WarnerMedia APAC hires Disney alum Melissa Lim
WarnerMedia has appointed Melissa Lim as the new head of content acquisitions and co-productions for its children’s networks in the Asia Pacific region, which include POGO, Cartoon Network and Boomerang.
Lim will also advise on licensing content to fuel the growing slate of kids and family programming on the regional streaming service HBO GO in Southeast Asia.
Based in Singapore, Lim reports to Leslie Lee, head of WarnerMedia Kids APAC. She will work closely with the original production and development team, as well as programming, with a focus on exploring co-production opportunities and acquiring kids content for the region.
Lim previously managed co-production and acquisitions at Disney for its channels and regional streamer and has held roles at MTV Asia and StarHub, where she spent 13 in kids programming.
“Pinpointing and securing the world’s best third-party animation that sit perfectly alongside our originals is no easy task. I know that Melissa’s experience and passion will ensure we provide our fans a complete on-brand entertainment experience,” said Lee. “Her role is particularly important at a time when our networks are evolving and expanding viewer demos.”
Moonbug shows comes to BBC iPlayer
BBC iPlayer, the UK pubcaster’s on-demand streaming service, has acquired a slew of shows from global kids content company Moonbug Entertainment, including CoComelon and Little Baby Bum.
All available episodes of these shows, and other such as Digley And Dazey, Go Buster and Playtime With Twinkle have been added BBC iPlayer
“Our collaboration with the BBC marks the first partnership with a public service broadcaster. A real quality stamp for our creative teams!” said Nicolas Eglau, MD EMEA & APAC at Moonbug. “BBC is known worldwide for its engaging programming for preschoolers, and Moonbug is excited to enter a partnership with such a renowned organisation.”
Ferly & Toonz partner for ‘Kingdom Of None’
Finnish animation studio Ferly and India’s Toonz Media Group have entered a co-production partnership for a new animated series, Kingdom Of None.
The 52 x 11-minute series is aimed at ages 5-8 and follows a group of youngsters who race home every day to play in the back yard, using their imagination to turn it into a fantastical kingdom.
Ferly and Toonz will jointly handle the pre-production and animation production of the series, while the post-production will be done at Telegael, Toonz Media Group’s full suite animation and live action studio based in Galway, Ireland. Toonz will handle the distribution of the series outside of Scandinavia, with Ferly handling the ancillary rights sales outside the Indian subcontinent.
The first season of the series is expected to be launched by mid-2023.
“When the only limit is your imagination, there is boundless scope for amazing stories in exciting and unique worlds, and the possibility for huge engagement from children. Kingdom Of None has brand expansion built into its DNA and as we continue to develop the IP it will offer fans new ways to engage with it from animation to publishing, games to toys,” said Ferly CEO Laura Nevanlinna.
“Kingdom Of None is a celebration of children’s creativity and imagination. We will be creating a very attractive and aspirational world in the form of the ‘Kingdom’ in this series,” added Jayakumar, CEO of Toonz Media Group.
Tencent & UYoung co-pro ‘Kung Fu Wa!’
China’s Tencent Video and UYoung Media are co-producing a new animated action-comedy Kung Fu Wa!
The 52 x 11-minute is currently in production and scheduled for delivery later this year. It will be distributed internationally (outside of China and Latin America) by France’s Federation Kids & Family.
The series follows the adventures of a curious eight-year-old girl named Tee Zee who finds an odd-looking sock in her mother’s laundry that talks, and was originally a Kung Fu Master from another world. When Tee Zee wears the sock she is transformed into a super heroine.
“Kung Fu Wa! tries to avoid stereotypical princess and super heroine archetypes. The story centers around an ordinary little girl who becomes a kung fu hero in her daily adventures,” said Leeger Liu, producer from Tencent Video Kid’s Studio. “ We hope to create a greater sense of resonance among the demographic and inspire kids. We are thrilled to bring this girls series to the international market, and confident it will bring much joy to younger audiences around the world.”
Riki Group inks ‘Kikoriki’ & ‘Fixies’ deals
Russian animation company Riki Group has secured a content package deal with US on-demand kids entertainment service Toon Goggles at this week’s Key Buyers Event.
Toon Goggles taken English language rights worldwide to titles including Kikoriki, BabyRiki and PinCode. Riki Group also inked a deal to see its show Fixies head to Good TV in Taiwan and the Philippines.
“Kikoriki turned 18 this year. They have changed modern Russian animation and several generations have grown up on it. We are happy that new little viewers get to know our characters both in Russia and around the world,” said Anna Mysskaya, Riki Group’s head of international development.
Jetpack to shop SMF Studio’s ‘Claymotions’
Global kids and family content distributor Jetpack Distribution has acquired worldwide rights for Moscow-based SMF Studio’s Claymotions.
In a deal struck at this week’s Key Buyers Event, Jetpack has taken 62 two-and-a-half minute episodes of the edutainment pre-school show that targets 2+ year olds.
Claymotions follows seven sweet and positive plasticine characters that can transform into anything they like. Curious and playful they explore the world around them in an engaging manner, providing facts and trivia about the subject matter.
Jetpack CEO, Dominic Gardiner, commented: “It’s so important for us to be building our edu-tainment offer right now. We instantly loved Claymotions. The characters are full of heart and engage with young children in a way that makes learning fun.”