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PREVIEW September 2019






A celebration of the Russian animation industry





With Great Power, Comes




Visit us at booth


with cameos of

Stan Lee in every episode!


Caroline Tyre

SVP International Distribution & Head of Genius Brands Network

©Genius Brands International, Inc. 2019


3 x 26’

52 x 13’


52 x 13’


action from a

TOY’s-eye view



from the producers of “ MIRACULOUS™, Tales of ladybug and cat Noir ”

and the

Man of action,

creators of “ BEN 10 ” and “ Big Hero 6 ”

world premiere on

in USA

FALL 2019

Mediawan Booth P.3B38





Russia is Country Of Focus; The MIPJunior Superpanels; TV Asahi introduces Super Shiro; MIPJunior Opening Party; and more...



Multiplatform content from around the world on sale in Cannes




34 Guru Studio’s Pikwik Pack 36 ZDFE’s Heirs Of The Night




39 THAT’S NOT ALL FOLKS! SVOD boosts demand for animation

44 KIDS WITH INFLUENCE Children are making millions online



Tackling diversity in kids’ shows





• September 2019


THE RISING POWER OF FEMALE SUPERHEROES Exclusive presentation of DC Super Hero Girls with Series Creator Lauren Faust at MIP Junior 2019

© Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. DC Super Hero Girls and all related characters and elements are TM and ©DC Comics


Animation Made In Russia A celebration of Russian animation in Cannes will demonstrate how the country’s animation industry has gone global over the past decade RUSSIA’s thriving animation industry is being presented to international delegates in Cannes by Made In Russia, the umbrella brand developed by the Russian Export Center (REC). Made In Russia is celebrating its third year in a row at MIPJunior and MIPCOM. This year it is organised in partnership with Russian Animated Film Association (RAFA) and unites 18 companies presenting animation content to the international market, including a number of works-in-progress. The animation companies hosted by Made In Russia and RAFA include: Riki Group, which has projects in development including Liry & Taya, The Question Club and Christmas Academy; Wizart, which is presenting new titles Mai Knows, Inside My Backpack and Tin’s Firebots; Parovoz Studio whch has Koshchey: The True Story in development; Aeroplane, which is presenting The Crabots for the first time; and X-Media Digital, in Cannes with a new version of The Little Princess. “Ten years ago, Russian animation was mostly in demand from inside the country, especially if we are talking about commercial projects for a mass audience,” said Alexandra Modestova, founder and CEO of Expocontent, a member of RAFA and present on the Made In Russia stand in Cannes this year. “Big successes back then included The Three Bogatyrs,

Liry & Tyra, new from Riki Group

Alexandra Modestova:

“Russian animation has reached a new level where it is willing to take part in international co-productions” Mai Knows, new from Wizart

a franchise from the CTB film company, produced by Melnitsa studio since 2004 and a national box-office hit at the time.” But 10 years ago Russian companies also started to enjoy success abroad with titles including Masha And The Bear, The Fixies and Kikoriki all early international successes. “Five years ago, Russian animation gained its first real global success,” Modestova said. “Snow Queen, the full-length franchise from Wizart, was sold to dozens of countries and — for a Russian title — was released in a record number of theatres internationally. Achievements like this encouraged other Russian studios to make more complex, high-quality projects that would travel outside our borders.” Russian animation has been popular across Europe for some years MIPJUNIOR PREVIEW • 8

now, but has recently enjoyed growing success in Latin America and Asia — and China in particular. “For example, The Fixies series has had over 10 billion views on Chinese VOD platforms — it’s available on Tencent Video, Iqiyi, Youku and others — and two fulllength films based on this series, Fixies vs. Crabots and Fixies: Top Secret, are to be released theatrically across China through distributor Central Partnership.” Modestova added: “BabyRiki, a well-known series from Riki Group, distributed by Fun Union company, has been shown on 24 children’s channels in China, including CCTV Kids, as well as major digital platforms including Youku, Tencent, Iqiyi and Mango.” All of Russia’s leading animation studios will be at the Made In Russia stand, including the aforementioned Riki and Wizart, as • September 2019

well as Souyzmultfilm, Parovoz, X-Media Digital, Master Film and AA studio, among others. International sales and pre-sales of brand-new projects are the key goals of companies in Cannes, “but also Russian animation has reached a new level where it has gathered enough talent, expertise and high-quality titles that it is now ready and willing to take part in international co-productions”, Modestova said. “Smaller studios are looking for distributors and investors, while the larger and more established are looking to expand beyond Europe, co-produce and get new licensing offers. So, distributors, partners, co-investors and licensees are all welcome.” • The Next Animation Boom Snack & Screen hosted by the Russian Export Center takes place on Sunday, October 13, at 12.00 in the Grand Theatre of the JW Marriott



Who are the new power players in the world of gen-Z and alpha-gen? AS THE most tech-savvy generations in history — gen-Z and alpha-gen — shift their media consumption habits at high speed, so their growing influence drives legacy media companies to reinvent how they connect with these new consumers. These young generations are also becoming more politically and socially aware and so brands and media have a role to play to

Genius Brands International’s Andy Heyward

address issues important to society in order to earn their engagement. With new technology around every corner, including direct-to-consumer models hitting the market every day, who will meet these challenges and emerge as the new power players in the global kids content space? These and other questions will be asked at the MIPJunior Keynote Superpanel, a new format in which key professionals from around the world give their views on the fast-changing industry. Keynote Superpanelist Josh Scherba, president at Canada’s DHX Media, has built a loyal fan base with Creeped Out, a live-action series of one-off horror stories for kids. Co-produced with the UK’s CBBC Productions, Scherba said its success is “proof that there is a place in the kids’ content landscape for an original and distinctive mystery anthology series”. He added: “We believe that the

marketplace requires a balance of the bold and the traditional, proven by the fact that our established brands perform as well as content that breaks the mould.” Keynote Superpanelist Andy Heyward, chairman and CEO, Genius Brands International, is expecting great things from Stan Lee’s Superhero Kindergarten, featuring the late Marvel legend’s first preschool superheroes, created “with his own personal superhero, Arnold Schwarzenegger. Together, they have over 60 million followers in social media, which we are confident will drive massive global parental co-viewing,” Heyward said. “Even more so, considering the fact that Stan Lee’s Superhero Kindergarten will impart not just great characters and stories, but also positive lessons in health, nutrition and fitness.” The panel will address a range of issues during the session, including the evolving streaming universe.

Experts choose the best of the best THE MIPJunior Project Pitch is dedicated to creators and producers seeking financing for projects in development. During the event,

a jury of experts from the kids entertainment industry will select the best project from the finalists selected for the pitching session.

4th Wall’s Joe Moroney accepted the prize at last year’s MIPJunior Project Pitch

Juror Julien Borde, head of kids and general entertainment channels at Turner France and Africa, said: “We look for diversity, freshness and a little surprise. A good story to dream about but also a concrete plan to see how the programme can grow from both a narrative perspective and as an IP franchise.” He added: “We need a show that can sit in our portfolio of content and complement our productions. Most of all we need to understand what will make kids love and share the content. We also love to meet the talents behind the show and discuss directly their creative visions.” Juror Nina Hahn, senior vice-president production and development, Nickelodeon International, said she “thinks like a kid” and looks for “characters, stories and settings that I care about, that

MIPJUNIOR PREVIEW • 10 • September 2019

DHX has been ”active with Netflix and Hulu and more recently with Apple on Peanuts content,” Scherba said. “The streamers have different business models with more of a focus on taking global rights, but the upside is that the budgets tend to be higher.” “It will always come down to stories and characters,” Heyward added. “That is the timeless commodity that is agnostic to all platforms and distribution systems. Our industry is a true meritocracy.” • The MIPJunior Keynote Superpanel is on Saturday, October 12, at 17.00 in the Grand Theatre of the JW Marriott

DHX Media’s Josh Scherba

make me laugh, and that make me want to want more”. She added: “I search for great characters, grounded ideas and authentic and diverse fun content, which would appeal to the glocal kid. Once I find the idea, then I ask myself: ‘How would this idea fit on our air? What is the lead-in show? What is the lead-out show?’ This question is what confirms the tone of the show and the idea matches the Nick brand.” Other jurors include BBC Children’s Jo Allen, De Agostini’s Massimo Bruno an Gloob’s Paula Taborda dos Guaranys. Winner of last year’s MIPJunior 2018 Project Pitch was Milo, from the UK’s 4th Wall. The company’s creative managing director Joe Moroney accepted the prize. • The MIPJunior Project Pitch is on Sunday, October 13 at 14.45 in the Grand Theatre of the JW Marriott

© Nadasdy Film




Brown Bag Films’ Bronagh O’Hanlon

Green Gold Animations’ Rajiv Chilaka

Rainbow’s Iginio Straffi

Xilam’s Marc du Pontavice

How to stay creative in a multichannel world? Ask the Creators’ Superpanel THE MIPJUNIOR Creators’ Superpanel — held in partnership with WorldScreen — focuses on professionals who are “driving modern excellence” in children’s television. Panelists will discuss creativity, finance, working with linear and OTT broadcast partners and keeping up with the fast-changing media landscape. The Superpanel includes Marc du Pontavice, who founded France-based European animation company Xilam back in 1995. The company has a raft of international hits to its name including the series Oggy And The Cockroaches, which launched in 1998, is still going strong worldwide, spawning a hit movie in 2012. Also on the panel, Bronagh O’Hanlon is a director and series creator at Brown Bag Films in the UK. Celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, Brown Bag’s character-driven animations include Olivia, Noddy In Toyland, Doc McStuffins, Octonauts and Henry Hugglemonster. “The moment you bring a show

to market, people who like the idea are trying to mould it into what they need, or think they can sell — totally understandable from their point of view — but it might go directly against what you want to do,” O’Hanlon said. “We used to hear ‘Boys won’t watch a show with a female lead, but girls will watch a show with a male lead, so make the lead male,’ or ‘In the older demo, girls watch sitcoms, so don’t cater to a girl audience for this demo.’” She added: “I also heard that pre-schoolers wouldn’t watch a show with a large ensemble team, as it contained too many main characters to wrap their heads around. But now there are a lot of successful shows like this out there — Octonauts and Paw Patrol for example. There are always these little rules that are used as reasons why not to create a unique show… until someone successfully breaks it. And trying to convince people to break rules can often be the biggest challenge to producing something fresh in the industry.”

