MONDO TV/Learning from Cartoons
“Power Buggz” and “Playtime Buddies” are the two brand new titles that Mondo TV will be launching at Mipcom and that should reach the small screen in 2011- 2012.
The former is a full HD 26 x 30′ kids’ comedy filled with action and adventure directed by Orlando Corradi, the group’s president and managing director, and is co-produced with Meg.
The latter is for preschoolers (52 x 13′) and is also filmed in HD.
It is a coproduction with Visual Picnic (which holds the rights to the property created by Erik DePrince) and Licensing Works (which holds the international merchandising and licensing rights) and, in addition to the production, Mondo TV will also be responsible for the TV and home video distribution.
“Each “Playtime Buddies” story”, explains Matteo Corradi, director of sales and a member of the BoD of the group which is listed on the Stock Exchange, “encourages the development of positive social interaction and cognitive skills.
The series portrays real social roles such as bakers, policemen, cowboys, farmers, firefighters and athletes, as well as imaginary characters who regularly feature in children’s imagination: pirates, mermaids, princesses and superheroes”.
According to Meg Toys, the master toy licensee, this is unlike any other product on the preschool market and will be available on the back-to-school shelves in North America from 2012 and even earlier in other parts of the world.
“To be successful, you first have to look at how a property works with the target age group”, continues Corradi, “and we carried out hours of testing on various groups of children.
However, the universal elements of success are: beautiful drawings, colors and trendy characters, and the strength of a story that connects the children to the protagonist or hero.
We are developing another series which will be bigger than any other because we are turning a longstanding successful toy line into a TV show: “Puppy in my Pocket” (52 x 13′), the famous “ceramic pets”.
The first 13 episodes are ready to be broadcast on the Mediaset networks from mid October and on Cartoon Network in 2011″. Mondo TV’s top titles also still include “Angel’s Friends”, with a TV movie called “Angel’s Friends – Tra sogno e realtà ” currently in production and, for the boys, “Virus Attack”, a 52 x 13′ series which will be ready for next spring, that Turner Italia will be broadcasting on all its networks, plus another 13 episodes, currently in production, of “Monsters & Pirates”, a cartoon directed by Maurizio Forestieri and co-produced with MPG-Magic Production Group, a subsidiary of Ferrero.
Finally, we should mention that, last September, Mondo TV launched its own licensing agency in Italy, Mondo TV Consumer Product, for selling the licensing, publishing and merchandising rights of properties owned by the Group itself as well as third parties.
The person responsible for the general management of Mondo TV Consumer Product is Guido Bertè.
ANIMATION BAND/Success for ‘Stellina’
Rai 2 is currently broadcasting “Stellina” (26 x 30′ episodes), the new title from The Animation Band about a rebellious 10 year old orphan girl who is looking for a real family.
This is a co-production between Rai Fiction and French TV which has already successfully broadcast the series.
The same set-up will be behind the Milan studio’s latest project, currently in advanced pre-production, but still top secret – all we know is that it is based on a series of kids’ books published by Mondadori. The 26 x 30′ episode series of “Ulisse, il mio nome è nessuno- Ulysses, my name is nobody”, directed by Giuseppe Maurizio Laganà , with drawings by Massimo Rotundo, will be screened next year.
Rai 2 is also planning to introduce characters from “Ulysses” into some live action and animated mini-dramas on its breakfast show, Cartoon Flakes, uniting the various kids’ slots as it has already done for other top Rai Fiction titles, from “Winx” to “Cuccioli”, and “Sandokan” to “Street Football”.
On the distribution front, The Animation Band has sold the pay TV rights of “Pororo” to Turner.
This is an amusing 3D Korean production for preschoolers, for which The Animation Band has the exclusive rights for Italy, that has been very successful in a number of countries and has already been broadcast by Rai 2.
The 104 episodes (plus a Christmas TV film special), will be broadcast on Cartoon Network and Boomerang.
The series is set in Antarctica and is about the adventures of a small blue penguin and his cute friends.
RAIFICTION/Fairies spellbind the U.S.
Quite a number of Italian animations coproduced by Rai Fiction are moving outside national boundaries to achieve success and high viewing figures abroad.
Winx is no longer an isolated case, although the fairies created from the imagination of Iginio Straffi have once again conquered territories that are often off-limits not just for Italian but for European products as well.
After becoming the first Italian animated series to be sold to the United States five years ago, “Winx Club” has now entered into another important agreement.
Nickelodeon has purchased the TV rights for the United States and the pay TV rights for Latin America, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and Benelux.
“Not only will the first four series be broadcast by Nickelodeon USA”, explains Luca Milano, marketing and animation manager for Rai Fiction, “but the Americans also intend to co-produce a fifth and sixth series. Alongside the projects for new series being proposed by other countries in which we will participate with our Italian partners”, he continues, “there are European co-productions created in Italy that will be broadcast by TV companies all over the world, especially European countries, and France in particular, the country with which we have established the highest number of co-production agreements. The first series of “Geronimo Stilton” was successfully broadcast by M6, the second, currently in production, will be broadcast by M6 as well as France 3, i.e. two unencrypted broadcasters who are in competition with each other, who have both decided to take part in the co-production, which is quite exceptional.
Sometimes some of our titles are broadcast first in other countries and subsequently in Italy, as was the case for “Stellina”, “Street Football” based on the novel “La Compagnia dei Celestini”, “Teen Days” by Maurizio Nichetti and “Poppixie” by Iginio Straffi“.
The spin-off from “Winx Club” (which this summer was once again the most viewed repeat on Rai 2) is currently being broadcast on France 3 and will be shown at a later date on Rai 2, the channel which will soon be featuring another series destined for international distribution: “Spike Team”, created by the world volley ball champion Andrea Lucchetta and directed by Maurizio Forestieri.