Netflix is adding five children’s shows over the next year — including new versions of “Danger Mouse” and “Inspector Gadget” — as the No. 1 streaming-video subscription service continues to up the ante in kidvids.
The shows are “Danger Mouse,” featuring the rodent superspy star of the ’80s animated TV show; “Inspector Gadget,” about the bumbling bionic detective; “Some Assembly Required,” a live-action show about a kid toy inventor; “Bottersnikes & Gumbles,” based on the Australian book series of the same name; and “Super 4,” a CGI-animated series inspired by Playmobil toys.
“We’ve seen great characters and rich storytelling work for a global audience time and time again,” said Erik Barmack, Netflix’s VP of global independent content. “That’s why we’re proud to be working with some of the industry’s best producers and animators on these shows, and we can’t wait for kids and families all over the world to get to know these stories.”
The new version of “Danger Mouse,” set to debut in the spring of 2016, will feature the voice talent of British actor and comedian Stephen Fry as Colonel K. Netflix will premiere the show in North America, Latin America, the Nordics, Benelux and Japan, with all other Netflix territories launching at a later date. The spoof of the British spy genre will bring back Danger Mouse as he battles villains with the help of hapless hamster sidekick Penfold and a slew of state-of-the-art gadgetry and vehicles.
The CGI-animated “Inspector Gadget” will premiere March 27 exclusively on Netflix in the U.S., with other territories to be added after the show’s TV broadcast in each country. In the new version, Dr. Claw has reactivated his global crime syndicate, MAD, and Inspector Gadget must stop him. The 26-episode series is produced by DHX Media.
“Some Assembly Required,” slated for release this summer, was created by Dan Signer (“A.N.T. Farm,” “Mr. Young”) and Howard Nemetz (“Mr. Young,” “The Suite Life of Zack & Cody”) and is produced by Thunderbird Films. Live-action series centers on the 14-year-old owner of Knickknack Toys who hires a group of friends from school to help him create awesome new toys. Netflix will premiere the series in all territories this year, except in Canada, where it currently airs on YTV.
“Bottersnikes & Gumbles” is set to debut in the spring of 2016. Comedy series follows the adventures of three young Gumbles — Tink, Bounce and Willi — as they play while avoiding getting tin-canned by their lazy and grumpy neighbors, the Bottersnikes. CGI-animated series is created by Cheeky Little, Mighty Nice and CAKE and co-commissioned by Netflix, BBC and Channel 7 Australia. The first 13-episode season will debut exclusively on Netflix around the world in 2016, with the U.K. and Australia launching at a later date.
In addition, “Super 4,” a CGI-animated series inspired by Playmobil toys, will make its U.S. premiere in April exclusively on Netflix. The show follows four characters — Alex the Knight, Ruby the Pirate, Agent Gene and Twinkle the Fairy — as they explore the distinct islands of their planet, fight bad guys and have fun along the way.
Kidvids are an important part of the Netflix SVOD puzzle, appealing to parents because there aren’t any ads. Netflix has licensed or commissioned children’s programming from partners including PBS, Disney Channel, DreamWorks Animation, Cartoon Network, Mattel, Hasbro, Lego and Scholastic. Under its Disney pact, starting in 2016 Netflix will have pay-TV window rights to all live-action and animated feature films released by Disney. Additionally, all DreamWorks feature films are now available on Netflix in the pay-TV window, and DWA is creating 300 hours of original kids shows exclusively for Netflix, including “Turbo F.A.S.T.,” “All Hail King Julien,” “Puss in Boots,” “Dragons” and “DinoTrux.”