Panelist Iginio Straffi’s global production and distribution company Rainbow is probably best-known for its Winx Club franchise, which follows the adventures of a group of female students known as the Winx, at the Alfea College for Fairies, who turn into fairies to fight villains. Straffi said that in the fast-changing multiplatform world, creators simply have to work harder for their ideas to stand out. “We aim to adapt to platform diversity, of course, but we must always focus on strong concepts and — something that is more valid than ever in a multiplatform world — put a lot of time and effort into producing quality content.” For panelist Rajiv Chilaka, CEO and managing director, Green Gold Animations, we are in a “golden age for creators. The barrier to creation has assuaged considerably with the success of the content-driven platforms,” he said. But as the industry becomes increasingly international, cultural context becomes “a double-edged sword. Chhota

MIPJUNIOR PREVIEW • 12 • September 2019

Bheem is a phenomenon in itself in Asia and has always been rooted in our culture — the Indian culture. Thus, the dilemma for us while creating a new show, Mighty Little Bheem (Netflix’s first animated series from India) for the world, was whether to celebrate the cultural signifiers or downplay them,” Chilaka said. “We decided that to stay true to the characters, we had to celebrate them. Thus Mighty Little Bheem is inherently Indian but relatable to every child worldwide. Every parent will see their toddler in Little Bheem.” He added: “It is no secret that Netflix was the game changer. The immense acceptance to ideas and the openness to creation that the platform brings is indeed a joy. The visibility and reach presented to creators is something that could only be dreamt of a few years back.” Moderated by Anna Carugati, group editorial director at WorldScreen, the Superpanel session will also include the presentation of the World Screen Trendsetter Awards. • The Creators’ Superpanel is on October 12, at 10.10 in the Grand Theatre of the JW Marriott hotel


unimaginable f o e rc u o s a s when nage boy? e te a f o s d What happen n to the ha power falls in Join us for a sneak peek at the MIPJunior EVENT CO-PRODUCTIONS: GOING GLOBAL & THE GENERATION ALPHA AUDIENCE Saturday 12th October 2.45pm–3.15pm JW Marriott, Grand Theatre

New Series HD 10 x 24’ Visit us at MIPCOM # P-1.B89


Japan’s Yuasa turns his talents to Tom & Jerry-style animation

Super Shiro executive director Masaaki Yuasa

INTERNATIONAL buyers at MIPJunior will be among the first in the world to see the new animated Japanese series Super Shiro, directed by Masaaki Yuasa, winner of the Crystal Award at Annecy in 2017. The series is inspired by the hugely popular Crayon Shin chan manga franchise, which has aired internationally since 1992. The original series centred on Shin chan, a hilarious and easygoing five-year-old, and his family. The new series is a slapstick chase comedy in the vein of Tom & Jerry — new to Japan — and Shin chan’s dog Shiro is the star. The series also marks the first collaboration of its kind between TV Asahi and Turner, who have been working together for almost 40 years on projects for Turner’s Cartoon Network and CNN brands. TV Asahi and its co-producers approached Yuasa’s animation company, Science SARU, back in 2015 and the concept he came up with was an “ordinary looking pet dog” who is secretly a superhero with a mission to protect the world. “The target audience is children, so my priority was that the story and humour could be understood even without dialogue and by people of any nationality,” Yua-

Super Shiro

sa said. “I had fun creating it in a way that adults who watch it with a childlike sensibility would enjoy it as well.” Yuasa has been involved with Crayon Shin chan for many years, and is now keen to tackle a wider variety of animation projects. Super Shiro, his first kids’-oriented show for some time, will be screened at a breakfast session on Sunday, October 13 at 8.45 in the Renoir Room of the JW Marriott, just one day before it’s launch in

Japan on the AbemaTV and Videopass platforms. Cartoon Network plans to start airing the series early next year on its children’s channels across Asia Pacific and there has already been global interest in the show. At MIPJunior TV Asahi will explore possible collaborations with various partners from broadcast and streaming platforms, local and regional distributors, right through to licensing and merchandising.

Junior opens with an eco-friendly message

SEABELIEVERS Corp. of the US is host of this year’s MIPJunior Opening Party. Partnering with SeaBelievers on the networking event is in line with Reed MIDEM’s commitment to supporting the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals Media Compact initiative. The company struck a deal with Korea’s Ocon Studios at MIPJunior last year for the co-production of the under-the-ocean title

SeaBelievers. The 3D/2D environmentally-conscious animation series is targeted at four-to-seven year-olds, aiming to make them aware of the themes of pollution, especially in the marine environment. • The MIPJunior Opening Party is on Saturday, October 12 at 19.00 at the Hotel Majestic Barriere

Sandy Dollar, leader of the SeaBelievers

MIPJUNIOR PREVIEW • 14 • September 2019


world premiere screening

52 x 11’

October 12 | 18.00 to 18.45 JW Marriott Hotel | Grand Theatre PIKWIK PACK and all related characters, names and logos are trademarks of Guru Animation Studio Ltd. Copyright © 2019 Guru Animation Studio Ltd. All Rights Reserved.


product news Here we highlight some of the international multiplatform content aimed at children and young people, available at MIPJunior and MIPCOM this year AURORA WORLD


A MIPCOM priority for Aurora World is the latest series in the YooHoo brand, YooHoo To The Rescue (26 x 11 mins), a 3D-CGI show co-produced with Italy’s Mondo TV. The series has already launched in Italy, on Frisbee; and in Russia, on Carousel TV. A new plush toy line has been rolled out, and a licensing and merchandising programme is under way across other categories.

THE SECOND series of Bluey (52 x 7 mins) puts the focus on how imaginative play can help shape healthy children. Australian puppy Bluey loves to turn daily life into playful adventures with little sister Bingo, using gameplay to conquer their fears and try out adult roles — and they love pulling their parents into the fun. Their mum has returned to work and their dad juggles childcare with working from home. The series is distributed by BBC Studios Distribution.

YooHoo To The Rescue (Aurora World)

CAKE MUSH-Mush & The Mushables follows a community of fungi who are pocket-sized guardians of the forest, each with a special gift. They experience the Mush-Mush & The Mushables (Cake) adventures of growing up while exploring their special talents. The series is produced by La Cabane Productions and Thuristar, in co-production with the UK’s Cake, which distributes the series worldwide.

MILLIMAGES FRANCE’s Millimages is premiering the fourth season of Molang (52 x 5 mins) in Cannes. The five-minute format features Molang and Piu Piu’s adventures across the ages. Other titles brought to Cannes by Millimages include: Louie, Louie & Yoko (78 x 7 mins) and their fantastic toolbox; The Adventures Of Nasredin (21 x 5 mins), featuring a cult oriental character who mocks the absurdity of today’s world; and Truck Games (52 x 5 mins), about four mini-trucks and their Grandpa.

Molang (Millimages)

Bluey (BBC Studios Distribution)

JETPACK DISTRIBUTION EMMY & Gooroo (52 x 11 mins/104 x 7 mins), from London-based Jetpack Distribution, is a co-production between Barcelona-based Tomavision and China-based Leftpocket. The series is centred around five-year-old Emmy and her best friend, a furry creature called Gooroo. Emmy is the only human in the magic forest, but due to her practical skills she manages to overcome the challenges. Gooroo takes care of her and their world is full of fabulous creatures, including animals and plants that can talk, dance and Emmy & Gooroo (Jetpack Distribution) cook.

ZIP ZAP PRODUCCIONES AUDIOVISUALES MADRID-based Zip Zap is in Cannes with: Xus, Bit And Roc, a sitcom aimed at four- to eight-year-olds, featuring musical stories about friendship and team-building; and Sleepy Time Travellers, a visual lullaby with original music which aims to help babies fall asleep.

Xus, Bit And Roc (Zip Zap Producciones Audiovisuales)

MIPJUNIOR PREVIEW • 16 • September 2019


product news



BOOK Hungry Bears (52 x 11 mins) is a new preschool series about bears who love picture books they can share, learning lessons from the books that flutter like birds between the paper trees. The series is brought to Cannes by Toronto-headquartered 9 Story Media. Book Hungry Bears (9 Story Media)

RSI RADIOTELEVISIONE Svizzera is highlighting Super Bio Hero (12 x 5 mins) in Cannes. The series looks at some of the millions of species — insects, arachnids and amphibians — that pollinate, eat, dig, feed and defend biodiversity, including armoured sprinters, explorers, swimmers, vegetarians, carnivores, cannibals and climbers.

MEDIATOON DISTRIBUTION ON THE Cannes slate for France’s Mediatioon are: the second season of Bobby & Bill (52 x 12 mins), about young Bobby, Bill the cocker spaniel and Caroline the tortoise; a new CGI series of Martin Morning (52 x 13 mins), about a boy who wakes up every morning in the body of a new character; The Fox-Badger Family (52 x 12 mins), about a charming blended family; Tom And Lili (52 x 7 mins), set in a family restaurant; and Sardine In Outer Space (52 x 12 mins).

Super Bio Hero (RSI)

PLANETA JUNIOR PLANETA Junior returns to Cannes with new 3D CGI series Gormiti (52 x 11 mins), in which four kids learn to master Elemental Bracers, call the legendary Gormiti, fight their enemies and save their world, in stories that focus on teamwork, friendship, achieving goals and having fun. The pan-European distributor also brings: Squish (52 x 11 mins), a series that follows a twinkie-eating grade-school amoeba making his way in a single-cell world; and Pucca, the comedy from South Korea’s Vooz, comprising two 2D seasons and a third 3D CGI season due in the next six months.

Bobby & Bill (Mediatoon Distribution)

FENGZHI ENTERTAINMENT BLOCK: 930 (13 x 21 mins/HD/2D) is set in a city called Trackopolis which attracts super racers who take part in speed challenges on its racetracks. Winning means everything here — the winner takes all. A group of racers, who have lost everything, rebuild a team in the abandoned Block: 930, and are ready to rebuild a totally new order. Another priority from China’s Fengzhi Entertertainment is CoNaBLUE (104 x 11 mins/HD/3D), about Captain Columbus and his four friends who travel the world, exploring, investigating and protecting the Block: 930 (Fengzhi Entertainment) natural environment.

Gormiti (Planeta Junior)

CLOUDCO ENTERTAINMENT CLOUDCO Entertainment (formerly American Greetings Entertainment) brings Boy Girl Cat Mouse Cheese (52 x 11 mins) to Cannes, an animated, comedic take on a blended family, Dad’s ‘sons’ — a boy, a dog and a mouse — and Mom’s ‘daughters’ — a girl, a cat and a piece of anthropomorphic cheese. Another priority title is the second series of Holly Hobbie (10 x 30 mins), a modern revival of the classic character brand from the 1970s, a live-action series aimed at tweens and young teens, centring on 13-year-old Holly Hobbie, a small-town girl with a big heart and even bigger dreams.

MIPJUNIOR PREVIEW • 18 • September 2019








© Total Daycare Drama Productions Inc (2017) All rights reserved. © 2018 Kiri and Lou Ltd. © 2018 Mouse Prints Press B.V. All rights reserved. © 2019 La Cabane Productions – Thuristar – Cake Entertainment



104 x 11’

SEASON 2 Available Now!

52 x 5’

52 x 11’

52 x 11’

COME AND SEE US AT MIPCOM: R7.D18 +44 (0) 20 7307 3230

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GERMANY’s Beta Film presents 65 hours of new children, teen and family shows at MIPCOM, including: Anne With An E (28 x 60 mins), a coming-of-age story about a young orphan seeking love, acceptance and her place in Green Gables; 48-episode web series True Demon, about three young adults searching for their friend who has disappeared under supernatural circumstances; and The Club Of Ugly Children (1 x 90 mins), an adventure film about acceptance and self-confidence. Anne With An E (Beta Film)

A CANNES priority for French animation studio Xilam Animation is Lupin’s Tales (78 x 7 mins/2D/3D), targeting upper pre-schoolers and due towards the end of 2020. The series follows a young wolf, who dreams of being like the storybook heroes he admires. From medieval Europe, to Greek and Nordic myths and Asian tales, Lupin experiences fascinating stories from around the world. Lupin’s Tales (Xilam Animation)

MAGIC LIGHT PICTURES DANDELOOO FRENCH producer and distributor Dandelooo is showcasing the first two episodes of slapstick series Stinky Dog (52 x 11 mins), targeted at six- to 10-year-olds. Featuring Stinky Dog and his flattened best friend Flatty Cat, a couple of misfits who live in a trash can, the series is a co-production between Dandelooo and Folivari, France; Belgian production company Patar & Aubier and Catalan animation studio Pikkukala (Pablo Jordi). Commissioned by France Televisions, Stinky Dog is based on a series of books. Stinky Dog (Dandelooo)

THE SNAIL And The Whale (1 x 30 mins) is a tale of adventure and friendship based on a book by Julia Donaldson and illustrator Axel Scheffler, following the journey of a tiny snail, who longs to see the world and manages to hitch a ride on the tail of a great humpback whale. The film is set to premiere in the UK on BBC One for its 2019 Christmas schedule and in Germany with core partner ZDF in 2020. The film will also be released in cinemas in France next year, by Les Films Du Preau.

MEDIA IM A NEW spin-off series of Sunny Bunnies, 26 episodes of one-tofour minutes, called Sunny Bunnies Get Busy, aims to entertain and inspire children to get busy. Activity videos that mix live-action demonstrations and the familiar Sunny Bunnies animation include how to draw a bunny, how to make bunny ears or a cute bunny toy, with easy-to-follow instructions and free downloadable templates.


