Nelvana brings Super BOOMi global
The Chinese hit Super BOOMi will be headed to the international markets courtesy of Nelvana. The Canadian animation company has signed an agreement to launch the series outside of Greater China. They’ve also signed a multi-year partnership with the show’s creator Up Studios. That’ll give Nelvana first-look rights on new shows as the two co-develop and finance new properties that will appeal to both Chinese and international audiences.
The 3D-animated series follows the adventures of BOOMi bear and his best friends as they play and learn in an incredible virtual reality game universe. Focusing on themes of friendship, positivity and the power of imagination, Super BOOMi features vibrant characters and expansive worlds that Nelvana believes will resonate with kids on a fundamental level.
The series is created by Trevor Trevor Lai, CEO and Founder of Up Studios. With two 52x11min seasons, Super BOOMi has built an extensive audience in China through Up Studios’ partnership with the country’s tech giant Tencent. Tencent has continued to build on its capital investment in Up Studios’ properties, putting seasons 3 and 4 of Super BOOMi into production. Within nine months, the series racked up more than 930 million views on Tencent Video and is on track to surpass an estimated one billion views in May. The show also airs on local broadcasters KAKU and Hunan TV, where the show garnered #1 national ratings (across all channels) for its primetime slot over multiple weeks.
Nelvana will work with Chinese internet giant Tencent to help develop the show’s content and licensing program internationally.
“I am thrilled to be working with Nelvana to bring Super BOOMi to audiences around the world,” said Trevor Lai, CEO and Founder, Up Studios. “The series was always created with the international market in mind, and in addition to our partners within Greater China, we look forward to working with Nelvana’s extensive distribution, production and licensing teams to launch Super BOOMi globally. Watching Nelvana’s shows were a wonderful part of my childhood, and I am overjoyed to now have the opportunity to create characters and stories with them to entertain a new generation of families.”
“With Trevor’s richly imagined stories and characters that are truly universal, we feel Super BOOMi has incredible potential to travel globally and are so pleased that Nelvana will be instrumental in making it happen,” said Pam Westman, Head of Nelvana Enterprises. “Super BOOMi is only the beginning of our collaboration with Trevor. His creativity and business savvy will be instrumental in our development of new content for the international market.”
BOOMi’s just the beginning for Nelvana’s China push
The move comes as Nelvana makes inroads in the Chinese market. Earlier this week the animation studio launched its Chinese incubation program. In collaboration with WeKids and sister company Toon Boom Animation, the trio are looking for new talent to develop, produce, and distribute original, cutting-edge kids’ animation from China to global audiences.
China-based creatives – animators, writers, illustrators, storytellers, and artists – are now invited to submit their comedic, character-driven concepts for kids aged 2-5 and 6-11, via the China Tales Incubator website. Accepted in either Mandarin or English, submissions must include a working title, target demo, proposed format, summary, and a maximum of five illustrations. The first-round deadline is July 6, 2018. Submissions will be evaluated by September 30, 2018.
The winning concept will be put into development through the partnering companies with the goal of creating a pitch bible and an animation test or trailer to then take the concept to the international market for distribution, licensing, and merchandising.
To kick-off the initiative, Nelvana, WeKids, and Toon Boom Animation will host six China Tales Incubator Workshops in Hangzhou, Suzhou, Shanghai, Beijing and Shenzhen from April 26 – May 11. Specialists in writing, developing, and producing animation from the three companies will be introducing the incubator program to attendees. Chinese animation studios, broadcasters, streaming platforms, animation academies, and independent animators, writers, and artists are all invited to attend these workshops. The first workshop in Hangzhou will be held as a panel of CICAF/iABC. Please visit the China Tales website for more information.