokémon: Mewtwo Strikes Back—Evolution globally in February.
The House of Mouse’s recently launched SVOD in India Disney+ Hotstar is growing its local content catalogue by commissioning three new seasons (78 x 11 minutes each) of animation studio Cosmos-Maya’s Selfie With Bajrangi (pictured) series. (The conglom acquired streaming service Hotstar when it completed its acquisition of 21st Century Fox in March 2019, and merged it with Disney+ earlier this month to leverage the SVOD’s more than 300 million active users in India.)
Disney has been airing the first and second season (78 x 11 minutes each) of Cosmos-Maya’s show on its pay TV channels Disney India and Disney Hungama since 2018, and has also picked up those seasons to launch on the SVOD, effective immediately. The buddy comedy follows Ankush when he meets a child version of the Indian god Hanuman as they help others with their day-to-day problems.
Disney’s deal with Cosmos-Maya comes a week after Disney India picked up three new shows from the studio to premiere this summer. The studio’s 52 x half-hour shows, Guddu, Bapu and Gadget Guru Ganesha are launching on the network as it works to grow its presence in the country.
French broadcaster TF1’s children’s programming block TFOU has partnered with French animation studio La Chouette to develop the four- to seven-skewing series Azuro & The Dragon Squad.
Adapted from the kids book series of the same name published by France’s Auzou Publishing, the 52 x 13-minute animated series takes flight with a trio of dragons who protect fantastic creatures from danger. TF1-owned Newen Distribution will handle international distribution, but a delivery date has yet to be announced.
The Roku Channel
AVOD Roku licensed hundreds of hours of family-friendly programming from The Jim Henson Company, which launched yesterday. The Roku Channel picked up season one of The Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss (20 x 30 minutes); Mother Goose Stories (13 x 20 minutes); season one of Animal Show (26 x 30 minutes); Construction Site (26 x 30 minutes); The Hoobs (season one, 125 x 30 minutes); Mopatop’s Shop (season one, 65 x eight minutes); The Secret Life of Toys (13 x 30 minutes); Telling Stories with Tomie dePaola (26 x 30 minutes); and Hi Opie (39 x eight minutes), which is produced by Toronto’s marblemedia in association with Henson and Canadian broadcasters TVO, City Saskatchewan and Knowledge Network.
Roku also picked up two titles from Henson’s third-party distribution arm Henson Independent Properties—Norway’s Animando and Icelandic studio CAOZ Animation’s Elias: Rescue Team Adventure (26 x 22 minutes), as well as DIC Animation and Atkinson Film-Arts’ The Adventures of Teddy Ruxpin (65 x 30 minutes).
Boat Rocker Studios
Toronto prodco Boat Rocker is starting a new chapter in its book business and has signed Scholastic as the master publishing partner in English language territories for its upcoming animated preschool series Dino Ranch. As part of the worldwide deal, Scholastic has the rights to design and produce a range of English language CP, including readers, sticker story books, novelty items, activity books and audio books, with products set to launch fall 2021.
Created by Toronto studios Industrial Brothers and Boat Rocker, the in-production action adventure series is about three siblings who live on a dinosaur ranch, navigate the world and confront challenges with their Jurassic steeds. Boat Rocker is handling global distribution and the consumer products program for the show.
Little Baby Bum producer Moonbug is growing its reach into China for the first time by partnering with Chinese video platform Xigua Video. The London-based producer has sent more than 200 short videos featuring nursery rhymes and songs to Xigua, which are available now in English and Mandarin.