Sunny Bunnies Get Busy (Media IM)

TOPPING the Cannes kids priority list for France tv distribution are: Grosha & Mr B (52 x 11 mins), about two cat detectives with different methods and characters — Grosha from a modest background and the aristocratic Mr B; Super Caribou (48 x 11 mins + two specials), due early next year, featuring Jeremy the superhero caribou who watches over the town of Brisiae; and season three of Boris (26 x 7 mins), about a four-year-old with a strong imagination who acts out his feelings with Super Caribou (France tv distribution) the help of his toys.

The Snail And The Whale (Magic Light Pictures)

MIPJUNIOR PREVIEW • 20 • September 2019

Here come the Bears,

The Book Hungry Bears,

Looking for books, with stories to share!

Visit us at MIPCOM - Stand R7.E75

©2019 Hengxin Shambala Kids, Pukeko Pictures and Breakthrough Entertainment Inc

Ki ds


11 ’

S Ne e w 3- r 5 ie ·5 s 2 !


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THE UK’s Aardman Animations brings a new series of Morph (15 x 5 mins) to Cannes, along with series six of Shaun The Sheep (20 x 7 mins). Aardman is also distributing: Pop Paper City (52 x 7 mins), a new 3D pre-school craft series about a group of friends who live in a paper world, from LoveLove Films; and Paper Owl Films’ Happy (52 x 7mins). Morph (Aardman Animations)

EONE returns to Cannes with a kids line-up that includes: Ricky Zoom (52 x 11 mins), a pre-school series featuring a little red rescue bike who shares his experiences with his loyal Bike Buddies as they race around a sports track and try new stunts in the park; eight 52 x 5 mins series of Peppa Pig, the new series of which features new characters — Mandy Mouse, who is sporty in her wheelchair, and the Panda Twins who love solving puzzles; three series of PJ Masks; and two series of Cupcake & Dino. Ricky Zoom (eOne)

TV ASAHI JAPANESE national broadcaster TV Asahi is at MIPCOM with new animated series Super Shiro (48 x 5.5 mins), targeted at four- to eight-year-olds. Inspired by the Crayon Shin-Chan franchise, which has aired internationally since 1992, the fast-paced chase series is produced by Science Saru animation studio. Super Shiro is a superhero dog with a mission to secure mysterious bones that have power to rule the world. The series is set to launch in early 2020 across Cartoon Network, Boomerang and Pogo.

CYBER GROUP STUDIOS CYBER Group Studios (France) and Groupe PVP (Canada) bring the first completed episodes of their version of iconic story Tom Sawyer (26 x 22 mins/2D/HD) to Cannes. HR/ARD Germany and SRC in Canada co-produce, and RAI in Italy has pre-acquired the series along with TV5 Monde; SVT in Sweden; TFO and TV5uni in Canada; and Hop in Israel. Another launch for Cyber Group Studios is The Bananimals (78 x 7 mins/2D), which features the animal inhabitants of a farm who ask Gordon the Bull, their mentor, for help and advice. Tom Sawyer (Cyber Group Studios)

Super Shiro (TV Asahi)

ZDF ENTERPRISES (ZDFE) GERMAN distributor ZDFE brings live-action series Heirs Of The Night (13 x 26 mins) to Cannes, about the heirs of the five remaining vampire clans in Europe who need to join forces and become stronger in order to survive. Animation highlights include Henrietta (52 x 7 mins), about a cow and her friends on a farm; and Zoom, The White Dolphin (104 x 12 mins), a new version of a 1970s cult series.

Heirs Of The Night (ZDFE)

NEWEN DISTRIBUTION FRANCE’s Newen Distribution is launching its new series Kikoumba (78 x 26 mins), produced by TF1 Production. In the kingdom where the stories are set the animals get a chance to depose the king and send him back to his ancestral homeland every 1,000 years. This time the task of defending the crown falls to King Kikoumba, king of all animals... but also the king of snoozing. Kikoumba (Newen Distribution)

MIPJUNIOR PREVIEW • 22 • September 2019


created by josh wakely

ABC, IT’S EASY AS 1.. 2.. 3.. Come see us at: MIPCOM stand R7. B16

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Itch (ABC Commercial)

BRANDS & RIGHTS 360 (B&R360)

TOP OF the kids slate for Australia’s ABC Commercial is Itch (10 x 24 mins/HD), a live-action adventure series that follows a science-obsessed teenager who has the unusual hobby of collecting elements. When he discovers a powerful new element, he is forced to go on the run to protect it from a sinister organisation. New series from The Wiggles franchise include: The Wiggles’ World! (26 x 11 mins/HD); Party Time (1 x 60 mins); and the second seasons of Emma! (26 x 11 mins/HD) and Nursery Rhymes (1 x 71 mins/HD). Other highlights include Play School: Art Time (20 x 11 mins/HD) and tween formats How To Do Stuff Good (14 x 20 mins) and Get it Together (10 x 30 mins).

MADRID-based B&R360 brings a range of titles to Cannes, including Julio Bunny (52 x 11 mins), which recently sold to SVOD platform EDYE. In the co-production by Magnolia and Rai Fiction Italy, Julio and his friends experience new things in a whimsical world. A new addition to the catalogue is pre-school series Bubu And The Little Owls (52 x 11 mins), focused on family values, love and respect. Another priority is pre-school series Robocar POLI (104 x 11 mins), about a transforming rescue team which keeps its neighbours and friends safe. Julio Bunny (B&R360)



LONDON-based Hoho Rights spotlights two series in Cannes. Seal Force 5 (26 x 22 mins) sees five arctic seals, mysteriously mutated into humanoid form, assemble as an elite team to prevent a shadowy cabal from destroying the world. The series is being developed and produced by Hoho Entertainment, which is looking for broadcast and co-production partners. Juana La Iguana (52 x 10 mins) — based on a brand that has been popular in Latin America for over 20 years — is a pre-school series incorporating Latin culture and values, kindness and compassion.

2D SERIES Brazen (30 x 3.30 mins), produced by Silex Films, is targeted at eight-year-olds and upwards and is due to be delivered later this year. The show is financed by France 5 and adapted from a series of comic books. Other shows from the Parisian distributor include returning series: Yeti Tales, (124 x 7.30 mins/2 x 26 mins/40 x 2.30 mins); Kaeloo (149 x 7 mins/1 x 26 mins); and No-No (52 x 7 mins/2 x 26 mins). A new pre-school title produced by Miam! is Edmund And Lucy (52 x 11 mins), due in late 2021. Brazen (Miam! Animation)

Seal Force 5 (Hoho Rights)

STUDIO 100 MEDIA STUDIO 100 Media brings new CGI series 100% Wolf (26 x 22 mins) to MIPCOM. Freddy Lupin, from a family of werewolves, was shocked on his 13th birthday when his first mutation went wrong and he turned into a ferocious ... poodle. Now enrolled in the prestigious Howlington Academy, Freddy must prove that he still has the heart of a werewolf. 100% Wolf (Studio 100 Media)

SUPERIGHTS NEW ACQUISITIONS for French distributor Superights include Doopie (26 x 7 mins), featuring a soft toy who lives in a store and meets a new child every day. Other shows include: Zibilla (1 x 26 mins), about a zebra’s arrival at a new school; Ralph And The Doopie (Superights) Dinosaurs (26 x 5 mins), featuring Ralph the dog, a dinosaur expert; Helen’s Little School (52 x 13 mins); Will (52 x 2 mins); Cow Trip To The Sea (1 x 26 mins); and The Horn Quartet: Up To The Mountain (1 x 26 mins).

MIPJUNIOR PREVIEW • 24 • September 2019


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THE SECOND series of Charlie, The Interviewer Of Things (26 x 11 mins) is a pre-school talk show hosted by Charlie, a lively and inquisitive sheep who interviews various Things — brought to Cannes by PinGuim. These Things have always wanted to talk, they’ve just never had a place to do it. They include Pancake, Soccer Ball and Umbrella. The company also brings the sixth series of Earth To Luna! (26 x 12 mins), featuring Luna who, with little brother Jupiter and pet ferret Clyde, enjoys scientific research from their space station.

NEW ANIMATION series Fairy-Teens features five fairies living in a human apartment. They learn to interact with each other and cope with danger and difficult situations. The mixed 2D/3D series is due to air on kids’ channels including those of VGTRK (All-Russia State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company) as well as YouTube — and is brought to MIPCOM by Russian producer Agama Film Studio. Fairy-Teens (Agama Film Studio)

BOAT ROCKER STUDIOS A HIGHLIGHT for Toronto-, New York- and London-based Boat Rocker at MIPCOM is Kingdom Force (52 x 11 mins), a 3D animated action show for kids aged three to six, following the fast-paced exploits of five animal heroes who protect the citizens of five animal kingdoms. The series is premiering on CBC. The company also brings two pre-school series: book adaptation Love Monster (54 x 7 mins); and Remy & Boo (52 x 11 mins/3D), about the friendship between a six-year-old and an inquisitive Kingdom Force (Boat Rocker Studios) pink robot.

LAGARDERE STUDIOS DISTRIBUTION PENNY On M.A.R.S. (26 x 22 mins) tops the slate for Lagardere Studios Distribution. The teen dramedy, a spin-off from Alex & Co, features Penny, daughter of a pop star, who with her best friend Camilla, attends M.A.R.S., a prestigious school for music and the arts, where she meets new friends, faces tough challenges and keeps looking for the father she’s never met. Aimed at five- to 12year-olds and filmed in English, the series is co-produced by 3Zero2 and The Walt Disney Company Italia. The company also brings new episodes of Kev’s World (52 x 13 mins), a series based on Kev Adams, who has five million followers on Facebook and Instagram.

MELNITSA ANIMATION STUDIO RUSSIAN animation studio Melnitsa returns to Cannes with the story of a small fuzzy alien Moonzy, which launches on Puls TV in Poland, Spacetoon in MENA and Pikaboo in former Yugoslavian countries. Aimed at four- to six-year-olds, the franchise totals 504 episodes to date, with its latest season in 3D and introducing a girl from the Moon who joins Moonzy on his adventures. Melnitsa is also working on a full-length animated feature based on a series about a dog family, The Barkers, which totals 205 episodes. Moonzy (Melnitsa Animation Studio)

Penny On M.A.R.S. (Lagardere Studios Distribution)


ESCAPADE MEDIA LAH-LAH’s Stripy Sock Club (18 x 7 mins/18 x 2 mins/HD) is a pre-school series brought to Cannes by Australia’s Escapade Media. The Lah-Lah band performs original songs, with a diverse palette of musical genres. The band has toured extensively since its creation 10 years ago. Lah-Lah’s Stripy Sock Club (Escapade Media)

CORUS Entertainment’s Nelvana, of Canada, brings its new CG-animated series Agent Binky: Pets Of The Universe (52 x 11 mins) to Cannes, aimed at fourto seven-year-olds. Binky and his fellow P.U.R.S.T. agents are on a mission to keep their human families and space station (the house) safe from aliens (ants, flies, grasshoppers and vacuum Agent Binky: Pets Of The Universe (Nelvana) cleaners).

MIPJUNIOR PREVIEW • 26 • September 2019



Sunday, October 13 11:20 to 11:50 JW Marriott Cannes Grand Theatre

MARK YOUR AGENDA! CELEBRATING THE POWER AND BEAUTY OF DIVERSITY Join us in discovering how Canada connects with kids and families through bold approaches in storytelling that bridge differences and transcend barriers.


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DHX MEDIA’s headline title for MIPCOM is new live-action series, Malory Towers (13 x 30 mins), which has been greenlit by CBBC in the UK and DHX Television’s Family Channel, and is expected to premiere next year. Produced by Canada’s DHX Media and Malory Towers (DHX Media) London’s King Bert Productions, Malory Towers is set in the 1940s, and is based on the book series by Enid Blyton. The story centres on 12-year-old Darrell Rivers as she leaves home for the first time to attend an all-girls’ boarding school. DHX Media is also in production on tween live-action gymnastics series Springboard (formerly Up In The Air). The 15-episode series is currently being filmed in Toronto.

HES, THE new Atlanta, Georgia-based owner of the Chuggington franchise, presents a new sixth season (52 x 10 mins) of the series, with a new catchy soundtrack. Launching in the second quarter of 2020, the new season of the pre-school series features Wilson, Brewster and Koko in adventures that encourage teamwork, fun and friendship. The company also highlights the accompanying short-format 26 x 1.5 mins series, where real-life pre-schoolers explore ChugChuggington (HES) gington’s animated world.

