Disney XD, the Mouse House’s boy-targeted cable network, is releasing 18 videos from Maker Studios’ YouTube creator partners on its digital channels — one of the few concrete examples of synergy between Disney’s traditional media businesses and Maker.
The videos, produced under the Disney XD by Maker talent incubator program, will be distributed across the cabler’s digital platforms, including apps for desktop, mobile and connected-TV devices and on Disney XD’s YouTube channel. The Maker content will be free and carry ads.
Disney XD is debuting eight new videos as well as 10 videos that were previously released by the Maker creators on YouTube, which have garnered over 5 million views to date. The latter will continue to be available on YouTube and the new videos will be added to Disney XD’s YouTube channel.
Previously, Disney XD and Maker said some content might be developed for TV. That’s still a possibility, but none of the shows in the first wave has been greenlit by the cabler. After Disney acquired Maker Studios in 2014, execs touted a slew of potential inter-divisional collaborations, but only a trickle have come to light since.
The Maker videos on Disney XD span multiple genres, including unscripted gaming and sports-related shows, scripted comedy musicals and animation. The videos were developed and produced with support from Maker Studios and Disney XD with varying budgets (which the companies are not disclosing), while content under the Maker Offers branded-entertainment program for emerging creators were seeded with $1,000 or less each.
The content comes from several of the multichannel network’s top creators including EvanTubeHD, Random Encounters and CaptainSparklez.
“We developed this program with the idea of providing our exceptionally talented roster of creators with the resources to make the best digital short-form content, and that includes a way to get it to a broad audience,” said Chris M. Williams, head of channels for Maker Studios. “We’re excited to move into the next phase of the program and the distribution of these great videos onto Disney XD’s platforms.”
New content from Maker creators includes the following:
- “The Adventures of Luzu and Manolo,” LuzuGames: Luzu and Manolo the Pig view each other as a tasty snack, but before they can turn each other into dinner they find themselves in the middle of the Skeleton Apocalypse and must battle for their lives – they decide to put aside their appetites and join forces – for now.
- “Eames and Barry,” Forrestfire101: A manatee named Eames and a capybara named Barry star as two rookie detectives solving mysteries in 1950s Boston in this noir-inspired comedic thriller.
- “Natalia’s and Mayden’s Vida Loca,” ExpCaseros: Inventors Natalia, Mayden and their cat Archimede accidentally cause their entire town to turn into a hybrid cat-human-zombie horde, and experience a series of mishaps while searching for a cure to the madness.
- “Agent Smarty Pants,” Action Movie Kid: A kid becomes the accidental owner of a special military-grade pair of “smart pants” — which develop a life of their own and take control of his lower body, forcing him to deal with yet another issue on top of his normal teenage problems.
Content from emerging creators via Maker Offers includes the following:
- “Dream Gig,” Albert Lawrence: Lawrence takes featured guests on adventures that place them in the heart of the career paths they are most curious about.
- “Growing Up Viral,” Nicholas Grava: A teenager learns the ups and downs of becoming Internet famous after a video of him receiving a smooch from his grandmother goes viral.
- “Jack of All Trades,” Cininima: Jack has just moved to a new town and a new school when he discovers an amulet that grants him special powers.
- “Travel-Sized Adventures,” Daniel Florez: Nathan is an average 10-year-old introvert whose parents force him to put away his beloved video games and go on a 50-state road trip.
Pictured above: “Agent Smarty Pants” by Action Movie Kid
Correction: An earlier version of this story said the Disney XD by Maker videos had budgets of up to $1,000 each. However, only those produced under the Maker Offers program were capped at $1,000 each; the other videos had varying budget sizes that are not being disclosed.