Netflix is taking a page from a retro children’s book format to experiment with interactive programming.
“Puss in Book: Trapped in an Epic Tale” launched Tuesday on the streaming service with a format that will remind some parents of the so-called gamebook genre, more commonly called “Choose Your Own Adventure.”
For now, the interactive experiment with the popular animated swashbuckler Puss in Boots is limited to only a few episodes.
Viewers can decide which characters he will encounter to determine the path of the storyline.
Animated teen comedy “Buddy Thunderstruck” will debut an interactive episode on July 14, while Netflix will also use the format for the upcoming series “Stretch Armstrong” sometime next year.
Oddbods is a non-dialogue comedy featuring seven distinct little characters who, despite their differences, band together to survive the perils of daily life — ordinary situations invariably morph into hilarious escapades.
Singapore’s One Animation has kicked off production on a new 60 x 7 min. season of its award-winning kids’ animated comedy Oddbods. The upcoming package was green lit earlier this year, and has already secured key broadcast partners — including Turner, for its flagships channels Cartoon Network and Boomerang in Latin America, and for Boomerang across EMEA.
Since Oddbods launched as a digital short-form series, the new season is the second for long-form, but the third overall. The cartoons have racked up 1.5 billion views online and attracted tens of thousands of fans on social media.
ITV and other public service broadcasters will be forced to invest more money on British-made children’s programmes amid fears they are on the brink of “extinction”.
Ofcom, the regulator, will be given the power to impose children’s television “quotas” on broadcasters amid concerns a generation of children are growing up watching repeats and foreign imports.
The last Labour Government downgraded the importance of children’s TV for public service broadcasters, leading to a 93 per cent fall in spending by commercial channels since 2003.
It represents a significant shift from what is seen as a golden era of children’s television in the 1960s and 1970s, with shows such as Bagpuss, the Magic Roundabout and the Clangers.
Baroness Benjamin, the former children’s television presenter and Lib Dem peer who secured the new powers for Ofcom, said: “Children’s programming is in serious decline. It is our responsibility to make sure that this does not continue. Our children and our grandchildren are entitled to the provision of quality programming that was there for us.
The animated winners of Nickelodeon’s 2017 Kids’ Choice Awards are:
Favorite Cartoon: SpongeBob SquarePants
Favorite Animated Movie: Finding Dory
Favorite Voice from an Animated Movie: Ellen DeGeneres (Dory, Finding Dory)
Favorite Villain: Kevin Hart (Snowball, The Secret Life of Pets)
Favorite Frenemies: Ginnifer Goodwin & Jason Bateman (Judy/Nick, Zootopia)
Most Wanted Pet: Snowball from The Secret Life of Pets (Kevin Hart)
#Squad: Finding Dory (Ellen DeGeneres, Albert Brooks, Kaitlin Olson, Hayden Rolence, Willem Dafoe, Ed O’Neill, Ty Burrell, Eugene Levy)
Favorite Video Game: Just Dance 2017
Kristin Brzoznowski looks back on last year’s kids’ programming trends, including the launch of several new streaming services and apps dedicated to children’s content.
Several new streaming services and apps dedicated to children’s programming popped up throughout the year. Sweden’s Svensk Filmindustri, for one, released SF Kids Play, a new SVOD platform featuring a variety of classic and new children’s TV series and movies from around the world. Kidoodle.TV, a streaming entertainment service for children from A Parent Media Co., became available in 145 countries through Apple’s App Store and Google Play. Amazon Prime Video also announced that it is going global, and original kids’ shows have been a staple of its slate from early on. The service has been putting up more children’s programs for its pilot process, through which it is bringing to series a reimagining of Sid and Marty Krofft’s classic 1970s Saturday morning series Sigmund and the Sea Monsters. Netflix, too, stocked up on kids’ originals last year, while Hulu opted to bolster its slate by signing a deal that sees full previous seasons of Disney Channel, Disney Junior and Disney XD series being made available on the streaming platform.
