Nella is, as the title of the Viacom toon series suggests, both a knight and a princess.
The show was originally just Nella the Knight – the title change coming perhaps as an effort to go after the Disney audience and create an L&M friendly property, with the Mouse House famous for its princesses and its toys.
As Viacom owns, Nella the Princess Knight was the first that saw its UK channel, its Milkshake kids block, and Viacom’s kids net Nickelodeon work up a series together.
The show was created by Christine Ricci, who was involved with Nick hits Blaze and the Monster Machines and Team Umizoomi, and sets out, in a fun way, to show that there’s more than one way to be a princess or a knight.
“It came out of the Milkshake and Nickelodeon relationship,” says Caroline Beaton, senior VP of international programme and format sales. “It is very much a Nick property, with high production values and budget, and a Nick preschool feel.”
Despite the female lead, the Viacom International Media Networks exec says the show skews girl/boy. “It’s gender neutral with a mix of boy and girl characters in there,” adds Beaton.
The cast of characters includes Nella’s unicorn sidekick Trinket, her best friend Sir Garrett and his horse Clod. “It breaks through gender stereotypes and ideas of knights, and also princesses a la Frozen,” Beaton says. “She is courageous and confident, and the ideas of self-confidence and compassion are important.”
The show is for Nick in the US and other markets and Milkshake and Nick in the UK. VIMN will be launching it internationally at MIPTV.
The show: Nella the Princess Knight
The producer: Nickelodeon
The distributor: Viacom International Media Networks
The broadcasters: Nickelodeon, Channel 5 (UK)
The concept: 40x30mins series about a magical heroine and her quests