Netflix has signed a seven-figure deal to develop original TV and film content based on the Elf on the Shelf brand from Atlanta-based publisher The Lumistella Company.
Under the deal, Netflix will create animated and live-action programming aimed at preschoolers and families based on Lumistella’s portfolio of brands, including Elf on the Shelf, Elf Pets and Elf Mates. The Elf on the Shelf started in 2005 as a book that has sold more than 14 million copies to date. The IP has since expanded into plush dolls, animated content and live events.
The Lumistella Company (previously Creatively Classic Activities) rebranded in August as part of a move to expand beyond consumer products into content and live experiences. Partnering with Netflix is a big step that establishes a home for the content side of the company’s business, while also helping it establish a greater presence in the industry, says co-founder and co-CEO Christa Pitts.
“Netflix is one of the largest and most respected studios, but it also has a reputation of being collaborative and letting creators bring their visions to life, which is what we want from any partnership,” says Pitts. “It’s also a full-service home for the content, which can support films, series and preschool content to better help us build out our brands and also create new ones.”
To start, the streamer is picking up two of Lumistella’s animated short films, Elf Pets: Santa’s Reindeer Rescue and Elf Pets: A Fox Cub’s Christmas Tale, to launch in North America this holiday season.
Lumistella and content partner Vertigo Entertainment have been shopping the IP to studios, and Vertigo will spearhead new projects. Vertigo’s Roy Lee (The LEGO Movie) and Miri Yoon (Death Note), as well as Elf on the Shelf co-creators Chanda Bell, Pitts and Carol Aebersold, will serve as producers on all of the new Netflix content.
Beyond the projects with Netflix, Lumistella has teamed up with LA-based Constellation Immersive to launch The Elf on the Shelf’s Magical Holiday Journey, a live event that will run from November to January. Bell adds that the company has been busy growing on the CP side as well, signing deals with Target and Dollar General in the US to launch new books and products.
“There aren’t many Christmas brands out there, and this [Netflix] deal puts us beyond books and box sets, and opens the door to our universe in ways people haven’t seen before,” she says.