PLUSPLUS WORLD Waiting For Discoveries (24 x 4 mins), created by Ukrainian kids TV channel Plusplus, aims to explain that even the most outstanding inventions that changed the world were created by ordinary people. The series also puts the spotlight on research skills, the interconnection of the animate and inanimate natural world, the natural food chain and changes in the environment. The channel also brings EcoPlusplus (20 x 2 mins), a new animation series about the environment and environmental protection. The main characters — Square, Triangle and Circle — discuss major environmental issues in an information graphics format focused on facts and comparisons.

NEON CREATION KOREA’s Neon Creation, Toonz Media Group and Cengkerik Entertainment co-production, pre-school fantasy series Deedee, The Little Sorceress (52 x 11 mins), is presented in Cannes by Neon Creation. The series follows cheerful and curious Deedee who finds a magic-spell book and goes on enchanting adventures with her friends where they discover the importance of community spirit. The first 26 episodes are available at MIPCOM.

Deedee, The Little Sorceress (Neon Creation) World Waiting For Discoveries (Plusplus)


IMIRA ENTERTAINMENT THE FIRST episodes of new CGI comedy series Mondo Yan (52 x 12 mins) are brought to Cannes by Spain’s Imira Entertainment, which partnered TV3 Televisio de Catalunya, Telegael and Toonz Media Group for the series. The three unlikely and awkward heroes of Mondo Yan have a Mondo Yan (Imira Entertainment) mission to save humanity and protect the balance of nature and harmony from an unscrupulous underworld leader and his misfit mutant monsters. Imira Entertainment distributes the series globally.

RUSSIA’s Riki Group brings a new addition to its BabyRiki pre-school brand, BabyRiki. Sing And Dance! (20 x 2.30 mins), where the characters sing and dance to internationally well-known songs — including Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, Jingle Bells and The Wheels On The Bus. Another priority is the first season of Tina & Tony (52 x 5 mins), an animated pre-school series produced by Riki Group. Following a strategic partnership agreement between Riki Group and Alibaba Cultural Media, Tina & Tony is the first Riki Group content distributed by Alibaba Cultural Media in China. BabyRiki. Sing And Dance! (Riki Group)

MIPJUNIOR PREVIEW • 28 • September 2019


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UKRANIAN TV channel 1+1 brings a series about teenagers and their parents to Cannes. School tells the personal stories about problems that high schoolers face, including love, family discord, misunderstanding with teachers, examinations, parties, bullying and the struggle to be popular. The plot is based on real-life experiences, with the School (1+1) parents taking a script-writing role and teenagers contributing anonymous stories online. Together with UNICEF, 1+1 has released an accompanying film where a psychologist considers teenagers’ frequently asked questions, which garnered more than 540,000 views.

THE WILD Staff (52 x 13 mins) is about how Kizz, the leader of the headquarters of universal music, called Global Harmony, has disappeared. Without her, chaos threatens the musical order. A The Wild Staff (Gala Productions) group of heroes takes on an epic quest across five continents to solve the puzzle. The 2D series is aimed at seven- to 10-year-olds and is brought to Cannes by Canada’s Gala Productions.

PBS INTERNATIONAL THE KIDS roster for US distributor PBS International includes new series Molly Of Denali (76 x 13 mins), about a resourceful 10-year-old Alaska native Molly, her dog Suki and friends Tooey and Trini. Each episode follows Molly, her friends and family through daily adventures in Alaska, from planting vegetables and building snow forts, to learning Native songs from the village elders, to racing in a canoe competition. Pinkalicious & Peterrific (76 x 11 mins) features Pinkalicious and her little brother Peter as they encourage young children to think and express themselves creatively. Arthur (426 x 12 mins/5 x 60 mins) features an eight-year-old aardvark and aims to foster an interest in reading and writing and encourage posiMolly Of Denali (PBS International) tive social skills.

MONDO TV EUROPEAN producer and distributor Mondo TV brings an extensive catalogue to Cannes. Highlights include House Of Talent: The Web Series (260 x 13 mins), featuring presenters and guests who test their talents in different areas including cooking, science, fashion and music. The brand already includes over 20 online influencers boasting Robot Trains (Mondo TV) more than half a billion monthly impressions, has inspired two novels and multi-venue fan meet-and-greets involving over 80,000 fans this year. MeteoHeroes (52 x 7 mins), a Mondo TV co-production with MEC due in early 2020, features six superhero kids who prevent pollution, global warming and climate change. There is also a complementary website and an app that includes weather forecasts for children. The company also brings the second season of Robot Trains (52 x 11 mins), co-produced by Mondo and Korea’s CJ ENM. A third series of Robot Trains has been announced

RAINBOW PORTFOLIO ENTERTAINMENT HERO Elementary (80 x 11 mins/40 x 22 mins) is launched by Canada’s Portfolio in Cannes. The series features an extraordinary school where kids work together to build their confidence, learn about co-operation and teamwork and harness their superpowers to lend a helping hand wherever they are needed. The co-venture with Twin Cities PBS for PBS Kids, is aimed at four- to seven-year-olds.

Hero Elementary (Portfolio Entertainment)

RAINBOW returns to Cannes with a second 52 x 13 mins series of 44 Cats, a pre-school show jointly produced with Bardel Entertainment. The CGI show mixes edutainment, action and music, featuring four musician kittens, The Buffycats. Other Rainbow shows include: 2 Happy Farmers, a new 3D animated show for a lower pre-school audience, about nature and animals; and Pinocchio, a CGI series that retells the Italian classic story in a modern setting.

44 Cats (Rainbow)

MIPJUNIOR PREVIEW • 30 • September 2019


product news



GENIUS Brands International debuts 52 x 11 mins of action-adventure animated series Stan Lee’s Superhero Kindergarten in Cannes, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. Created by the late, legendary Stan Lee as his last project, the series is a co-production between Genius Brands, Stan Lee’s POW! Entertainment and Schwarzenegger’s Oak Productions. Schwarzenegger, who is also an executive producer, lends his voice as the lead character. Stan Lee’s Superhero Kindergarten targets kids aged four-to-seven and the stories include valuable lessons about Stan Lee’s Superhero health, exercise, nutrition, anti-bullying Kindergarten (Genius and using your talents for good. Brands International)

ARAIT Multimedia brings two series of 52 x 11 mins episodes of animation series Metalions to MIPCOM. Aimed at boys of six-to-eight, the series follows Elon, a boy who finds a summoning device and scooter left behind by his grandfather. An ancient warrior — called a Metalion — named Leo then comes into Elon’s life and they develop a friendship. The series will be rolled out across TV, toys and merchandising in 2020 and the Spanish company holds exclusive rights for EMEA (except Italy, Russia and CIS), Japan and Latam.

MARVISTA ENTERTAINMENT MARVISTA is introducing new teen movie Next Level in Cannes, which features original songs. At the performing arts summer programme called Next Level, talented teens compete for the title of Ms. Next, showcasing their best hip-hop dance moves and voices. This year pop superstar and Next Level graduate, the inspirational Jasmine Joel, will be their personal coach. Cindy is cool, popular and has won the title three straight years in a row. But this year may be different as there is a new contender, Kelly — a free-spirited rebel who does things her way. Added to the mix is a boys’ sports camp, creating the perfect opportunity for love, pranks and performance competition.

Metalions (Arait Multimedia)

YOBOHO DIGITAL CONTENT TOPPING the priorities in Cannes for YoBoHo is Mango Minutes (52 x 5 mins), a non-verbal 2D animation following the antics of mischievous monkey Mango, who can turn the simplest of tasks, like shopping at a grocery store, into fast, funny, fantasy-packed adventures. Also, YoBoHo Digital Content has partnered with ZeptoLab, founder and creator of the Cut The Rope game series and the Om Nom, a candy-craving character, to co-produce new content featuring ZeptoLab characters.

Next Level (MarVista Entertainment)

D’OCON FILMS THE FRUITTIES is about a community of cheerful fruits and vegetables that live in a supposedly inactive volcano. One day the rumble of the volcano forces them to look for a new home. During the search, The The Fruitties (D’Ocon Films) Fruitties have to face dangerous but entertaining adventures — including the threat of vegetarian animals. The Fruitties learn to work together as a team and the series from Spain’s D’Ocon Films focuses on the values of friendship, generosity, compassion and especially equality regardless of shapes, colours or gender.

Mango Minutes (YoBoHo Digital Content)

MIPJUNIOR PREVIEW • 32 • September 2019




Sunday 13 October 17.45-18.30



Presented by Guru Studio

Presented by ZDF Enterprises


Saturday 12 October 10.10-10.50

Rajiv Chilaka (Mighty Little Bheem)


Marc Du Pontavice Bronagh O’Hanlon (Oggy and the (Sadie Sparks) Cockroaches)


8.45-9.45, RENOIR ROOM

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Presented by TV ASASHI

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By registration

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13.00-14.30, MAJESTIC HOTEL


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14.45-15.15, RENOIR ROOM


OTT CONTENT BRIEF: PLAYKIDS Followed by informal networking

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15.30-16.15, GRAND THEATRE

Followed by informal networking



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Followed by informal networking 16.30-17.15, GRAND THEATRE

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Presented by Guru Studio


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As of 3 September 2019, subject to change, visit for regular updates.

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at_a_glance_mipju_preview.indd 1

03/09/2019 14:56



packages filled with love’

Pikwik Pack was first introduced to the international marketplace by its creator, Canada’s Guru Studio, at MIPCOM last year. Twelve months later and the series is one of two World Premiere TV Screenings at MIPJunior. The series creators spoke to the MIPJunior Preview ahead of its Cannes screening


IKWIK Pack follows four animals, Suki the hedgehog, Axel the raccoon, Tibor the hippo and Hazel the cat, as they deliver “magical packages filled with love” to the citizens of Pikwik. Every

day, a new wrapped-up surprise arrives with an address on the tag. The team might face rough rapids, stormy skies or a foggy forest, but when they work together, they always deliver. Pikwik Pack aims to impress the importance of “communi-

ty, teamwork and responsibility” on its pre-school audience, while entertaining them with fun, warm-hearted stories of endeavour and adventure. The series had a comparatively long gestation period, overseen by Guru Studio president and

MIPJUNIOR PREVIEW • 34 • September 2019

executive creative director Frank Falcone and Guru’s vice-president of creative development, Rachel Marcus. “There are always ideas bubbling around the development room and concepts and show ideas that we want to get realised — and

said. “This year we’re bringing one of our first episodes off the production line and giving a sneak peek to buyers.” The series’ format is 52 x 11 mins and the look is 2D: “We didn’t want to burden it with high-octane CGI,” Falcone said. Broadcast partners are Disney Junior (US, India, South Korea, Australia & New Zealand), Hulu (SVOD US) and Treehouse (Canada). The series’ toy partner is Playmates Toys and Guru Studio is worldwide distributor. “Having such a strong pack of partners already on board is a testament to this IP’s appeal,” Guru’s vice-president, sales and business development, Jonathan Abraham, said. “With its important and timely message of community and bringing people together, Pikwik Pack is a perfect fit to debut at MIPJunior.” “Our hope is to leave Cannes with strong interest and best-inclass channel partners and we hope we can engage with some key broadcasters,” Falcone said. “We think there is a good runway ahead of us — and we just have to work the windows as best we can so we get a strong launch in 2020.”

because that whole surprise element is really endearing.” “It was in development for about 28 months before we first took it

out into the world and even then we were very, very careful about how we were going to pitch it,” Marcus said. “We were looking for broadcasters who have a strong link with their audiences — because our message is about community. It’s been years in the making but we are so excited to get it out there and let the world see it.” Falcone says that both producers and broadcasters can over-think new ideas for children’s programming, when sometimes a simple message wrapped up in fun is all that is needed. “We probably over-discuss what broadcasters want and I think broadcasters do as well. And at a certain point you just have to say: ‘What does a child want?’ ‘What’s not available to an audience?’” “In this case we thought that the idea of the characters working together is important because it’s important to society,” Marcus said. “It’s better when you work together rather than having just one leader who has all the answers. Community is extremely important now — is more important than ever and that message came through strongly as we developed the series.” Guru first introduced the idea at MIPCOM last year, before any footage was available — but by which time it had been greenlit by Disney and Hulu. “We were just letting the market know that it was on its way,” Falcone

Frank Falcone

Jonathan Abraham

Rachel Marcus

Guru Studio’s Pikwik Pack

when Rachel joined four-and-ahalf years ago, we sat down with this idea about animals that have a connection with their vehicle, where their personality reflects the way their vehicle moves,” Falcone said. “And we were stuck on this idea.” As the concept slowly developed, the creative team came up with another key element of the show: surprise. While Suki, Axel, Tibor and Hazel are battling to get to Pikwik, neither they nor the audience knows exactly what’s inside the packages they are attempting to deliver. “Once we stumbled upon that, we realised we had something special

MIPJUNIOR PREVIEW • 35 • September 2019

• The World Premiere TV Screening of Pikwik Pack is on Saturday, October 12 at 18.00 in the Grand Theatre of the JW Marriott


The last of

the vampires?

