Still from PBS Series "Donkey Hodie"

Deals of the Week: Fred Rogers Productions, Toonz, FilmRise

A Donkey Hodie album is on the way, Toonz partners to deliver Kayara, and the world of Jumanji will come alive starting later this year.
March 18, 2022

Fred Rogers Productions

Music is in the air for  Warner Music Group’s Arts Music division and the Pittsburgh-based prodco with the upcoming launch of  an album based on Donkey Hodie (pictured), the preschool-aged puppet series inspired by the quirky Fred Rogers-based IP. Produced by Bill Sherman, the album features 16 tracks, including the series theme song and three original songs from Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. Here Comes Donkey Hodie will be available on digital platforms April 8.

Merlin

Jumanji, the family-targeted IP from Sony Pictures Entertainment, will come to life in Europe and North America starting this year through a deal with Merlin Entertainments to develop and operate attractions, rides, retail outlets, lands, and themed hotel rooms. The first Jumanji-themed ride and hotel rooms open in April 2022 at Gardaland Resort in Italy and a second activation is planned for an unnamed destination in 2023.

Toonz

The Indian animation studio has partnered with Peruvian studio Tunche Films to co-produce the upcoming CG-animated feature Kayara. The historical film tells the story of an Inca woman who aspires to break with tradition and join the Chasqui Messengers–a male-only elite group within the Incan empire. On track to release in 2024, Kayara has been pre-sold to 15 international distributors including Le Pacte, WW Entertainment and Rialto Distribution.

FilmRise

Targeting family audiences in a broad demographic of 13 to 65, Brooklyn’s FilmRise is building up its co-viewing family content and has inked a multi-faceted deal with Nicely Entertainment for TV-PG and TV-Y7-oriented titles. The distributor and indie AVOD digital network has inked a deal for US digital distribution rights to more than 20 holiday films from LA-based Nicely, as well as all US rights for two unreleased TV movies. The deal also includes a co-production and distribution agreement for two family-targeted holiday films. All will drop on the FilmRise Streaming Network in addition to being offered on its US sales slate.

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