Chinese family media and entertainment company UYoung has launched an educational SVoD service for preschool children. The goal of the platform is to expand the reach of its production and distribution catalogue, while helping kids in the region learn English.
UKids, aimed at preschoolers will offer subscribers a library of curated content chosen for its educational value, ranging from STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), nature and arts and crafts titles through to socio-emotional programming. Its catalogue features more than 3,000 episodes of content in both English and Mandarin, including popular series such as Peppa Pig, Bob the Builder, Fireman Sam and Thomas & Friends. The app also hosts more than 1,000 songs and audio stories, including YouTube content from Skyship Entertainment’s Super Simple Song brand. New content such as Moon & Me and Love Monster will be regularly added to the service through continuous updates.
In the last year UYoung has sold TeamTO’s Mighty Mike and Cottonwood Media’s The Ollie and Moon Show to China’s Tencent and Mango TV, as well as a trio of animated shows Mia and Me, Space Racers and Messy Goes to Okido to state-owned broadcaster CCTV.
George Takei has joined some of the finest actors and voiceover talents for a new 54 x 7’ 2D-animated series titled Love Monster, from BBC Children’s, Boat Rocker Studios and UYoung. Takei (Star Trek, Heroes) joins the cast as Elder Panda.
The voice cast features narrator Tamsin Greig (Friday Night Dinner, Episodes, The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel), Javone Prince (The Javone Prince Show, PhoneShop) as Bad Idea Puppy, Sarah Hadland (Miranda, The Job Lot, Bob the Builder) as Tiniest Fluffiest Bunny, Lewis Macleod (Dead Ringers, Newzoids, Postman Pat) as Elder Kitten/Dr. G. Piggles, Freya Parker (The Mash Report, Lovesick) as the In-Chicks/Delivery Duckling and Emma Maclennan (Maleficent 2: Mistress of Evil) as Book Cub, while actor, and comedian and beatbox artist Darren Foreman will bring the titular Love Monster to life.
Love Monster is exec produced by Tony Reed and James Chen Gu. The animation for the series is produced in the UK by Karrot Animation and A Productions. UYoung’ s studio in China will provide a portion of pre-production on scripts, storyboards and design.
Boat Rocker Studios will distribute Love Monster and manage the global brand and licensing excluding China and Southeast Asia, which will be managed by UYoung.
Turner Asia Pacific and Chinese animation company UYoung have formalised their official partnership with an MOU, announced this week at Kidscreen Summit in Miami.
The scope of the partnership includes the development of a new IP by UYoung. Turner, which is known in the kids entertainment space for its Cartoon Network, Boomerang and POGO brands, brings its production and international distribution experience of quality animation. The details of the IP are yet to be disclosed and are expected to be revealed later in 2019.
Turner Asia Pacific president Ricky Ow said, “We’ve been impressed by UYoung’s vision to develop a homegrown Chinese IP and launch it together with us both in China and internationally. We are looking forward to working closely with them on this, with a collaboration that brings together global talent to tell Chinese-inspired stories.”
In Asia Pacific, Turner adopts a virtual studio model for its original animation projects, identifying creators, artists and studios from right around the region, for global audiences.
UYoung president Lisa Zhong added, “We are proud to be the pioneer partner with Turner to bring Chinese storytelling around the world. UYoung is always keen to establish stronger ties with international producers and broadcasters to extend its international reach.”
UYoung develops, produces and distributes high-quality animated content. It has become one of China’s leading children’s entertainment and media companies, and employs more than 200 talent in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Los Angeles.
CAKE has announced a slate of sales for animated medieval comedy series My Knight and Me created by French producer Team TO and Belgian producer Thuristar.
The latest broadcasters to join the medieval mayhem include Hulu from US, UYoung from China, Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore and Taiwan; YLE from Finland, SVT from Sweden, Televisió Catalunya from Spain, E-Vision from Middle East and Showmax from Africa. The series premiered globally on Cartoon Network and on the Family Channel in Canada last year.
My Knight and Me is aimed at kids between six to 11 years, consisting of 52 episodes of 11 minutes each. The series follows the adventures with the trio of knights as they battle witches, dragons and giants making the dark ages a little brighter and a whole lot more fun.
CAKE CCO and managing director Ed Galton said, “We are thrilled that My Knight and Me has found a home on so many channels after its strong international debut last year and we are looking forward to introducing young audiences to Jimmy, Cat and Henri’s hilarious fun-filled adventures.”
In 2017, My Knight and Me won the Gold Plaque for best animated series at the Chicago International Children’s Film Festival and was nominated for two Emile Awards at the European Animation Awards.
The medieval serieswas created and directed by Joeri Christiaen and co-produced with Canal+ Family and TéléTOON+ from France, SuperRTL from Germany and VRT-Ketnet and RTBF-OUFtivi from Belgium. CAKE handles all international distribution.