Heirs Of The Night is a 26 x 26 mins live-action vampire series brought to Cannes by ZDF Enterprises. The series gets its World Premiere TV Screening at this year’s MIPJunior


N EUROPE towards the end of the 19th century, a prophecy warns the five remaining vampire clans in Europe that they need to unite or else they will become extinct. They have to learn to trust each other and work together if they are to resist the powers of Dracula, who has awoken after a long sleep. Over the last few decades the

clans have been fighting each other in the long-running clan wars. But now the Elders will have to set aside their differences so the young Heirs can attend the vampire school that exists on the ship The Elisabetha. There the Heirs will share knowledge of each other’s powers to become stronger than ever. The Heirs face challenges they

have never met before — for example the threat of the feared Redmasks, vampires controlled by Dracula. Vampire hunter Van Helsing is another force they have to contend with: they need to survive these and many other challenges, and it’s up to 14-yearold Alisa von Vamalia — who has the power to choose between eternal life as a vampire or for all

MIPJUNIOR PREVIEW • 36 • September 2019

vampires to live as humans — together with the Heirs, to save the world from eternal darkness. Dutch director Diederik van Rooijen, known for Penoza, Daylight, Taped and American horror film Cadaver, directs the new live-action series, written by Swedish screenwriter Maria von Heland and based on the successful German book series Die

Ulrik William Graesli as Lars of Dracas, Anastasia Martin (Alisa von Vamalia) and Aisling Sharkey ( Ivy), in Heirs Of The Night

Erben der Nacht. “This series is a wonderful fusion of genres,” Van Rooijen said. “Fantasy, coming of age, action, adventure and even costume drama. In my youth I devoured all the vampire films that were there. With this passion I want to create a credible world in this series where vampires roam and are hunted — and where our heroes are children who learn to become

masters of their powers.” The series is produced by Lemming Film (The Netherlands), in co-production with Maze Pictures (Germany), Hamster Film (Germany) and Maipo Film (Norway) for German broadcasters NDR and KiKA. It will be one of the biggest Dutch drama series ever produced for television. The working language is English

and actors from eight different countries star, including Monic Hendrickx, Sallie Harmsen and Benja Bruijning of the Netherlands. The series won funding through the Netherlands Film Production Incentive Scheme. ZDFE handles distribution. ZDFE.Junior vice-president Arne Lohmann said: “I am sure that children all over the world will fall for our vampire

MIPJUNIOR PREVIEW • 37 • September 2019

kids, like we have right from the start.” He added: “Heirs Of The Night combines coming of age, mystery and adventure in an addictive way.” • Heirs Of The Night is the Sunday World Premiere TV Screening at MIPJunior, on October 13 at 17.45 in the Grand Theatre of the JW Marriott

Opening Party

Saturday 12 October 2019

You are invited to an evening of Networking and Entertainment

Majestic hotel Starting at 19:00

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In partnership with the first ever ver E COtainment nt base d show ECOtainment based

Open to all MIPJunior participants upon presentation of a badge.


That’s not all folks!

Mama K’s Team 4, Netflix’s first original animated series out of Africa

There’s so much more to come as expansion of the SVOD market over the last five years gives animation studios important new outlets for their ideas and IP. Andy Fry reports


OR THE most part, the positive financial impact of the SVOD streamers on content creators is measured in terms of the high-end scripted series they commission or acquire. However, another genre that has undoubtedly benefited from the expansion of SVOD platforms is animation. Key beneficiaries have included 9 Story Media Group, which makes pre-school series The

Magic School Bus Rides Again for Netflix in association with Scholastic, and DreamWorks Animation, which works with Netflix under a long-term supply agreement. The latter has just sealed a deal to produce a new animated action-adventure series based on the movie blockbuster Jurassic World. Not to be overlooked either is the financial injection from the Chinese SVOD platforms, which have been voracious buyers of kids’

content. Hoho Entertainment, for example, recently licensed pre-school series Hana’s Helpline (52 x 10 mins) to Tencent and MangoTV, two of China’s leading VOD channels. French studios have certainly benefited from the boom, says Morgann Favennec, executive vice-president of global sales development at Xilam Animation: “Streaming services have been strong partners to Xilam over the past few years. Most

MIPJUNIOR PREVIEW • 39 • September 2019

of our shows have been available on Netflix and/or Amazon Prime Video, either exclusively or on a non-exclusive second-window basis.” The big question coming into the fourth quarter of 2019, of course, is whether the animation business will receive a further boost from the new streamers joining the market. Disney+, for example, will be the first of the new wave to launch. Coming hard on its heels will be WarnerMedia’s HBO Max and Apple TV+. Also mooted is a new NBCUniversal-backed streamer. Favennec is in no doubt that this is a positive development: “The launch of new streaming services is opening up exciting

FEATURE: ANIMATION opportunities for us. For example, we’re in production on Chip ‘n’ Dale, a 39 x 7 mins series based on Disney’s classic chipmunk troublemakers, which is set for global release as a Disney+ Original. We are handling all aspects of the production, including scripts and animation, in collaboration with Disney.”

Morgann Favennec:

“The launch of new streaming services is opening up exciting opportunities for us” A potential concern with Disney+ is that most new animation work will be kept in-house and will be based on pre-existing Disney IP, thus limiting the opportunities for third-party studios. For example, a key Disney+ launch is Monsters, Inc spin-off series Monsters At Work, produced by Disney Television Animation. Another Disney+ launch will be a new series of Star Wars: The Clone Wars — also Disney-owned IP. However, Ed Galton, chief commercial officer and managing director of leading independent kids’ studio Cake, does not view this as a prob

Chip ‘n’ Dale (Xilam Animation)

Star Wars: The Clone Wars, launching on Disney+

lem. “I don’t see Disney+ producing 100% of their content in-house,” he says. “They will prioritise their own IP, but they will need to leave room for third-party shows. The bottom line is that good IP always wins in the end.” Echoing Favennec, Galton says the streamer era has, on the whole, been good for animation: “We have had successes on Netflix with an Angry Birds

short-form series, Team TO’s Oscar’s Oasis and Total Drama Island. And we’re also working with Netflix and South Africa’s Triggerfish Animation on an original series called Mama K’s Team 4.” Said to be Netflix’s first original animated series out of Africa, the show follows four teenage girls living in a futuristic version of Lusaka, Zambia, who are recruited by a retired secret agent to save the world. While Netflix likes to secure global rights to shows, Galton’s experience is that the platform will take limited geographic rights if circumstances demand it. One example in the Cake catalogue is animated pre-school series Pablo, which Netflix shared with Sprout in the US, as well as a mix of Nordic and Asian broadcasters. The streamer has also been open to taking second-window rights on shows, as was the case with Luo Bao Bei. Here, 9 Story Distribution International secured partners including France TV, Clan in Spain, SVT in Sweden, Milkshake! in

MIPJUNIOR PREVIEW • 40 • September 2019

the UK and ABC in Australia, before carving out a follow-up window with the global SVOD giant. Mike Watts, co-founder and CEO of Novel Entertainment, says: “Platforms like Netflix are incredibly important to us, particularly for our animated series Horrid Henry. All 250 episodes have been available on the UK service since Netflix launched in 2013. Internationally, Horrid Henry is available through Netflix in countries including the US, France and Australia, and we also have deals with Amazon in countries like India. Some of these options weren’t available until a few years ago.” Watts, like Galton, says this has not precluded deals with pay-TV operators. In the UK, the fifth season of Horrid Henry premiered on Netflix last Christmas, with Nickelodeon screening the series this year. Elsewhere, the show is available on pay TV via a multi-territory deal with Turner in Asia Pacific, Watts adds. Femke Wolting and Bruno Felix, producers at Dutch anima-

FEATURE: ANIMATION tion house Submarine, have also flourished during the streamer era: “Submarine has been getting animation work as a result of the demand from streaming services,” the pair agrees. “Two years ago, for example, we produced WellieWishers for the Mattel brand American Girl and Amazon. We expect that this will grow further, because new platforms like Apple and Disney+ are just starting to work with European producers.” Like Disney+, HBO Max will be able to draw on vast in-house resources to populate its service with animation. It has, for example, announced plans for a series based on the classic Warner Bros. movie Gremlins, produced by Warner Bros. Animation. The situation is, however, different with Apple TV+, which has no in-house production entity. Key beneficiaries of Apple’s expansion into children’s content include Sesame Street, which has partnered with the new platform to develop live-action and animated shows. Others to secure work include Ireland’s Cartoon Saloon (Wolfwalkers) and DHX Media, which has been given the greenlight to create new content based on the Peanuts franchise. Underlining the point about increased opportunities for older-skewing animation, Loren Bouchard, creator of Bob’s

Oscar’s Oasis (Team TO)

Burgers, is making Central Park, a 26-episode animated musical series about a family of caretakers who live in the iconic New York park and end up saving the world. As one of the leading children’s and family companies outside of the Hollywood studio system, DHX Media is a useful benchmark for the ebbs and flows of global animation. And president Josh Scherba confirms that the rise of the streamers has been good for business. Indeed, DHX is putting its money where its mouth is by beefing up its content division. Stephanie Betts has been promoted to the role of executive vice-president of content, while Todd Brian has come on board in the newly

DHX Media has been given the greenlight to create new content based on the Peanuts franchise

created role of director of development, animation. “Initially, it was about library content,” Scherba says, “but now we’re producing an amazing slate of original content for streaming platforms. We’ve been co-producing Carmen Sandiego for Netflix — and now we’re working on the first project in our Apple/Peanuts collaboration, animation project Snoopy In Space, partnering with NASA.”

Josh Scherba:

“Initially, it was about library content, but now we’re producing an amazing slate of original content for streaming platforms” Aside from extra work, Scherba says the streamers have brought an increased emphasis on quality and an out-of-the-box approach to formats, “because they are not tied to schedules like broadcasters”. While there is optimism about the potential for more commissions and acquisitions from the new streamers, there is another consequence of the Disney+ launch that may prove of in-

MIPJUNIOR PREVIEW • 41 • September 2019

terest to indie content creators. As with its adult content, the Mouse House has slowly but surely been taking its content down from Netflix as licensing agreements end. A case in point is the first six series of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, which will shift from Netflix to Disney+. This raises an obvious question as to whether Netflix will need to splash more cash on acquisitions and/or originals. “The loss of this content won’t have come as a surprise to Netflix, so I’m sure they’ve been planning a response for a while,” Scherba says. “On the face of it, this will benefit indie producers. The big question, of course, is whether they can develop replacement shows of a similar quality.” Jon Rutherford, managing director of Boat Rocker Studios, says: “I doubt we’ll see the level of acquisition that Netflix engaged in when it launched as a video service, because the feeling now is very much that originals drive its subscriptions. But there is a possibility it might look towards carefully selected acquisitions as the Disney content migrates.” The situation with Amazon is less clear-cut, given that it is stepping back from kid-specific commissioning. Here, there may be more room for acquisitions, akin to the 2017 deal that it did with BBC Worldwide (now BBC Studios) for 520 episodes of TV series from CBeebies and CBBC. Among the titles included in the deal were Hey Duggee, Go Jetters, Sarah And Duck, Charlie And Lola, and Clangers. Rutherford backs the thesis that the volume of animation in the market has increased as a result of the streamers, though he acknowledges that this brings with it a new kind of business challenge for studios: “Netflix is typically looking for global rights, which means there is very

FEATURE: ANIMATION little left over for distribution. So companies like ours have had to shift mindset, recognising that servicing streamer productions is as important a revenue stream as developing brands with long-term value. Keep in mind also that working for streamers means your studio is proving it can work on series with big budgets and great talent.”

