Australian prodcos Xentrix Studios Australia and Sleigh Group have partnered to produce nine new animated kids shows over the next five years.
Eight of the series have been mapped out already, with the ninth project still in development. This slate features one show for preschoolers, five for kids ages five to 11, and two aimed at teens
The overall budget for all eight shows is estimated to be around US$39 million, says Ken Cantrill, head of creative at Xentrix. Sleigh Group is currently working on several broadcast and distribution deals for the projects, and the companies are also seeking co-production partners.
Already in production is The Gaggles (pictured), a 26 x seven-minute preschool toon starring five young friends who turn into animals for their pre-bed adventures. Production has also started on Pico and Paco (52 x 11 minutes), a show for seven to 11s about a magical orb that answers questions about the world with the help of some curious explorers. Both series will be ready for delivery in late 2023/early 2024, says Cantrill.
The studios also plan to reboot Jar Dweller SOS for seven- to 11-year-olds. Originally commissioned by SRC Canada, Network 10 (Australia) and ABC Australia in 2013, this 2D-animated show will be getting a 3D makeover as a 52 x 11-minute series following the adventures of two kids and their three sentient science experiments.
Within the next five years, Xentrix and Sleigh Group also plan to produce Rose’s Cooking Adventures (52 x seven minutes) for five- to nine-year-olds. This 2D-animated series is about a kid who teaches other children about food and making classic recipes. And the companies are adding a little mystery to mealtimes with Dinner Detectives—a 26 x 11-minute 2D-animated show for six to nines revolving around a group of friends who learn about food and why cuisine is different all over the world.
For teen viewers, the partners are in pre-production on Rezza Rides (26 x 11 minutes), which stars an insecure teen who discovers a junkyard full of carnival rides that come to life.
There were no additional details about the final three series in development available at press time.
Xentrix’s Manila-based studio will produce all of the 2D-animated shows, with 3D work taking place at its Bangalore outpost, Cantrill says.
The scale of the partnership with Sleigh Group will allow Xentrix Studios Australia (which was acquired by India’s Xentrix Studios this summer) to become a busy production hub that should attract talent and deals with other international companies; it is very much part of the prodco’s ongoing strategy to grow beyond its service work roots and get into original IP creation.