Property Brothers’ inspired animated show ‘Builder Brothers Dream Factory’ sets premiere date

A new Treehouse original series Builder Brothers Dream Factory (40x11min) nails down its world premiere on Sunday, 26 March at 9:40 AM ET and will stream live and on-demand on STACKTV.

The series is inspired by the popular Canadian reality TV show Property Brothers starring Drew and Jonathan Scott. The Scott brothers’ shows are beloved by families across the country who connect with their can-do and always fun-loving approach.

The animated series will be distributed by Corus Entertainment’s Nelvana and is co-produced by Sinking Ship Entertainment and Scott Brothers Entertainment.

In the series, the brothers are regular kids who use their extraordinary imagination, creativity, grit and heart – coupled with a big dose of ‘Twinspiration’ to help friends and solve problems in the neighbourhood by dreaming big, really big, sometimes too big! Along with best friends Mel and Ayana, the brothers navigate the highs and lows of trying to make their world a better place, one big dream at a time.

Scott Brothers Entertainment kids VP Amory Millard said, “We are so proud of this show and are excited for families to experience the creative world of the Builder Brothers. Audiences can expect to see the same amount of wit, imagination, and creative construction as they always do from Drew and Jonathan.”

Drew Scott said, “This series is one of our most personal projects to date. Now that we have our own kids, we are more attuned to sharing the values our own parents instilled in us, but in a fresh and familiar way that resonates with families everywhere.”

Jonathan Scott added, “We were raised to believe that we can dream up any big idea, and there’s always a creative way to come together and solve any problem. We hope this series will inspire optimism and teamwork in every home and school across the country.”

Recently Nelvana signed on longtime partner Discovery Kids Latin America as part of its first major international distribution deal for Builder Brothers Dream Factory in Latin America.

Sinking Ship’s Carla de Jong, Matt Bishop, and Blair Powers, and Scott Brothers Entertainment’s Drew Scott, Jonathan Scott, and Amory Millard serve as executive producers for Builder Brothers Dream Factory.

Treehouse can be streamed via STACKTV, available on Amazon Prime Video Channels, FuboTV, Rogers Ignite TV and Ignite Streaming. The network is also available through all major TV distributors, including Bell, Cogeco, Eastlink, Rogers, SaskTel, Shaw, Shaw Direct, Telus and Videotron.

Sinking Ship and Scott Brothers Entertainment team up with Nelvana to distribute ‘Builder Brothers’ Dream Factory’

Leading global kids’ entertainment company Sinking Ship and international entertainment production company Scott Brothers Entertainment have appointed world-leading international producer and distributor of children’s animated and live-action content, Nelvana to distribute and serve as the worldwide merchandise agent for Builder Brothers’ Dream Factory, a new animated kids series, for top media content company Corus Entertainment.

The highly-anticipated original series for kids of age group four to seven years marks a milestone for both Sinking Ship and Drew and Jonathan Scott, as it is the first 3D fully animated show from Sinking Ship and the first kids’ production from Scott Brothers Entertainment.

The 20 x 22-minute episode series will feature animated versions of the popular twin renovation experts Drew and Jonathan as an eight year old boy’s extraordinary imagination, creativity, grit and heart – coupled with a big dose of  twin-spirationhelp solve problems in their neighborhood by dreaming big…really big…sometimes too big! Along with their dog Moose and best friends, Mel, Cee-Cee and Aiden, the Builder Brothers navigate the highs and lows of trying to make the world a better place – one big dream at a time.

The series will be executive produced by Sinking Ship’s Carla de Jong and Scott Brothers Entertainment’s Amory Millard.

Sinking Ship head of production Jong said, “Builder Brothers’ Dream Factory is an exciting project for us on many levels, and now we get to work on it with the talented teams at Nelvana and Corus too, we’re building this new series to resonate with kids and families just as Drew and Jonathan’s home renovation programming appeals to audiences of all ages in over 160 countries worldwide.”

Brothers Entertainment branding marketing executive Millard said, “This new series aims to help children understand that with imagination, creativity and determination they can accomplish big things, the series concept is inspired by the brothers’ childhood and the core values their parents instilled in them from a young age. They have continued to uphold these values in all aspects of their lives and we’re delighted to partner with like minded companies to make this optimistic and feel-good series a reality.”

