TBI Kids: Why ‘Shasha & Milo’ was a “love at first sight” co-pro for Banijay & Pingo Entertainment

Shasha & Milo

It was “love at first sight” for Benoît Di Sabatino, after being introduced to Shasha & Milo at MIPTV back in 2019, the CEO of Banijay Kids & Family tells TBI.

The project, an upcoming kids’ CGI animated action-comedy, is a co-production between Banijay-owned Zodiak Kids & Family France and South Korea’s Pingo Entertainment.

After meeting Pingo CEO Hee Seok Shin and COO Seul Gee Yoo at the Cannes kids’ content market four years ago, “animal lover” Di Sabatino says he was hooked by their presentation: “I took just three minutes to tell them I wanted to be a part of this co-production.”

He reveals: “From the start, the creative work they had done was amazing. I remember during this meeting, they were presenting a trailer, the animation, the character designs and the concept – everything was on the table.”

The admiration was very much mutual, reveals Shin, telling TBI that Zodiak had been his “first choice” for a co-production partner for a Pingo that was, at that time, a “young company”, only being officially registered the prior year, with aspirations to take its project worldwide.

While Pingo brought the art and the idea, Di Sabatino says that Zodiak was able to provide help with the writing and the “international concept to go to a global market.”

Benoit Di Sabatino

Brand aspirations

The 25 x 22-minute and 12 x 2-minute show, aimed at 6-9-year-olds, follows titular 12-year-olds, Shasha and Milo, as they juggle school and their home lives, along with their secret new role as the Crescent Island Guardians.

Gifted with the power to transform between human, cat and a formidable hybrid form, they are tasked with protecting the island from villainous cats and their often ridiculous plots to gain ultimate power – while also dealing with the daily complexities of pre-teen life.

The show is executive produced by Di Sabatino and Shin, alongside Banijay’s Gary Milne and Yoo attached as co-director and creative producer, and Hyeong Min Kim as co-director.

The series was first picked up by China’s Tencent Video in May 2022, and subsequently found pre-sale partners in Warner Bros. Discovery Latin America and Korean public broadcaster EBS – as exclusively revealed by TBI last month.

Pingo Entertainment exclusively controls all rights in Korea, Japan and Southeast Asia, while Zodiak Kids and Family Distribution holds international distribution rights to the series, with the Banijay powerhouse able to serve not only as a co-production partner on the project, but also handle sales, marketing and consumer products.

“We now have a strategy in place with the style guide ready with partners aligned; we’ve started [talking] pre-sales, and we’re really pitching it widely to everybody,” Delphine Dumont, CCO, Banijay Kids and Family, tells TBI.

“We’re [also] partnering on the commercial aspect because we want to make it a success, to become a brand and and hopefully Shasha & Milo does tick a lot of the boxes to make it a recipe for success.”

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