Universal Pictures Intl. has teamed with Universal 1440 Entertainment to create a new 10-episode series of Woody Woodpecker, directed by Alex Zamm.
The series, comprised of five-minute episodes, will play next month on the Brazilian Portuguese, Spanish and English-language YouTube channels dedicated to Woody Woodpecker. The channels launched a year ago.
In addition, a 13-minute documentary has been created to complement the new cartoons, “Bird Gone Wild: The Woody Woodpecker Story.” The doc goes behind the scenes with the makers of the new toons and takes a look back at the origins of the crazy bird. The documentary will also be available on the YouTube channels in December.
“When we launched Woody Woodpecker on YouTube in 2017, the channels immediately resonated and the dedicated Portuguese channel for Brazil was a breakout hit; we knew there was a unique opportunity to do more with this favorite, classic character,” commented Rob Bell, EVP, International New Media, NBCUniversal Global Distribution.
The Brazilian channel has attracted more than two million subscribers and the Spanish channel more than 700,000, Bell said.
Given this success, “coupled with extremely high engagement and watch time,” Bell said, “it was clear there was an appetite to build upon the strength of the existing IP and a strategic opportunity for us to create original content.”
Viewers of the Woody Woodpecker YouTube channels can already access hundreds of videos, including the classic Woody adventures created by Walter Lantz Productions from 1940-1972, and the modern seasons created after 1999.
“Woody Woodpecker is my favorite impish trickster,” said Zamm. “It was an incredible honor to take a legacy character like this and create a whole new series of cartoons for him to star in. And it was also great to be able to include many of Walter Lantz’s other beloved characters.”