Around the Show
DHX Brands (Booth O236) heads to Licensing Expo with a diverse slate of properties headlined by Teletubbies, which has more than 65 top-tier licensees across the world; and preschool favorites Twirlywoos, one of the best- selling toy lines of the past year, and In the Night Garden , which recently announced the launch of a dedicated In the Night Garden baby product range, to hit retail in spring 2017. Entertainment One (Booth G196) will unveil global licensing opportunities for its CGI animated preschool TV show PJ Masks, which is hotly tipped to be one of the next big preschool licenses. Peppa Pig will spearhead the licensor’s presentation slate, which also includes preschool favourite Ben and Holly’s Little Kingdom in addition to two of the most anticipated summer movies for 2016: Steven Spielberg’s big screen adaptation of Roald Dahl’s The BFG and Ricky Gervais comedy David Brent: Life on the Road. Genius Brands International (Booth A196) returns for a second year to Licensing Expo to introduce two all-new properties to the global consumer products’ marketplace: SpacePOP and Llama Llama. Spearheaded by GBI’s President of Global Consumer Products Stone Newman, the company will be seeking key licensing partners around the world for both brands. Ink Global (Booth F204) will present: Masha and the Bear, a huge success on broadcast and online, where one clip has The Jim Henson Co. (Booth D196) will spotlight its vocabulary building show Word Party (26 x 11 episodes), which debuts in July 2016 on Netflix in the U.S. and in territories around the world where Netflix is available; Dot, a new animated series (52 x 11) targeting the bridge market of 4– to 7-year-old girls and due to air on Sprout in the U.S. in September; and Splash and Bubbles, an all-new animated series that will debut this fall on PBS KIDS in the U.S. and other platforms worldwide. Henson is developing a comprehensive global consumer products program for Dot and is seeking licensing partners in multiple categories for Dot, Word Party and Splash and Bubbles. The Kratt Brothers Co. scored recent deals with American Marketing Enterprises and Whole Foods Market and will showcase the latest Wild Kratts product line-up at the PBS KIDS booth (M242). Licensing Works! (Booth F124) will introduce licensees to Millimage’s Molang brand and seek new licensing and merchandising partners in all key categories. Saban Brands (Booth A159) returns to Licensing Expo with Popples, a Netflix original series for kids based on the popular 1980s toy line and television series and accompanied by a full consumer products program, with Spin Master serving as global master toy licensee; Glitter Force, a Netflix original series based on Japan’s longest-running and most successful girl franchise, Pretty Cure; Cirque Du Soleil – Luna Petunia, an original preschool property that will debut as a Netflix original series for kids this fall and kick off a full franchise rollout, including a comprehensive consumer products line; and Power Rangers, supported by the 23rd season for the iconic superhero franchise airing on key broadcasters across the world. Spiffy Pictures (Booth M242), creators of the new hit animated PBS KIDS series Nature Cat, is showcasing a host of licensing opportunities for kid-friendly products based on the award winning educational series. With HiHat Media handling brand licensing for the U.S. and 9 Story Media Group, Inc. running international distribution and consumer products rights outside of the U.S., the brand will be supported by comprehensive consumer product platforms that inspire children to develop connections with the natural world. [
Animasia celebrates its 20th anniversary with the launch of a new dialogue-free comedy show, on Disney Channel Asia.
Sometimes the best way to make a big noise in a busy, crowded market is to use no words at all. That’s why Malaysia-based Animasia Studio is celebrating its 20th anniversary with the May 20 debut on Disney Channel Asia of Harry & Bunnie, a new 78 x 7 min. comedy series aimed at ages 7 to 11.
“In our current catalog, we do not have any dialogue-free content and we felt there’s a growing potential for the segment of slapstick nondialogue content,” says Edmund Chan, managing director of Animasia. “Harry & Bunnie can easily be accepted on both linear and nonlinear platforms.”
The fast paced, 2D slapstick series follows young Harry, an aspiring magician who invents magical tricks to impress his friends but usually falls flat. Meanwhile, his mischievous stage rabbit, Bunnie, is always stealing the limelight with his ongoing attempts to steal Harry’s magic wand.
Animasia’s chief creative officer Ah Loong created the show. A veteran director of more than 200 hours of animated content in the past 15 years, his credits include the Ficci Frames Award-winning Roll No. 21, and the ongoing series Chuck Chicken.
Loong leads an in-house production team that includes more than 15 storyboard artists and 40 animators. As a dialogue-free show, Harry & Bunnie is board-driven and Animasia is looking to add new talent for a second season.
Chan says Animasia specializes in high-end Flash productions and works with another Malaysian company, Imaginex Studios, on the audio end of the show.
In addition to airing on Disney Channel Asia, which has broadcast Animasia programs since 2007, Harry & Bunnie has been pre-sold for all Asia Pacific territories and Chan is high on its potential to sell in Europe, the Middle East and the CIS territories.
Animasia began as Fossil Animation, which Loong founded in 1996. In 2005, Chan and Raye Lee joined to help the studio — renamed Animasia — move into international markets.
Chan says the company’s strength is its ability to develop and produce animated projects, using more than 150 animators in Malaysia. Among its most significant projects are ABC Monsters, Supa Strikas and Chuck Chicken.
Animasia has four animated series in production, in addition to developing the Chuck Chicken movie in 3D. “We have attracted prominent partners in the region (China and India) to jointly collaborate to produce the film and targets for theatrical release in 2018,” says Chan.
Moving forward, Animasia will continue to develop new content and its own intellectual properties — and the company is constantly reaching out to work with capable international partners, says Chan.
Not a bad way to celebrate 20 years in the business! [
Brain Zoo Studios celebrates 20 years of delivering high-quality animation and VFX for everything from games to features to its own projects on near-impossible deadlines. By Tom McLean.