It’s market season, and the deals are flowing fast. We’ve got you covered with updates on some of the biggest sales in the industry.
Disney Channel US has inked a deal with Singapore’s One Animation to air long-form OddBods specials and shorts on Disney XD, Disney Junior and DisneyNOW later this year. Disney will air Halloween-themed special Party Monsters (22 minutes) and Christmas-themed The Festive Menace (22 minutes) on its linear channels and app, while pirate adventure Oddbeards Curse (pictured, 22 minutes) and a set of eight x one-minute seasonal shorts will launch on Disney XD and DisneyNOW.
UK animation studio Jellyfish Originals is swimming into a co-production agreement with Chinese animation house Alpha Group for children’s series Battle of the Bugs. The CGI action comedy for six to 10s is about three kids sent on a secret mission to save the world after the planet is invaded by robot bugs. The project is created by Simon Nicholson (PJ Masks), with Jellyfish providing script-to-screen production services and managing global pre-sales and CP rights outside of Asia. Alpha Group will oversee all rights in China and Asia, as well as spearheading the licensing program for the brand as global master toy partner.
LA-based prodco Splash Entertainment is teaming up with ViacomCBS-owned Ananey Studios (Greenhouse Academy) to produce and distribute new preschool series Family Rocks. The 52 x seven-minute animated show tracks a family of Neanderthals living in the Stone Age who have to figure out everything—from music to art—by themselves. The comedy is created by Gili Dolev, Ananey’s head of animation development, and the pilot script is being written by Jacqueline Moody (Gigantosaurus).
Ecuadorian prodco Touché Films has launched a joint venture with Mexican animation studio Ánima to co-produce new original animated content based on Touché’s Enchufe.tv brand. Enchufe.tv is Touché’s flagship digital-first series—and YouTube channel (23.6 million subscribers)—and it features comedic sketches aimed at tweens and teens. Together, the companies will create new animated content aimed at tweens, though specific project details haven’t been revealed yet.
Finally, nonfiction prodco Critical Content has partnered with toyco Wham-O to develop and create TV content around Wham-O’s portfolio of brands. Under the exclusive deal, Critical Content will make live-action series, starting with Slip ‘N Slide Island (working title), which pits competitors against each other in a massive obstacle course. Other Wham-O brands tapped in the deal include Frisbee Disc and Hula Hoop. Critical Content partnered with the toyco to leverage the nostalgia consumers have for its iconic toy brands, and because Slip ‘N Slide sales have climbed more than 180% during the pandemic following the closures of waterparks and public pools, according to a release from both companies.