Nelvana president Pam Westman, “The undeniable popularity and global success of the Scott Brothers makes this the perfect opportunity to enter the kids’ TV space with a charming and imaginative series that parents and children can enjoy watching together, It is a dream come true to be able to share this new heartwarming series with families and we cannot wait to find the perfect broadcast homes for Builder Brothers’ Dream Factory around the world.”

A character-driven comedy series at heart, the series doesn’t shy away from real kids’ issues and what they go through in navigating life’s ups and downs. It encourages kids to share their ideas, dream big, and not be disheartened. Its focus on resilience and problem-solving is what helps set the show apart.

 The series will air on Corus Entertainment’s Treehouse in Canada in 2022.

Portfolio Entertainment’s ‘The Cat In The Hat Knows A Lot About That!’ secures broadcast partners

Portfolio Entertainment has secured a raft of new deals for the hit 2D animated series The Cat In The Hat Knows A Lot About That! and additional sales for the holiday movie The Cat In The Hat Knows A Lot About Christmas! 

New broadcast partners for The Cat In The Hat Knows A Lot About That! include U.K’s Sky Kids (UK) for season two (40 x 11’) and season three (40 x 11’). Sky Kids is also taking four educational games based on the highly acclaimed show, Builda-ma-loo, Invention Engine, Camp Time and Arcade Escape. Unis TV (French-speaking Canada) has also signed on for season one (40 x 22’) and season two (10 x 22’),

Portfolio has also inked deals for the one-hour holiday movie The Cat In The Hat Knows A Lot About Christmas! (1 x 60’) with KiKa (Germany) and NRK (Norway). 

“The enduring legacy of Dr. Seuss’ beloved character lives on as a new generation of kids around the world will be going on adventures with the Cat in the big striped hat and his friends,” said Portfolio Entertainment VP of sales and business development Donnie MacIntyre. “Portfolio’s catalogue of best-in-class children’s content continues to attract leading global kids broadcasters and we’re delighted that our partners will be bringing this classic series and holiday special to their audiences.”

Fuelled by curiosity and imagination, the Cat leads best friends Nick and Sally on extraordinary adventures into the natural world. With the help of Thing One and Thing Two and their whimsically versatile Thinga-ma-jigger they’ll go anywhere from the bottom of the ocean to the centre of a beehive. The Cat in the Hat ‘knows a lot’ but he doesn’t know everything, making him the perfect guide to learning and fun.

Inspired by the top-rated, fun-filled animated original series, The Cat In The Hat Knows A Lot About That Christmas! (1 x 60’) is a one-hour holiday movie, originally broadcast on PBS Kids, bringing our favourite characters together to discover the magic of Christmas.

Produced by Portfolio Entertainment and Collingwood O’Hare Productions, in association with Dr. Seuss Enterprises, Random House Children’s Entertainment, Treehouse, and PBS Kids, The Cat In The Hat Knows A Lot About That! (80 x 22’ or 160 x 15’) is based on Random House’s best-selling Beginner Book collection, The Cat in the Hat’s Learning Library. The award-winning series has been sold to broadcasters and digital platforms in over 170 markets worldwide.

Exclusive: Guru Studio’s president and exec creative director talks on new IP, ‘Pikwik Pack’

Pikwik Pack

Guru Studio’s new preschool animated series, Pikwik Pack that premiered in the U.S. in November, has amassed an enthusiastic fan following and appreciation from kids and parents alike. 

In early December, the animation studio announced the series would be premiering in Canada on Treehouse 26 December onwards. 

Featuring four adorable animal friends as they work together to deliver magical surprises to the kind citizens of their bustling town, Pikwik Pack perfectly captures the universal joy of receiving a package – an especially timely concept today, as families everywhere have developed a deeper appreciation for delivery services and these essential workers!  

The official description follows: In every action-packed episode, a new surprise arrives at the Pikwik Post that must be delivered! Together with the intrepid Pikwik Pack, young viewers learn about navigating directions, geography, and weather to get the packages safely to their destinations. And though they may face rough rapids, stormy skies or a foggy forest, when they work together, the Pikwik Pack always delivers! 

Frank Falcone

Animation Xpress spoke to Guru Studio president and executive creative director Frank Falcone on the new animated IP. Below are the excerpts:

> What’s unique about the Pikwik Pack that makes it stand out?

