Warner Bros. has partnered with Vancouver-based animation studio Animal Logic (The Lego Movie 2, Captain Marvel) to produce a new musical called Toto: The Dog-Gone Amazing Story of the Wizard of Oz. The feature film retells the Wizard of Oz story from the titular dog’s perspective. John August wrote the screenplay, Alex Timbers is directing, and Derek Frey will produce the pic, which is in pre-production now. WB and Animal Logic are also teamed up on an animated film based on the DC Super Pets franchise, set for a 2022 release.
Toto is the third film in a three-picture deal between Animal Logic and Warner Animation Group. And this partnership is separate from the co-production agreement Warner Bros. struck with Imagine Entertainment and Animal Logic in 2018, according to a spokesperson from Animal Logic.
The Montreal-based prodco has optioned the rights to children’s book series Olga. Apartment 11 plans to turn it into a 2D-animated series that will center around a young girl who likes animals more than humans, including a new creature she happens upon that just might be an alien. The studio is seeking broadcasting, co-production and distribution partners for the 26 x 11-minute show.
The Canadian Media Fund is supporting the project through its CMF-SODEC pre-development program for financing TV series based on book adaptations. Olga is Apartment 11′s second original animated series, following the CG-animated Interstellar Ella (52 x 11 minutes), which is in production and distributed by Aardman.
The UK pubcaster’s commercial subsidiary has lined up five new licensing partners for preschool series Bluey. Joining the program are Spin Master (puzzles and games), The Bentex Group (apparel), Jay Franco (bedding, home décor, accessories), Zak Designs (dining) and Kurt Adler (holiday décor). Products from these manufacturers will launch during the 2021 holiday season, except for Bentex Group’s apparel range, which is available now on Amazon. The preschool series produced by Australia’s Ludo Studio has already inspired a good-sized consumer products rollout from Moose Toys at the end of 2020.
Oscar-nominated animation studio Laika has signed a deal with LA-based Shout! Factory to handle US home entertainment distribution for its films (except for Missing Link). Shout! will distribute Laika’s Coraline, ParaNorman, The Boxtrolls and Kubo and the Two Strings (pictured) with collectible packaging and special releases that include additional content. These four original films collectively grossed close to US$400 million worldwide, according to aggregator Box Office Mojo.
The Russian animation studio has secured multiple broadcast deals for its catalogue of kids shows. The Fixies (156 x six minutes) was picked up by on-demand app Da Vinci Media to air in South Africa, India, the UK, Ireland, Brazil, Portugal, Germany and Spain. Targeting four- to eight-year-olds, the animated series about a magical team that fixes everything was also acquired by Brazil-based SVOD PlayKids for the US, the UK, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand.
Brazilian pay-TV broadcaster Globosat has bought new 3D-animated series Panda and Krash (52 x 12 minutes), which is produced by Hong Kong-based FUN Union, Riki Group and Chinese broadcaster CCTV’s animation group. It premiered on CCTV last month. Globosat also picked up season three of preschool series BabyRiki (40 x five minutes).
Hong Kong’s TVB acquired educational adventure Pincode (104 x 13 minutes) to air on its Jade and J2 channels, as well as VOD platforms myTVSuper and TVB Anywhere this spring.
Finally, preschool series Tina & Tony (52 x five minutes) was picked up by French broadcaster Tiji to air in Russia, CIS and Israel, as well as by Romania’s Tralala YouTube channel and AVOD Kidoodle.TV.
Hoho Entertainment’s commercial arm has inked new broadcast deals with Kartoon Channel!, Toon Goggles and Common Sense Network.
Genius Brands International’s Kartoon Channel! has acquired the rights to Cloudbabies (52 x 10 minutes), Shane the Chef (52 x 11 minutes), Chickpea and Friends (13 x five minutes and 12 x 10 minutes), Little Luke and Lucy (52 x seven minutes and four x 26-minute specials), Everybody Loves a Moose (52 x seven minutes) and its half-hour seasonal special Santa’s First Christmas.
OTT service Toon Goggles has snagged Shane the Chef, Chickpea and Friends, Little Luke and Lucy and Everybody Loves a Moose. Common Sense Network’s upcoming streaming service Sensical bought Cloudbabies and Shane the Chef ahead of its US launch in late spring 2021.
Hoho Rights also signed a deal with short film service platform discover.film to launch the Welsh broadcaster’s animation back-catalogue, including shows like stop-motion Hana’s Helpline, claymation sitcom Gogs and mixed-animation series Shakespeare—The Animated Tales.