Kidscreen has unveiled the results of its 2016 “Hot50″ ranking of the year’s best in broadcasting, production, distribution, licensing and digital media. The list was voted by Kidscreen magazine and newsletter subscribers, who were invited to pick their favorites over a three-week period.
The final results by category are:
2. Cartoon Network
3. PBS KIDS
6. NBCU Sprout
8. Corus Kids
9. DHX Media
10. Disney Channels Worldwide
1. Amazon Studios
2. DHX Media
3. Sinking Ship Entertainment
4. Cartoon Network Studios
6. Brown Bag Films
7. 9 Story Media Group
8. The LEGO Group
9. Entertainment One
10. Zag America/Zagtoon
1. DHX Media
3. Entertainment One
4. 9 Story Media Group
5. The Jim Henson Company
6. Sesame Workshop
7. Sinking Ship Entertainment
8. The Pokémon Company
9. PBS Distribution
10. Boat Rocker Rights
1. The LEGO Group
2. Aardman Animations
3. Entertainment One
4. DHX Media
5. Cartoon Network
6. Nickelodeon Consumer Products
8. Sesame Workshop
10. Rovio Entertainment
1. YouTube Kids
2. Toca Boca
3. PBS KIDS
4. Cartoon Network
5. DHX Media
6. The Pokémon Company
7. Sinking Ship Entertainment
8. Rovio Entertainment
9. DreamWorks TV
Genius Brands International has brought onboard children’s and family media executive Margaret Loesch as Executive Chairman of its Kids Genius Channel. Loesch will provide counsel to the channel’s new President, Deb Pierson — promoted from General Manager — as she spearheads aggressive growth plans for the platform.
Loesch brings four decades of success in kids’ broadcasting and family entertainment to the newly created Executive Chairman position. In addition to key leadership roles at some of the most successful kidnets, Loesch has lead development and/or production of iconic programs including Smurfs, My Little Pony, Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers, X-Men, Jim Henson’s Muppet Babies, Animaniacs and Transformers.
Amazon has commissioned two series for children, including a reboot of veteran producers Sid and Marty Krofft’s Sigmund & The Sea Monsters.
The live-action series is based on the classic Saturday-morning television series from the 1970s and follows the US streaming service signing a development deal with the pair last year.
The show centres on two brothers and a cousin who befriend a friendly young sea-monster that they must protect from an ambitious sea-monster hunter.
Amazon has also ordered an animated adaptation of the children’s book series Bug Diaries, which follows a comic trio of slimy, crawly and buzzy bug friends whose tiny world offers up huge adventures.
Making its world premiere screening at MIP Junior 2016, the preschooler show Splash and Bubbles has an origin that makes it unlikely to have been made by any company except The Jim Henson Company.
“At the Henson Company, when a puppeteer brings a project to you, it’s very Henson-y,” says Halle Stanford, executive VP of children’s entertainment.
The puppeteer in question is John Tartaglia, who as a teenager started performing Muppets for Sesame Street and since has gone on to create shows such as Johnny and the Sprites. Among Tartaglia’s projects was ImaginOcean, an educational puppet show about ocean habitats that had been performed for kids on cruise ships, and he asked Henson if they thought it could be a TV show.
“We said, absolutely,” says Stanford. “There was a lot of excitement about the show in terms of where it came from but also where we could push it in terms of the animation.”
Italy’s Rai Com and Gruppo Alcuni, together with Spanish entertainment company Planeta Junior and India-based animation studio DQ Entertainment, are collaborating on Pio Rocks! – The Series.
Based on the YouTube character Pulcino Pio, whose channel has more than 1.9 million subscribers and 1.5 billion views, the series marks the first animation co-pro led by Rai Com, the commercial arm of Italian pubcaster Rai.
The CGI comedy previewed at MIP Jr. earlier this week, and is aimed at kids ages five to eight.
Production on the 52 x 11-minute series will begin in January 2017, with the first 26 episodes scheduled for delivery in April 2018.
The show follows Pio and his friends at Highnote High, a school where every class is about music.