All kids love getting surprises. There’s a universal appeal discovering what’s behind a wrapped gift. They get to share in the joy our characters experience when they receive surprises from the Pikwik Pack. The thrill of guessing and then revealing what’s being delivered is an experience we can all appreciate and share together. In each episode of Pikwik Pack, kids experience this joy firsthand. It’s like a special holiday or a birthday every day. 

Pikwik Pack’s unique message of working together to serve a tight-knit community has also become increasingly relevant and timely. Around the world, delivery workers are now being celebrated along with front line workers for the essential services they provide for our communities.  

We’re also seeing from testing and early feedback that Pikwik Pack is very much a gender-inclusive show. The loveable animal characters and charming stories are really resonating with both boys and girls.

> What was the inspiration behind this series? Can you throw some light on the process from ideation to execution, including the animation process?

We always wanted to create a world where unique animal characters with individual personalities would be part of an amazing, colorful community and delivering what we call “heart wishes” would be a great way to connect the team with the place they live.  Then came the idea that each episode would feature a new surprise package to deliver, and that kids at home wouldn’t know what’s inside until the very end of an episode.  

The development process was all done in house at Guru, led by our Creative Development VP of and co-creator of the series, Rachel Marcus. We brought the series to Disney Junior and they immediately fell in love with the show’s adorable cast and colourful world. 

> Tell us about the animation team that has worked on the series.

We’ve put together some of our best writers, directors, designers, storyboard artists, and animators on this show. It’s an amazing crew. The stories for this series are hatched among the creators and our creative brain trust working closely with our writing team. We really wanted to ensure that the ideas lent themselves well to funny moments of physical comedy and that the messages were heartfelt and clear. The team at Disney was incredibly supportive of our goals and provided great guidance, which allowed us to tell the very best stories possible.

> In addition to the coming episodes, what else is in store for Pikwik Pack, such as licensing, international distribution, and more?

We have an incredible group of partners developing products we think kids will really love. Playmates Toys is our master toy partner, bringing to life the show’s energy and charm in a really exciting line of toys and plush. 

We’re also thrilled to be working with Scholastic on storybooks and fun activity books. These are best-in-class licensing partners who have fully committed to providing our audience with meaningful touchpoints for these characters, the world they live in and the stories we tell. There will be more exciting announcements in the future as new licensing partners come aboard.

Outside the US, the show is launching on top tier broadcasters like Treehouse in Canada, Super RTL in Germany, Canal Panda in Portugal, HOP in Israel, Minimini+ in Poland, and more soon to be announced. 

Pikwik Pack

> Were any of the episodes created remotely due to the pandemic, and how did the team navigate those challenges?

Our teams have all had to pivot due to the pandemic and many episodes were produced remotely. Our incredible IT, Tech and Operations teams have been integral to keeping this show, and all our shows, right on track, getting everyone set up and even shipping workstations to nearly 100 artists. 

By using a combination of virtual desktops, video calls and creative collaboration tools, our artists are able to connect to the studio, and more importantly, to each other while staying safe at home. While the physical isolation is challenging, we’ve navigated it by working together and caring for one another and like the Pikwik Pack…we’ve been delivering on time, rain or shine! 

> When will the Pikwik Pack be available for viewing in India?

Pikwik Pack will be coming to India on Disney Junior later next year.

Guru Studios’ ‘Pikwik Pack’ to land on Treehouse in Canada on 26 Dec.

Pikwick Pack

After a successful US debut last month, Guru Studios’ Pikwik Pack, will premiere in Canada this Boxing Day, 26 December, on Treehouse. 

The animated series that has amassed an enthusiastic following, is sure to entertain kids in Canada as they encounter a brand-new world of surprise and adventure on the aforementioned date at 9:05 am (ET).

Pikwick Pack will also stream in Canada live and on demand through STACKTV with Amazon Prime Video Channels. After that, it will roll out to additional international markets in 2021.

Guru Studio Sales and Business Development VP Jonathan Abraham said, “After a very successful premiere on Disney Junior U.S., we’re now excited for Canadian families to fall in love with the Pikwik Pack. It’s the perfect time for a show about working together to deliver joy to our communities.”

