DreamWorks Animation is barking up a new tree. The studio has optioned the feature film rights to author/illustrator Dav Pilkey’s bestselling book series Dog Man (pictured). Peter Hastings (Animaniacs, The Epic Tales of Captain Underpants) is attached to direct the pic.
Published by Scholastic, the Dog Man books are driven by the comedic adventures of a canine superhero and his friends, who teach kids about doing good while also encouraging them to read.
First published in 2016, the books have become a bestselling IP for Scholastic, with more than 23 million copies in print and translations in more than 30 languages. Last year, Scholastic launched a global book tour and educational resources to support new titles. The publisher dropped the most recent book, Dog Man: Grime & Punishment, on September 1, and says it has since become a bestseller in the US and Canada.
Culver City-based edtech company Encantos has teamed up with Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group to make a push into the kids book market. Under the deal, the companies will develop new kids titles based on Encantos brands, and Macmillan will also distribute the producer’s existing books.
To start, Encantos will roll out new books for its preschool IPs, including bilingual (English and Spanish) brand Canticos, geography-focused Tiny Travelers and Skeletitos, which teaches kids how to overcome their fears.
Warner Music Group
Continuing its move into kids entertainment, Warner Music Group has cooked up a deal with Tiny Chef for the musical debut of the cute stop-motion character. Warner’s arts music division has digitally released the character’s two-song EP Vewy Mewy Mish Mesh Shongs, which features the mumbling cook singing holiday classics “We Wish You A Merry Christmas” and “Carol of the Bells.” The Tiny Chef also dropped a music video on his Instagram account (618,000 followers) to support the launch.
The start of the wee chef’s music career coincides with his upcoming TV debut, with an Imagine Kids and Family series called The Tiny Chef Show headed to Nickelodeon.
LA-based Viva Kids has picked up new animated kids movies and lined up TikTok influencers as voice actors for upcoming films. The distributor snagged 10th Ave’s Felix and the Lost Treasure—which stars a young boy and an old man seeking treasure together—from Attraction Distribution. It also picked up holiday cooking comedy The Elfkins from Sola Media GmbH; ARRI Media’s upcoming comedy The Ogglies, about a family of stinky creatures trying to find a new home among humans who aren’t too fond of them; and The Magic Museum from Big Play Consulting, which tracks a group of kids who travel deep into a city’s old puppet museum.
The company has also teamed up with TikTok creators Madi Monroe and Tatayana Mitchell to voice characters in new films that will be released in theaters, on-demand and digitally in 2021, along with its original family-friendly live-action features.