“Angry Birds” creator Rovio Entertainment has another hit on its hands: The company will produce a second season of “Angry Birds Toons,” after the first batch generated over 1 billion views, and add additional content from Hasbro, Stan Lee and others to its online entertainment channel ToonsTV.
Deal becomes the first time the series will be released on disc and their roll out will be timed with the release of the 3D “Angry Birds” film in theaters on July 1, 2016. Sony also will handle the distribution of the movie.
Rovio’s two new “Angry Birds” series, dedicated to the “Bad Piggies” and pink Stella bird characters, will bow in 2014.
“Both the Bad Piggies and Stella characters enjoy a real popularity among ‘Angry Birds’ gamers,” says Rachel Webber, VP of video at Rovio. “The Piggies do a lot of silly, fun things and are prevalent in many episodes; Stella, however, comes from a different place and is a relatively new character in the game.”
Rovio’s new lineup of shows for ToonsTV will target international audiences and include Stan Lee’s “Chakra the Invincible” from POW! Entertainment and Graphic India; a variety of shorts, specials and skeins from Hasbro Studios’ classic brands; “Amazing Animals” from National Geographic Kids, “Fraggle Rock” from The Jim Henson Company; and a few series from French shingle Xilam Animation, including “Oggy & the Cockroaches,” “Zig & Sharko” and “Space Goofs.”
“’Angry Birds’ is one of the most recognizable franchises in the world, and we’re thrilled to be the first to partner with Rovio to expand their product offering at retail through our category,” said Lexine Wong, senior executive VP, worldwide marketing, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.
“We are extremely excited about the positive reception from our fans with the original ‘Angry Birds Toons’ series. Given the size of our reach and our massively engaged audience, it seemed only natural to extend beyond our own storytelling and partner with the best content creators to bring our fans even more fun entertainment,” said Mikael Hed, CEO of Rovio.
Since its kick-off in March, the mobile-based channel has been highly successful, proving to be a strong promotional launchpad. Sony Pictures, for instance, preemed on the service an exclusive 5-minute clip from “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2,” ahead of the film’s Sept. 27 release, and attracted more than one million views in its first week. ToonsTV also rolled out in the U.S. a branded channel for the Sony toonpic featuring additional scenes from the film.
Webber pointed out ToonsTV Channel has partnered with other studios, such as Disney on the promotional campaign of “Monsters University” and “Planes;” and is looking forward to more collaborations with film and TV companies.
Debuting in March through the “Angry Birds” apps available on most smartphones and tablets, on smart TVs and broadcast on more than 20 TV channels around the world, “Angry Birds Toons” is based on its worldwide hit game “Angry Birds,” which first launched as a slingshot-puzzle game for the iPhone, in Dec. 2009. They are set on Piggie Island, where the game’s birds band together to protect their eggs from evil pigs.
Rovio produced 52 shorts for the first season of its toons, which were distributed in March through its ToonsTV YouTube channel, Samsung smart TVs, VOD partners, as well as through the games, themselves, available as an app for most smartphones and tablets. The shorts were also broadcast on 20 TV networks around the world.
“With over a billion views of our cartoons through our games, we’ve been blown away by our fans’ response to our first animated series,” said Rachel Webber, VP of video, Rovio Entertainment.
The “Angry Birds” games have been downloaded over 1.7 billion times across all platforms.