Deer Squad

Nickelodeon preps TMNT movie, Deer Squad

Nick Animation is turning to the ninja turtles for its first theatrical release, while Nickelodeon Asia is ready to launch iQIYI's Deer Squad internationally.
July 2, 2020

Nickelodeon is growing the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (TMNT) brand through an agreement with Canadian indie prodco Point Grey Pictures to co-produce a new CG-animated TMNT movie. This signals Nickelodeon Animation Studio’s first-ever CG theatrical production, with animation production and development EVP Ramsey Naito overseeing the project for Nickelodeon.

Creative executive Josh Fagen is managing production for Point Grey, and Paramount Pictures will handle worldwide distribution.

The film will be directed by Jeff Rowe (Gravity Falls, Disenchanted) and written by Brendan O’Brian (Neighbors, Sorority Rising). Point Grey Pictures was founded by comedian/actor Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg in 2011, since launching, it has produced films and TV for older audiences, including animated feature film Sausage Party, and live-action films Neighbors and Oscar nominee The Disaster Artist.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is a popular Nick brand that has expanded its reach through comics, animated TV and, most recently, live-action films. The turtles have also built up a large CP program (spanning toys, apparel, video games and more) that has generated billions of dollars at retail, according to Nickelodeon.

Nickelodeon has also partnered with Netflix to build up the brand with an animated film based on the Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series.

In other Nick news, the kidco has picked up Chinese prodco and streamer iQIYI’s new CG-animated series Deer Squad (pictured). Season one (40 x 11 minutes) will premiere first on iQIYI July 15, before launching on Nickelodeon in Asia in August, and rolling out internationally later this year.

The adventure rescue series revolves around a team of deer and does that protects the animals and humans of Central Forest. When there’s trouble, they call on special powers and work together to solve problems.

Nickelodeon first inked a deal with iQIYI for the series in 2017. Following that, Viacom International Media Networks launched the Nickelodeon Chinese Animation Development Project, a five-year initiative designed to drive new animation co-productions in the country. Deer Squad (formerly Deer Run) is the first show to come out of this partnership.

Produced by iQIYI in collaboration with Nickelodeon, the series marks the first time Nickelodeon Asia has co-produced an original IP from development to broadcast, according to a statement from both companies. A second season has already been confirmed, although no details on delivery date or format have been released yet.

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