The animated preschool series follows four adorable animal friends as they work together to deliver magical surprises to the kind citizens of their bustling town. The show perfectly captures the universal joy of receiving a package – an especially timely concept today, as families everywhere have developed a deeper appreciation for delivery services and these essential workers!  In every action-packed episode, a new surprise arrives at the Pikwik Post that must be delivered! Together with the intrepid Pikwik Pack, young viewers learn about navigating directions, geography, and weather to get the packages safely to their destinations. And though they may face rough rapids, stormy skies or a foggy forest, when they work together, the Pikwik Pack always delivers! 

Suki the brave hedgehog, along with Axel the go-getter raccoon, Tibor the reliable hippo and Hazel the silly cat, travel together by land, sea and air to bring packages of joy to their neighbors. Whether it’s a telescope, birthday gift or even a snow-cone – young viewers will learn gentle life lessons about the importance of community, responsibility and working as a team to accomplish a common goal – goes the description.

Corus Entertainment Broadcast Networks senior vice president Daniel Eves added, “We’re eagerly awaiting the arrival of Pikwik Pack on Treehouse, which will be a welcome addition to the schedule beginning this holiday season. The heart-warming series delivers fun and engaging stories that demonstrate the importance of friendship, teamwork, and responsibility. With Nelvana serving as the licensing agent for the brand in Canada, we’re delighted to bring this spectacular new property into the Corus ecosystem.”

Pikwik Pack debuted on Disney Junior U.S. in November 2020 with new episodes airing every Saturday morning at 8:30am ET/PT. The series will be rolling out worldwide later next year with broadcasters such as Super RTL (Germany), Canal Panda (Portugal), HOP (Israel), and Minimini+ (Poland), and more.

A full line of figures, vehicles, plush and collectibles is currently being developed by Playmates Toys, and a range of books by Scholastic is set to debut next year.

Genius Brands International extends the reach of ‘Rainbow Rangers’ across the Western Hemisphere

Genius Brands International has expanded the reach of its flagship animated preschool series, Rainbow Rangers across the Western Hemisphere with new broadcast deals signed, including Treehouse, owned by Corus Entertainment in Canada and Televisa in Mexico. 

 Commenting on the deal and the present situation, Genius Brands chairman and CEO, Andy Heyward said, “In these unusual times, we are seeing that viewing is increasing, and it underscores the timeless nature of animated programmes as an asset class immune to normal economic problems. Corus’ Treehouse channel, which reaches 80 per cent  of Canadian preschoolers, now airs Rainbow Rangers  season one and season two from Monday to Thursday. Mexico’s Televisa, which dominates the television market of the largest Spanish-speaking country in the world with a reach of 60 to 85 per cent of all households, will broadcast four episodes from season one each week beginning May 2020.”

Rainbow Rangers currently airs in the U.S. on Nick Jr. and in key territories around the world, including CCTV (China), Nickelodeon and NOGGIN (Latin America), Cartoonito (Italy),  Discovery Kids (Middle East) and Tiffany Broadcasters Across Europe, Asia, and Middle East. Additionally, the series is available on China’s one of the streaming services, iQiyi, and Televisa’s BLIM TV in Mexico. 

“With the addition of two A-List broadcast partners, Corus in Canada and Televisa in Mexico, we have significantly expanded the reach of Rainbow Rangers with maximum penetration across the Western Hemisphere. Additionally, we are currently in negotiations with a number of other leading broadcasters around the world. This special series delivers fun, adventure and entertainment together with important positive messaging of empowerment and diversity,” added Genius Brands Network head and International Distribution SVP Caroline Tyre. 

Rainbow Rangers is a rescue-based series that follows the adventures of seven girls who are Earth’s first responders, protecting people, animals, resources, and the natural beauty of our world. The series boasts of a unique and accomplished team of creators from the animated motion picture and television worlds, including Rob Minkoff (Disney’s The Lion King director), Shane Morris (Disney’s Frozen co-writer), Tim Mansfield, and New York Times Bestselling author and Emmy Award-nominated writer Elise Allen (Dinosaur Train, Lion Guard, Barbie specials),  who serves as head writer and co-creator.  

Multiple Emmy Award-winning director Michael Maliani is the director of the series, with Heyward, serving as the executive producer.

Speaking about broadcasting the series, Corus Entertainment senior vice president of TV Networks Daniel Eves noted, “Rainbow Rangers is a welcome addition to our schedule on Treehouse. We look forward to bringing new preschool programming to Canadian viewers that emphasises the values of friendship, environmental responsibility, and inclusivity.”

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