Irish animation studio Kavaleer Productions has secured new broadcast deals, funding and a worldwide distributor for online safety series Alva’s World.
Toronto-based WildBrain will manage worldwide distribution rights (excluding the UK, Ireland and Finland) for the 2D-animated fantasy-adventure, which was commissioned by Ireland’s RTÉjr and Sky Kids in the UK. Neither broadcaster has announced a premiere date yet.
The 52 x 11-minute series (previously titled Alva & the Trolls) stars a young girl who hangs out with elves and trolls. It’s episodic stories tackle larger online safety topics like cyberbullying, adjusting to at-home learning and keeping your personal information private. Kavaleer worked with CyberSafeIreland and Crandall Consulting to develop the show’s online safety elements.
Alva’s World has also secured funding from Irish development agency Screen Ireland, The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland and B.C.P Asset Management, as well as development financing from Creative Europe’s MEDIA program.
Digital safety was already a focus for many kidcos prior to the pandemic, but COVID-19 has re-emphasized its importance. Stuck at home, kids are turning to their screens like never before—in the US, 26% of preschoolers and 44% of five- to 10-year-olds have spent more than four hours a day on devices since the start of the pandemic, according to research firm Statista. That’s up from 13% and 17% pre-pandemic, respectively.
There has been a surge in companies launching resources to teach kids about cyber security during the pandemic. In recent months, LEGO rolled out its “Small Builds for Big Conversations” initiative that encourages families to talk about online safety in a playful way. And online gaming platform Roblox has released new content, including a free digital civility curriculum and a scavenger-hunt game where kids try to spot unreliable information and learn about protecting themselves while online.