Jon Rutherford:

“Working for streamers means your studio is proving it can work on series with big budgets and great talent” Boat Rocker Studios’ ambition is to produce streamer shows for a service fee, while also building a select number of wholly owned or partly owned brands, Rutherford adds. An example of the latter is Kingdom Force, which it is developing with Industrial Brothers and toy company Fisher Price. The company also acquired Fremantle’s Kids & Family Entertainment division as a way of securing established brands like Danger Mouse and Bitz & Bob. Studio 100 Media CEO Martin Krieger agrees with the gen-

eral view that there is creative satisfaction in producing for streamers: “More sophisticated storytelling is certainly possible for series on streaming services. Classic TV airing requires rather autonomous episodes in order to guarantee broadcasters a certain freedom in programming regarding the order of episodes, etc. Streaming allows a larger narrative arc over several episodes. This gives us the chance to design storytelling that is more appealing and profound for kids and teens’ shows.” One area where the streamers have yet to prove themselves, however, is as a suitable partner for shows with licensing and merchandising potential. While the always-on availability of a show on streaming platforms keeps children connected, Krieger says that most potential licensees want to know whether there will be free TV coverage and, ideally, when and how often: “This is still a very important parameter for the licensing business, especially for the introduction and brand development of a new IP.” In this regard, one interesting property to keep tabs on is DreamWorks Animation’s new pre-school series Gabby’s Dollhouse. Due to debut globally on Netflix, the series

Kingdom Force (Boat Rocker Studios)

Luo Bao Bei (9 Story Distribution International)

now has Spin Master on board as global master toy licensee. With playsets, figures, plush, games and puzzles all lined up for a 2021 launch, the show will provide some evidence as to whether the streamers can support L&M. Another show to watch out for is The Last Kids On Earth, co-produced by Atomic Cartoons and Cyber Group Studios for Netflix, with JAKKS Pacific on board as master toy partner. Under the agreement, JAKKS Pacific will develop and bring to market a range of merchandise. In the view of DHX’s Scherba, the best way to launch an L&M property via the SVOD platforms “is to create an integrated campaign involving YouTube, which is such an important platform for kids. We’re in the fortunate position of owning WildBrain, which is a global leader in growing kids’ and family brands via YouTube.” WildBrain brings an added dimension to DHX’s business, which Scherba believes is perfectly suited to the streamer era: “We get a lot of data-based insights from WildBrain about what audiences are watching,

MIPJUNIOR PREVIEW • 42 • September 2019

which we can feed back into development.” A final thought worth considering is whether the streamers’ animation investment has stimulated a response from the free-TV and pay-TV players. Krieger’s view is that the main commercial response has been an attempt by legacy players to hold on to more extensive catch-up rights. Creatively, Submarine’s partners believe broadcasters are increasingly inclined to use animation in innovative ways and for a wider range of genres, including comedy, drama and sci-fi. Novel Entertainment’s Watts notes that “other players in the UK pay-TV sector are investing in animation. For example, Sky Kids has been active with Moominvalley.” Xilam’s Favennec says streaming services have “re-opened the door to formats, demographics and genres that have been shut off for decades. As a result, we’re also seeing traditional broadcasters welcoming and encouraging pitches for new formats and concepts that they would have previously dismissed. They understand that reactivity and early commitment to projects may be key to maintaining their position.”



Ryan, arguably the hottest social-media influencer today

The top-10 kid YouTubers — the likes of Ryan, Diana, CKN and Evan — reach an audience of more than 44.6 million and count their annual earnings in millions. Juliana Koranteng examines the phenomenon of kid influencers and what the wider industry can learn from them

Kids with influence


HERE have always been child stars in the world of television — but now there is Ryan, arguably the hottest social-media influencer today, having been declared 2018’s highest paid YouTube star by Forbes magazine. Ryan, who earned almost $22m last year, is a kid. At press time, he was seven and his YouTube channel, Ryan ToysReview, boasted 21 million subscribers and more than 31 billion views, outranking adult celeb influencers, including PewDiePie.

The camera loves the hyper-energetic Ryan and he knows how to perform on YouTube as he dives into massive parcels and pulls out the new toys and other playthings sent to him by major manufacturers and brands. He then evaluates his haul for the benefit of his devoted fans. “Every single toy company is sending Ryan toys to review, fuelling a new form of advertising because of the powerful fan engagement,” says Carl Hibbert, associate director of consumer media and tech at UK-based Futuresource Consulting.

Carl Hibbert:

“Every single toy company is sending Ryan toys to review, fuelling a new form of advertising because of the powerful fan engagement” And Ryan, who generates his income from YouTube advertising and licensed merchandise, is not the only child YouTube superstar. There are several as young as five years old, such as

MIPJUNIOR PREVIEW • 44 • September 2019

the fresh-faced Diana, who has become a multi-millionaire by amassing more than 11 billion views for her Kids Diana Show channel on the Google-owned video-sharing giant. With her 120,000 Instagram followers on top of her millions of YouTube fans, the five-year-old Ukrainian star is reportedly worth $250m. And then there’s Evan, host of the channel EvanTubeHD, who was being profiled by business magazines as far back as 2014 for earning $1.3m a year from his zany but infectious reviews of confectionery, toys and other children’s gadgets. And there’s


Sixteen South’s Colin Williams

also CKN, yet another child barely out of the toddler age group who, with the help of other family members, reviews toys — and frequently dresses up as his favourite superheroes. These young influencers’ success stems from a new form of kids’ video entertainment that sees the creators of digital-first content and brands go direct to consumers (D2C) online. Pocket. watch is a new US-based studio dedicated to producing high-end content made by and for Generation Alpha, the zero- to eight-

Sixteen South’s Frankie And Doris

Mondo TV’s Luana Perrero

year-olds weaned on unadulterated digital media and who feel no commitment to linear TV. “These super digitally savvy kids have different sets of stars, celebrities and content made for them,” says Stone Newman,’s chief revenue officer. “We look for creator brands that are established and proven on YouTube and have the opportunity to become global franchises. The traditional TV world has to accept there has been a big change. Five years ago and before that, kids didn’t rule. They rule today.”’s Stone Newman

Hong Dang Moo’s Tina Cho

Stone Newman

“The traditional TV world has to accept there has been a big change. Five years ago, kids didn’t rule. They rule today” And the established children’s TV business has come calling. Ryan’s Mystery Playdate, a live-action/ animation pre-school series, premiered on Viacom’s Nickelodeon in the US earlier this year and a 20-episode second season has already been commissioned. The series has generated more than 66 million views on the digital platforms for Nickelodeon and its sister network Nick Jr. The show is scheduled to launch in the UK, Canada and Australia this September., whose investors include Hollywood stalwarts, from Viacom and actor Robert Downey Jr’s Downey Ventures to United Talent Agency, has also created other family-focused YouTube channels. These include HobbyKidsTV, Challenge Squad and the soon-tolaunch MarMar Land. The company has also co-produced a HobbyKidsTV animation series called HobbyKids Adventures with US animator Butch Hart-

MIPJUNIOR PREVIEW • 45 • September 2019

man. HobbyKids Adventures, which airs on the YouTube channel, clocked 11.5 million views during its first three episodes alone. A significant chunk of the income for young YouTubers comes from licensing the brands to third parties and Stone has clinched deals with almost 100 licensees for the Ryan World brand alone. A Ryan partnership with Colgate, for example, has seen Colgate Kids oral-care items become best sellers in US retail outlets nationwide. Responding to these Generation Alpha digital developments are companies such as KidsKnowBest, a UK-based full-service children’s media agency that specialises in marketing research for brands targeting youngsters. “The D2C model is something that is here to stay. To kids, declaring your favourite YouTuber is like a badge of honour,” says Rob Lough, KidsKnowBest’s co-founder and chief strategy officer. Lough argues that the digital-media landscape remains such an unknown territory that brand-owners are sometimes left floundering as they try to understand which fan-engagement figures are really true. “You are seeing agencies charge mega money for content creators with very low engagement and what





Ryan ToysReview

21 million

31.2 billion

CKN Toys

3.1 million

11.7 billion

Kids Diana Show

32.8 million

11.4 billion


3.65 million

7.5 billion


6.4 million

3.96 billion

Kids’ Toys (TheEducVideos)

2.59 million

3 billion

Gabe and Garrett

1.78 million

1.7 billion


2.5 million

1.63 billion

Brianna’s World (B2cutecupcakes)

1.83 million

1.5 billion

8 Passengers

2.43 million

943 million

1.9 million

443.9 million

1 million

397 million

1.23 million

374 million

Babyteeth4 Action Movie Kids ZZ Kids TV

(Source: YouTube)

appear to be bought views. We want to change this,” he says. Joel Silverman, KidsKnowBest’s co-founder and CEO, adds: “Most kids want to be influencers and YouTube seems to be a common factor.” Citing a recent survey commissioned by Lego Group, he observes: “It used to be kids wanted to be a singer or a footballer — now it’s a YouTube vlogger or a gamer. So, instead of asking adults what they think kids want, why not ask kids? There was no platform for doing that, which is why KidsKnowBest started.”

Joel Silverman:

“Instead of asking adults what they think kids want, why not ask kids? There was no platform for doing that, which is why KidsKnowBest started”

But that does not mean young digital natives have no interest in TV at all. Their priorities have simply shifted, Silverman says: “We complement the kids’ TV networks, but we’re in a place where the kids are. Some are on TV, some are on digital.”’s Stone agrees: “I hope the traditional networks view us as complementary enhancements and an opportunity to come into a digital-first business and space, and benefit from that.” Luana Perrero, head of content sales at Italian children’s animation company Mondo TV, says that linear TV and digital are increasingly becoming symbiotic. “We have become used to streaming, multi-device access and the growth of non-linear, non-scheduled programming, as well as online advertising,” she says. “However, we cannot dismiss linear TV or the more conventional media or market-

ing channels, as they remain an important part of the mix. This will continue and the complexity is likely to grow.” That complexity cannot be ignored by the international TV business, as regulators demand that young viewers and creators be protected in an ever more democratised media market. International lawmakers, such as the US’ Federal Trade Commission, have demanded that platforms like YouTube do more to protect children under the age of 13 from potentially harmful content and experiences. Younger children hosting shows on the platform must be accompanied by their parents. This is creating a dilemma. Media reports indicate that content producers can generate ad revenues of up to $5,000 per one million views on YouTube. The adults supervising and/or managing kid YouTubers point out that, by transferring their shows to the dedicated but saf-

MIPJUNIOR PREVIEW • 46 • September 2019

er YouTube Kids app, the most popular content will miss out on the potentially significant income to be made on the main YouTube. Meanwhile, what children want is changing. In addition to preferring YouTube shows to appointment-to-view TV channels, Generation Alpha is also being drawn to other digital-only entertainment formats, such as Fortnite Battle Royale. Made by US-based Epic Games, this free-to-play survival video game, which takes place in a virtual world featuring combat weapons, has been criticised for being attractive to players as young as six. It was released in 2017 but has more than 250 million players already. And the popularity of the inaugural Fortnite World Cup esports championship, won by 16-year-old American gamer Kyle ‘Bugha’ Giersdorf, who carried off the

