Stampede Ventures & Redbird team launch kids’ prodco Hidden Pigeon with author Mo Willems

Kathy Franklin

US media company Stampede Ventures and private investment firm Redbird Capital Partners have teamed with American author Mo Willems to launch children’s entertainment outfit, Hidden Pigeon Company.

Kathy Franklin, former president of franchise development at Lightstorm Entertainment, has been appointed as CEO to lead the New York & LA-based company, which will adapt Willems’ catalogue of children’s books and intellectual property across TV, film, digital, gaming, live events, location-based experiences, publishing and consumer products.

The creation of Hidden Pigeon Company follows Stampede Ventures and Mo Willems’ existing producing partnership, which led to the creation of HBO Max titles Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed: The Underground Rock Experience and Storytime All Stars Presents: Don’t Let the Pigeon Do Storytime.

The company said that with Redbird’s “significant financial investment and industry expertise” it would be able to expedite its development pipeline, infrastructure expansion and commercial initiatives.

“The Hidden Pigeon Company takes its name from how kids and former kids delight in finding The Pigeon hidden in every one of my books,” said Willems. “It is my hope to create a similar bit of surprise and delight in the fabric of everything we make or do.”

Hidden Pigeon Company will also house a publishing imprint called Specific House, which has partnered with publisher Union Square & Co. to launch Willems’ latest adult humor book, Be the Bus – The Lost & Profound Wisdom of The Pigeon, as well as the The Pigeon Will Ride the Roller Coaster! and the upcoming Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Sleigh!.

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