Singapore’s Powerkids Entertainment has teamed up with Italian comic publisher Sergio Bonelli Editore to turn its catalogue of books into animated series for kids.
The first series to roll out under the deal will be Dragonero (26 x 26 minutes), co-produced by Powerkids, Sergio Bonelli, Italian pubcaster Rai and post-production house Nexus TV, with Powerkids overseeing animation, global distribution (excluding Italy) and consumer products. The 2D/3D-animated series (pictured) targets seven- to 12-year-olds and was first announced in 2020. It’s an adaptation of an ongoing comic book series of the same name that’s been in print since 2007.
Details about the rest of the slate will be announced once the titles are finalized, a Powerkids spokesperson told Kidscreen.
Popular Sergio Bonelli brands include best-selling western brand Tex, Zagor, horror title Dylan Dog,and detective story Martin Mystère. The catalogue has been distributed in 30 countries, and the Dylan Dog books alone have sold more than 50 million copies, according to the company.
Comic book adaptations continue to be popular in the kids space. Last year, Netflix partnered with French publisher Hachette’s Les Editions to turn the Asterix IP into an animated series for the first time. And in October, Disney+ commissioned live-action comedy American Born Chinese based on a graphic novel of the same name.
To oversee its new adaptations, Powerkids brought in former DQ Entertainment executive Manoj Mishra last month as CEO, charging him with developing new kids content and expanding its distribution business.