FEATURE: YOUTUBE TALENT $3m prize pot, is expected to draw kids further away from traditional TV. Then there is the phenomenon of TikTok, the China-originated music-video app that has evolved into a popular social-media platform. Now in 150 countries, it is attracting influencers as well as advertisers. Like YouTube and Fortnite, TikTok has come under fire from regulators for failing to monitor its impact on the very young. Ethical questions have also been raised about what happens to the digital data collected. Some children’s content producers, including South Korea-based Hong Dang Moo, believe you can still appeal to children with digitally entertaining shows that are both

safe and educational on TV. Tina Cho, Hong Dang Moo’s manager of overseas marketing, says the company is incorporating augmented reality (AR) into its Animal Rescue animation series. Targeted at six- to 10-year-olds, the show becomes interactive when kids wear AR kit like the Magic Leap technology backed by, among others, Google and Alibaba. “The company is working on adding an AR element to its shows, especially Animal Rescue,” Cho adds. “We want to make that interesting for the kids, which is why we’re using AR so that children can interact and learn at the same time.” Meanwhile, some traditional TV producers are using YouTube to

invent new forms of digital-first entertainment. Award-winning Northern Ireland-based independent Sixteen South has embarked on its first D2C series, which is called Frankie And Doris. Crowd-funded and conceived for an online-only audience aged between nine and 12, the show will be delivered with bespoke tech that enables its two young misfit protagonists — a skeleton girl and a green boy — to chitchat in as close to real time as possible about the hot topics of discussions among school kids. “For that generation, everything is so ‘last week’,” says Colin Williams, Sixteen South’s creative director. “Frankie And Doris aims to get inside their heads, literally — and, unless you are that age, it’s a very dif-

ferent world. Because current culture changes so fast, kids are influenced by what’s online and they influence what’s online.” The move to YouTube was not made lightly as engaging children, whether on air or online, can be expensive. But, Williams says: “If something is a hit on YouTube, the returns can be astronomical. The stakes are high, but the rewards are greater. We want to reach this audience.”

dience.” Colin Williams:

“If something is a hit on YouTube, the returns can be astronomical. The stakes are high, but the rewards are greater”

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CCORDING to industry reports, children need shows that demonstrate the multi-faceted nature of real lives, families, friends and communities, and their different skin colours, races, genders, sexual orientation, religions, economic circumstances and physical abilities. The increasing competition from streaming platforms and other digital services has shown children are likely to go elsewhere for entertainment when they do not see themselves, their cultures and lifestyles reflected on television. “The Muppet’s Kermit singing It’s Not Easy Being Green remains a war cry that we need to reflect children of different colours, from different economic backgrounds,” says Halle Stanford, president of television at The Jim Henson Company. She recalls how a generation of content creators influenced by the revered Sesame Street were trained to make shows that mirrored the differences within communities. An example is Henson’s animation Splash And Bubbles, which had a MIPJunior world premiere in 2016 and has been praised for training a new cohort of puppeteers and animators to make diversity part of their storytelling roots. Another Henson animation series, Dinosaur Train, centres on a Tyrannosaurus Rex adopted by a family of Pteranodons. The precociously lovable lead character in Sid The Science Kid, a CGI animation show also from Henson, has an

African-American mother and a Caucasian-Jewish father. Also in the pipeline with Netflix is the more ambitious The Dark Crystal: Age Of Resistance, a prequel to acclaimed 1982 animated film The Dark Crystal. “This prequel has incredible diversity because the theme is that we’re stronger together,” Stanford says. “It doesn’t just focus on the race culture, but addresses women and men, and upper class versus lower class.” David Kleeman, senior vice-president of global trends at UK-headquartered kids-research agency Dubit, is happy to see the industry move on from the days of tokenism. Gone is the need to have a character representing a different ethnicity, skin colour, gender and/or disability to tick the politically correct boxes. “The first attempts at diversity were awkward,” he says. “Today, we’ve got a better understanding of how to make characters represent who they are. It’s more important to have kids seeing themselves in the media over the course of viewing and playing.” Multicultural lifestyles and neighbourhoods are being portrayed in various creative ways to reach young viewers. “We have to be mindful at all times of who our audience is and that there is no absolute norm, whether the child comes from a dislocated family, a blended family or any other make-up of family,” says Martin Baynton, co-owner and chief creative officer at Pukeko Pictures.

The global television industry is acknowledging that tackling diversity in children’s shows is essential if it is to retain young people’s interest in on-screen entertainment. But it’s proving to be easier said than done, writes Juliana Koranteng

MIPJUNIOR PREVIEW • 48 • September 2019

The Dark Crystal: Age Of Resistance (The Jim Henson Company)

Lets tell stories that include everyone MIPJUNIOR PREVIEW • 49 • September 2019

© Chri

s tian




Genius Brands International’s Caroline Tyre

The New Zealand-based company’s new pre-school animated series, Book Hungry Bears, is about the adventures of four bears — a polar bear, a brown bear, a panda and a koala. “Koalas aren’t technically bears but he’s included within the group,” Baynton explains. “These characters are polycultural — they don’t just accept their differences, they don’t even recognise them.”

Oda Upside Down producer Cathrine Skotte

Martin Baynton:

“These characters are polycultural — they don’t just accept their differences, they don’t even recognise them” Other children’s TV ventures that have placed multiculturalism at the heart of their storytelling include Viacom-owned

Dubit’s David Kleeman

network Nickelodeon, whose forthcoming animation series The Casagrandes is a multi-generational Hispanic-American family spin-off from hit series The Loud House, which already includes a family with two fathers. Also addressing the network’s diverse audience is Santiago Of The Seas, an interactive animation series featuring characters from the Latino-Caribbean community

Book Hungry Bears (Pukeko Pictures)

MIPJUNIOR PREVIEW • 50 • September 2019

The Jim Henson Company’s Halle Stanford

as well as those of Latin American descent. And the rebooted Blue’s Clues & You!, which went into production recently, will feature localised editions in different countries. “The brand’s DNA is to be everywhere kids are and reflect where they are today,” says Nina Hahn, Nickelodeon International’s senior vice-president of international production and development. “Also,


The Casagrandes (Nickelodeon’)

we write about a real world that is diverse.” Caroline Tyre, senior vice-president of international distribution and head of Genius Brands Network, the US-based entertainment company targeting toddlers and tweens, says children know if sincerity is lacking. Llama Llama, the Genius Brands animation series that premiered on Netflix last year, focuses on the challenges and fears experienced by kids everywhere, no matter their background. “The presentation

of storylines and situations that promote inclusivity and diversity isn’t something that we committed to because it was fashionable or trending, but because it’s simply the right thing to do,” Tyre adds. Oda Upside Down, the 10-minute magic-realism series from Copenhagen-based SAM Productions for Danish channel DR Ramasjang, uses magic and imagination to show how looking at life in a totally different way can broaden

our perspective. “In a playful and magical universe, it seems an obvious possibility to go against stereotypes to ensure that all kids have something to reflect on when watching TV,” says Oda Upside Down producer Cathrine Skotte. “We found it important to bring in diversity as a non-discussable thing, representing it as a mirror to society without any prior assumptions to how our audience might react.”

Cathrine Skotte: “

We found it important to bring in diversity as a non-discussable thing, representing it as a mirror to society”

Oda Upside Down (SAM Productions)

New UK/French distribution and production outfit Mounia Aram Company has been set up to make diversity in children’s entertainment truly global by looking to Africa for shows that appeal to an international audience. Founder and CEO Mounia Aram says: “My primary goal is to bring the best animated content from AfriMIPJUNIOR PREVIEW • 51 • September 2019

ca to the international market. I want to bring African animation stories, movies and series the success they deserve and build more awareness around the 54 countries the continent is made of.” Aram’s is not the only TV company that sees Africa as a source of international inspiration. London-based independent Cake Entertainment and South Africa’s Triggerfish Animation Studios have been scouting for female African writers to work on Mama K’s Team 4, Netflix’s first original African animated series. Set in Zambia, it follows the antics of four schoolgirls with special powers. “They are black, but the show is ultimately about these superheroes who need to complete their homework while also trying to save the world,” says Tom van Waveren, Cake’s CEO and creative director. “And the writers are all African women, because diversity is about both sides of the camera, not only what you see on the screen.” There are an increasing number of children’s shows going against the traditional grain of what girls can or cannot do. Pukeko’s Baynton, who also writes kids’ books, felt convention needed to be defied when it came to the gender balance on children’s TV. Jane And The Dragon, the CGI series based on his book of the same name and co-produced by Canada’s Nelvana and New Zealand’s Weta Productions, does precisely that. “I wrote the Jane And The Dragon books because I didn’t see enough stories for girls that weren’t classic fairy tales and where the girl was in charge of her own destiny,” Baynton says. “We shouldn’t have any group of people in our society, especially children, that feel like they can’t connect with inspiring stories and characters on the screen and feel excluded.” The stars of Rainbow Rangers,


Mounia Aram Company’s Mounia Aram

Nickelodeon International’s Nina Hahn

Pablo (Cake)

the pre-school magical-fantasy animation hit made by Genius Brands for Nick Jr’s US network, are a multicultural team of girls who are also on a mission to defend and protect the world. Yet, as Genius Brands’ Tyre points out: “Young viewers, girls and boys alike, identify with at least one or more of the characters. Each Ranger has a distinct personality and her own special gifts, but all are strong, curious, funny, smart, take-charge, loving and compassionate.” A similar theme is explored in Nella The Princess Knight, the Nickelodeon animation that overturns the age-old concept that only men can be knights in shining armour. “We’ve flipped many things, because that’s how we’ve always thought creatively,” Nickelodeon International’s Hahn says.

New series Itch, from Australia’s ABC Commercial, adapted from a series of children’s books by British broadcaster Simon Mayo, tells of the adventures of a science-obsessed boy Itchingham Lofte — and its creators have taken care to present its young viewers with the right role models. “Itch is essentially a coming-of-age story, telling the story of a teenager who goes from zero to hero, overcoming obstacles in his way,” Itch Producer and managing director of the series’ production company Komixx Entertainment, Amanda Morrison, says. “He learns to stand on his own two feet and take responsibility for himself and for others, he faces conflicts, stands up to those working against him and develops complex relationships.” Morrison adds: “We believe the series tells our audience that it

Pukeko Pictures’s Martin Baynton

is OK to be who you are and to be proud of what you excel at, whatever that may be. As the story is grounded in reality the series will resonate and offer hope to our audience, showing them that everyone goes through an inner journey to better understand themselves and the world around them.” Itch also features “intelligent and resourceful female characters”, something that Morrison believes is important for female viewers. “Our female teen characters, Lucy, Jack and Chloe, are equally capable and resourceful in using their smarts to outwit the adults and ultimately save the world. It is important to show that our female characters are real, flawed and make mistakes, like

Cake’s Tom van Waveren

all teenagers,” she says. “It goes without saying that we should represent our female audience in an authentic and positive way. Jack in particular is a very physically active and appealing character who is not afraid to put herself in danger, but all of our female characters are brave and confident.” She adds: “As a largely female creative team we wanted to ensure that Itch featured an ensemble cast and that the female characters had their own journeys and character arcs rather than simply being secondary to our male protagonists.” Mounia Aram is among many industry experts who believe it is essential for the wellbeing of young viewers to see a range

Sid The Science Kid (The Jim Henson Company)

MIPJUNIOR PREVIEW • 52 • September 2019


Itch (Komixx Entertainment)

of abilities and appearances on screen. “More diversity in programmes would help to stop some children from being bullied because of their appearance,” she says. Characters who do not look or act in a way that is believed to be ‘normal’ because of a disability rarely feature in children’s TV shows, let alone star in them. But Pablo could be changing that. He is the young protagonist of the UK live-action/animation series of the same name and he suffers from autism, a disorder that can make it difficult to interact and communicate with other people. Co-produced by Cake for UK public-broadcast network CBeebies, the show sees Pablo use his condition to solve problems that confound other people. “His friends are on all different levels of the [autism] spectrum and they try to solve the problem via his draw-

ings,” says Cake’s van Waveren. “And the characters are voiced by people on that spectrum too.” One of the main characters in Nickelodeon’s The Loud House has Down’s syndrome, as does the titular character in Punky on Hopster, the UK children’s entertainment streaming app. As Genius Brands’ Tyre notes: “We also have a character in season two of Llama Llama that has physical challenges. But no matter what the challenge, it teaches kids that they can feel safe when they are secure at home. These are important reminder messages for parents.” People’s various sexual orientations and preferences are a fact of life, yet the subject is still taboo when addressed in children’s TV. The US state of Alabama recently banned an episode of long-running chil-

dren’s series Arthur because a same-gender marriage took place in it. Dubit’s Kleeman is heartened to see such positive storylines being organically incorporated in children’s stories. The Bravest Knight, an animation being produced by Canada’s Big Bad Boo Studios for streamer Hulu, is about a mixed-race family comprising two dads and their adopted daughter. Meanwhile, a same-sex couple has been introduced into the Hasbro franchise My Little Pony. David Michel, president of Paris-headquartered Cottonwood Media and co-founder of Federation Entertainment, has a family where he is one of two fathers with two sons. “This is a very personal subject,” he says. “A few years ago, representation was very forced, but we’re doing the opposite now by making it a natural part of the storytelling.”

