Netflix is ratcheting up its kids’ lineup, announcing orders for seven original series including shows based on Lego Group’s Bionicle and Friends toy lines and a sitcom based on DreamWorks Animation’s movie “The Croods.”
Netflix is also broadening its offering for tweens and teens, with the live-action show “Lost & Found Music Studios,” action-comedy of “Buddy Thunderstruck,” anime-inspired “Glitter Force” and “Las Leyendas” (“The Legends”), first ever original animated series produced in Latin America.
In all, the new pacts bring Netflix’s kids originals lineup to 35. Children’s programming is a key category for the subscription VOD segment, in large part because parents like that there aren’t any ads. Netflix’s kidvid content deals include a broad pact with Disney, under which Netflix starting next year will have pay-TV window rights to all live-action and animated feature films.
“Roughly half of our 65 million members around the world regularly watch kids’ content and with the addition of these seven diverse original series we are continuing our strong investment in kids programming,” said Andy Yeatman, director of global kids’ content for Netflix.
Here’s a rundown on the new Netflix originals:
- “Dawn of the Croods” (Dec. 24, 2015): The prehistoric stars of DWA’s 2013 “Croods” return in an all-new family sitcom. Eep, Grug, Thunk, Ugga, Sandy and Gran will meet new friends, outrun new creatures and encounter “firsts” the world has never seen — such as school, slumber parties, hiccups and elections. To be available in all current Netflix territories except Germany and Japan.
- “Glitter Force” (Dec. 18, 2015): 20-episode series from Saban Brands is a dubbed version of Japanese TV anime show “Smile, PreCure!” with a new score, theme song and CGI music videos. The show is set in the magical kingdom of Jubiland, which is invaded by an evil emperor and his band of fairytale villains. A tiny pixie named Candy recruits five preteen girls to form the powerful Glitter Force to help defend Earth from becoming the next target. Series available in all Netflix territories excluding Asia.
- “Lego Bionicle: The Journey to One” (premiering Q1 2016): Four-episode animated series based on the Bionicle franchise of buildable action figures takes place on the mythical island of Okoto, where the forces of darkness are on the move and the evil Makuta is working to cast the world into darkness.
- “Lego Friends: The Power of Friendship” (Q2 2016): Four-episode series will feature characters from line of construction toys, following the adventures of five best friends around their hometown Heartlake City.
- “Lost & Found Music Studios” (Q1 2016): Live-action series from Temple Street Prods. is about a group of talented teenage musicians who struggle to find their authentic sound and place in the world. The series of 26 half-hour episodes is slated to premiere exclusively on Netflix worldwide, outside of Canada, the U.K. and Ireland.
- “Buddy Thunderstruck” (2017): Stop-motion animated action-comedy follows the adventures of a semi-truck racing dog named Buddy and his albino ferret mechanic. The 12-episode series is being produced by American Greetings Entertainment with Stoopid Buddy Stoodios.
- “Las Leyendas” (2017): Animated series is based on trilogy of children’s films from Mexican studio Anima Estudios, with a first-season order of 13 episodes. Set in the 1800s, the adventure tale centers on Leo San Juan, a reluctant but heroic teen boy with the ability to communicate with ghosts and monsters — including Quetzalcoatl, an inter-dimensional entity who has sought to conquer the universe for centuries.