Sony Pictures Animation’s forecast is looking bright, as it and family entertainment outlet DHX Media have inked a deal to adapt the film franchise “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs” into a children’s series.
Under the deal, DHX Media (“Yo Gabba Gabba!,” “Degrassi”) will develop and produce 26 22-minute, traditionally animated small-screen episodes of the computer-generated animated feature films. The deal also includes global television and non-U.S. home entertainment exploitation rights to “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs: The Series,” with the companies also planning to approach U.S. broadcasters and digital channels with the pitch. The deal also has DHX Media representing merchandising for the television series on a worldwide basis.
“’Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs’ has a tremendous legacy as beloved children’s books and a duo of highly popular feature films, showing how great ideas can succeed across media,” said Steven DeNure, president and COO of DHX Media. “We believe audiences both old and new are going to love this fiercely funny franchise reimagined for the small screen.”
The “Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs” films are based on the 1978 childrens book penned by Judi Barrett and illustrated by Ron Barrett and focus on Flint Lockwood, a high school tween who dreams of being a scientist while living in a blue-collar town called Swallow Falls whose primary industry is sardines. Other characters include Sam Sparks, the new girl in school and an aspiring journalist, and Flint’s dad, Tim. There’s also Steve the Monkey, Manny the head of the school’s audiovisual system, school gym teacher (and eventual cop) Earl, baby clothing model Brent, and Mayor Shelbourne, who wins every election on the pro-sardine platform. The first film, which was released in 2009, had a domestic gross of $124,870,275. The 2013 sequel grossed $119,793,567 domestically.
Sony Pictures Digital Productions prexy Bob Osher said he is “thrilled to see the adventures of our beloved characters from ‘Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs’ further expanded to television for audiences around the world to enjoy” and Rick Mischel, executive producer at Sony Pictures Animation, added that “DHX’s track record in creating great kids’ television content makes them an ideal partner to capture the unique humor and tone of Flint Lockwood and his friends that made the theatrical franchise so successful.”