MIPJUNIOR PREVIEW • 53 • September 2019

But Michel reports that some challenges are insurmountable when targeting international audiences. For example, Cottonwood’s current hit, Find Me In Paris, is set in the French capital, is shot by a UK director and stars a cast of teenagers from different countries. But the introduction of a gay romance in the third season could create hurdles in terms of sales to countries such as Russia, where the promotion of “non-traditional sexual relationships” is banned. “In the same say we would handle a boy-girl romance, it isn’t sexualised,” Michel adds. “While the boyboy relationship went unnoticed by several broadcasters, we were told the show would not be acquired in Russia as the broadcaster there would be criminally liable. So rather than edit it out, we’re not going to be in Russia.” Genius Brand’s Tyre sums up

FEATURE: DIVERSITY the challenges: “Any time you introduce a new social theme into children’s content, there are those who will embrace it as brave and empowering, and others who will see it as exposing children to issues beyond their comprehension. We’re not saying that every topic needs to be addressed but, if it touches the lives of children, they should be given the tools to understand and respond in a positive manner.”

Caroline Tyre:

“Any time you introduce a new social theme, there are those who will embrace it as brave, and others who will see it as exposing children to issues beyond their comprehension”

Several high-profile reports have called on the international children’s TV business to advance their efforts to incorporate diversity, equality and inclusivity in their programming for the good of the industry. Hopster, the children’s entertainment producer and streaming-TV app, recently commissioned a report from Dubit to analyse the 50 most popular pre-school programmes on UK terrestrial TV and streaming platforms. “It found they were severely lacking in representation,” says Nick Walters, Hopster’s CEO and founder. “Of the episodes we analysed, 12% had a disabled character, 12% had a BAME [black, Asian and minority ethnic] lead, 9% included working-class characters, 7% had LGBT+ characters and not a single episode had same-sex parents.” Hopster hopes to counter the

deficit with its shows, books, games and songs such as Rainbow Stories, Julian Is A Mermaid and The Girl With Two Dads (LGBQT+); Bino & Fino (Afro-Caribbean culture); and Punky and Signed Stories (disability). “We believe children who learn from an early age about all types of families, backgrounds and abilities will be able to nurture inclusion, and combat discrimination and bias in the future,” Walters adds. In Germany, the International Central Institute for Youth and Educational Television (IZI), published a study in 2017 called Children’s TV Worldwide, which includes a look at the main characters’ ethnic backgrounds. And earlier this year, an article called Prejudices, Racism, Extremism was published in its Televizion magazine. “Research has shown that children are very sensitive

Rainbow Rangers (Genius Brands)

MIPJUNIOR PREVIEW • 54 • September 2019

when it comes to observing which groups are more valued then others,” says Maya Goetz, the head of IZI. “If they don’t see their skin colour, hair structure and body shape on TV, they will build an identity of being worthless. That hurts self-esteem and can lead to aggression against others. On the other hand, there is the common misconception that children of dominant groups will not identify with marginalised children. That definitely is not true. All children know the feeling of being marginalised. The more diverse the characters are, the more points for identification there are.” • Visibility Of LGBTQI+ Representation In Kids Content Sunday, October 13 from 10.30 to 11.10 in the Renoir Room of the JW Marriott


14th Animation Production Days May 6– 8 /2020, Stuttgart

Co-Production and Financing Market for Animation Projects Taking place alongside the Stuttgart Festival of Animated Film and FMX – Conference on Animation, Effects, Games and Immersive Media, Animation Production Days offers a forum for finding the right partners for newly developed innovative animation projects. In exclusive one-on-one meetings producers present their ideas for animated feature films, TV series, games or transmedia projects to broadcasters, investors, distributors and potential co-production partners.

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your MIPJunior experience

12-13 OCTOBER 2019 JW MARRIOTT HOTEL, 50 boulevard de la Croisette, Cannes Opening hours 12 October: 8:30 - 19:00 13 October: 8:30 - 19:00

Registration hours - JW Marriott Hotel 11 October: 16:00 - 19:30 12 October: 8:00 - 19:00 13 October: 8:30 - 19:00

We look forward to welcoming you in Cannes, but first here are some tips to prepare your journey to MIPJunior

Prepare for MIPJunior in advance Visit the MIPJunior website to organise your travel and benefit from: • Reduced rates on your transportation with our partners Air France and KLM Global Meetings with discount code: 34527AF • Fixed rate taxi bookings of €84 from the airport to Cannes (incl. motorway tax). • The best deals with our partner hotels and discounts with a selection of restaurants and shopping.

Prepare your agenda and meetings in advance

Your badge: your key to getting into MIPJunior

Visit for easy access to all the MIPJunior Database features:

• Did you receive it by post? Don’t forget to bring it with you!

• Fill out your profile and personalise your agenda

• Have you received an e-ticket by email? The bar code on your e-ticket allows you to print your badge at a self service check-in point.

• Check out and filter the list of attending participants and companies • Get meeting recommendations based on your business preferences • Send one-to-one messages to other delegates and organise business meetings

• Do you only have your confirmation email? Collect your badge at the registration area, located on the lower level of the JW Marriot Hotel. Registration hours can be found above. Please carry your badge at all times. It is strictly personal and non-transferable.

• Review the conference programme and networking events.

Is it your first time at MIPJunior? Saturday 12 October, 08:45 - 09:15 - Renoir Room, Level + 1 You are invited for a breakfast and discovery tour of the JW Marriott Hotel.

How to use the Screenings Library Sellers and Distributors

Buyers and Commisionners Once onsite, you have access to screening rooms with many free-to-access computers. Log in to the Screenings Library. You can review your playlist (available as of 26 september), which is updated during the event in function of your screenings. Then you can carry on screening post MIPJunior and the online reports post show will be available on

During MIPJUNIOR Once onsite, you can receive the list of buyers and commissioners who screened your content during the event. These lists are available at dedicated stations in the MIPJunior Registration Area, Lower Level, and during MIPCOM at the Palais des Festivals (Help Desk, Palais 0).

MIPJUNIOR PREVIEW • 56 • September 2019

They will be sent to your mail box (if you have provided it in your contract) at the end of each day. Post-MIPJUNIOR Buyers can carry on screening post MIPJunior and the online reports post show will be available on www.screenings.

your MIPJunior experience

MIPJunior Venues: Find your way around PRIVATE MEETING ROOM


LOUNGE Level +1



Level +1 and Hotel Lobby


• 2 lounges are available for you to relax, hold meetings and grab a coffee

LOUNGE Hotel Lobby by Roskino


Registation Area


Lower Level


• Badge collection


• Screening List stations


Conference Rooms • Grand Theatre, Level -1 • Renoir Room, Level +1 SCREENING ROOM 2


Screening Rooms GRAND THEATRE

Level -1


• Reserved access for buyers


Don’t miss our Networking Opportunities How to MIP IT: First Timers’ Welcome Breakfast followed by discovery tour Saturday 12 October, 8:45 - 9:15 JW Marriott Hotel, Renoir Room, Level +1

MIPJunior Networking Lunch Saturday 12 October, 13:00-14:30 Majestic Hotel

MIPJunior Opening Party

Saturday 12 October, from 19:00 Majestic Hotel

Sunday 13 October, 12:00-13:30 JW Marriott Hotel, Grand Theatre, Level -1 Snack lunch provided from 12:30 in Renoir Terrace, Level +1 In partnership with Russian Export Centre

Cookies and Screen

Sunday 13 October, 16:15-17:00 JW Marriott Hotel, Renoir Room, Level +1 In partnership with

MIPJunior Closing Party

By invitation only Sunday 13 October, from 18:30 Carlton Hotel, Salon la Côte

In partnership with

Breakfast Screening

Made in Russia: Next Animation Boom

In partnership with

Sunday 13 October, 08:45-09:45 JW Marriott Hotel, Renoir Room, Level +1 In partnership with

See you in Cannes!

See the programme p.33 and plan your agenda

For further information: • Help desk: +33 (0)1 79 71 99 99 MIPJUNIOR PREVIEW • 57 • September 2019

PREVIEW September 2019

// DIRECTOR OF PUBLICATIONS // Paul Zilk // MARKETING DIRECTOR // Mathieu Regnault / EDITORIAL DEPARTMENT / Editor in Chief Julian Newby Deputy Editor Debbie Lincoln Sub Editor Joanna Stephens Contributors Andy Fry, Juliana Koranteng Editorial Management Boutique Editions Head of Graphic Studio Herve Traisnel Graphic Studio Manager Frederic Beauseigneur Graphic Designer Carole Peres / PRODUCTION DEPARTMENT / Publishing Director Martin Screpel Publishing Managers Emilie Lambert, Amrane Lamiri Printer Riccobono Imprimeurs, Le Muy (France).


Director of the Entertainment Division Jérôme Delhaye Director of the Television Division Laurine Garaude Deputy Director of the Television Division Lucy Smith Conference & Content Director Amandine Cassi Director of the MIP Buyers Strategy Bénédicte Touchard de Morant Director of Marketing Bastien Gave Director Market Development and Acting Head of TV UK Office Ted Baracos TV Division Sales Director Géraud de Lacombe SVP Sales Robert Marking, Aude Dionnet, Sylvain Faureau VP Sales Louis Hillelson Sales Director Nathalie Gastone, Manuel de Sousa, Javier Lopez Matthew Rosenstein Sales Manager Noah Buchwald, Paul Barbaro, Nancy Denole, Samira Haddi, Pascale Lallemand, Cyril Szczerbakow, Hicran Lefort, Jill Caserley Director of Buyers Relations Yi-Ping Gérard Sales Executive, Buyers Phoumalay Ackhavong, Alexandre Collet Programme Director Tania Dugaro Marketing Manager Cécile de Barbentane Australia and New Zealand Representative Natalie Apostolou China Representatives Anke Redl, Tammy Zhao CIS Representatives Alexandra Modestova Germany Representative Marc Wessel India Representative Anil Wanvari Israel Representative Yael Scop Japan Representative Lily Ono Middle-East Representative Bassil Hajjar Spain Representative Maria Jose Vadillo South Korea Representative Sunny Kim Taiwan Representative Irene Liu Reed MIDEM, a joint stock company (SAS), with a capital of €310.000, 662 003 557 R.C.S. NANTERRE, having offices located at 27-33 Quai Alphonse Le Gallo - 92100 BOULOGNE-BILLANCOURT (FRANCE), VAT number FR91 662 003 557. Contents © 2019, Reed MIDEM Market Publications. Publication registered 3rd quarter 2019. ISSN 2104-2187. Printed on PEFC Certified Paper














MIPCOM stand no. P-1.L2, P-1.M1

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Profile for MIPMarkets


The offical MIPJUNIOR magazine contains NEWS Russia is Country Of Focus; The MIPJunior Superpanels; TV Asahi introduces Super Shiro; MIPJu...


The offical MIPJUNIOR magazine contains NEWS Russia is Country Of Focus; The MIPJunior Superpanels; TV Asahi introduces Super Shiro; MIPJu...