Robert Rodriguez’s Uglydolls film hasn’t even received a trailer, yet an animated series is already in development. American streaming service Hulu has partnered up with STX Entertainment to produce a 26-episode television show. The deal will also make Hulu the exclusive subscription video-on-demand home for the film after its theatrical run. STX will retain international rights and are acting as both the producer and studio on the show.
The first family film from STX Entertainment, Uglydolls is set to hit theatres next year. Directed by Spy Kids’ Robert Rodriguez, the film has received significant industry support. Toy giant Hasbro signed on as the master global master toy licensee, and Walmart signed on to give Uglydolls its highest level of retail support – a commitment reserved for few premiere properties. Not much is known about the film, though hip hop superstar Pitbull has agreed to produce a song for it and have a voice role.
“Uglydolls is an ideal brand fit for STX, which was conceived for franchise building across all platforms from film to television, digital, virtual reality, consumer products, and more. Our seamless infrastructure allows us to strategize across all divisions, and as a next-generation studio we are thrilled to partner with a next-generation premium streaming service of Hulu’s caliber to service the entire universe of the Uglydolls franchise,” said Jada Miranda, STXtv’s EVP/Head of Scripted Television. “Our partners at Hulu fully embraced this opportunity and we felt confidence in their plan to realize the massive potential in what is STX’s first animated property.”
Created as a plush toy line by David Horvath and Sun-Min Kim, the Uglydoll brand quickly gained a cult following around the world and was named Toy of the Year by the Toy Industry Association in 2006. Beloved by children, teenagers and adults alike, Uglydoll characters are distinct for their endearing “ugliness,” in a wonderful “uglyverse” where differences are celebrated and embraced.
This move marks yet another step for Hulu as it expands its library of family programming. Earlier this month, Hulu announced its largest kids & family licensing deal to date with DreamWorks Animation for future slates of DreamWorks Animation feature films, as well as the rights to develop original kids & family series based on the company’s popular franchises. Hulu also recently announced a deal with Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Television and Warner Bros. Animation to create and premiere a brand-new version of Animaniacs.