×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘Rabbids Invasion’ Becomes Top Children’s Show in China, Ubisoft Eyes Other IP for TV

Rabbids Invasion,” based on Ubisoft’s bundles of lunatic energy that made the leap from video games to animated television in 2013, was renewed in China and landed new broadcasters in Japan, the company told Variety Tuesday.

Rabbids Invasion” is currently the most watched and positively rated children’s show on Chinese television, pulling in more than two billion views across Chinese digital platforms by the end of this summer season, according to Ubisoft’s film and television studio in Paris.

“‘Rabbids Invasion’ was our first major foray into animated series, and we’re thrilled it has resonated with so many audiences and resulted in international success,” said Hélène Juguet, managing director of the Paris studio.

The show is developed in-house at the Ubisoft Paris studio and is now in its fourth season airing in France on France Télévisions. Season 4 will be available soon on Netflix for international audiences, and on iQiyi in China.

Juguet, who worked for years on the Rabbids video game brand before making the leap to the studio, said that the animation studio was initially formed in response to broadcast companies asking if they could license the popular characters.

“We started thinking about that,” she said. “Animation is part of our know-how. So we decided to structure an animation studio around that brand and then found some great partners interesting in broadcasting it.”

Juguet believes the rampant success of the show is powered not just by the characters, but by the way the Rabbids approach the world.

“The Rabbids are a very malleable brand,” she said. “They don’t have a world of their own, they are characters that invade other worlds whether it’s Rayman’s, where they came from, to the human world. They can fit into any cultural background and make it their own. They bring their own silly way of interpreting the world.”

“They’re super adaptable and that’s part of their success.”

The popularity of “Rabbids Invasion” will also likely lead to other takes on the Rabbids outside of video games, and other Ubisoft brands coming to TV and film, Juguet said.

“It’s not always going to be ‘Rabbids Invasion,’” she said. “There is a movie project and a special project. We have explored some shorter forms and have garnered some clear interest in a longer, 60-minute special.”

The recent increase in popularity of the show in Asia is due in part to the success of another sort of experiment: The cross-over strategy video game that brought Ubisoft’s Rabbids into Nintendo’s world of Mario and friends.

“Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle” garnered high review scores and remains a popular game for the Nintendo Switch.

“We definitely saw the impact it had in making TV Tokyo interested in the program,” Juguet said. The game also demonstrated very clearly just how adaptable the characters can be and why turning them loose in a show is so easy. Ubisoft has also experimented with comic books and theme parks with the Rabbids.

Now that Ubisoft has had a taste of that multi-media success, the company is interested in exploring more possibilities with its other franchises, Juguet said.

“We are super proud of what we have managed to achieve with the Rabbids and what they have done for their first animated series,” she said. “This first success makes us want to continue. We are working on different IP and ideas now.”

More TV

  • Pete Davidson photographed by Peggy Sirota

    Pete Davidson Posts Unsettling Message, Deletes Instagram

    UPDATED: “Saturday Night Live” cast member Pete Davidson posted a disturbing message Saturday morning stating he doesn’t “want to be on this earth anymore,” then deleted his Instagram account. In the post, Davidson wrote, “I’m doing my best to stay here for you but i actually don’t know how much longer i can last. all [...]

  • Disney Channel Fires 'Andi Mack' Actor

    Disney Channel Fires 'Andi Mack' Actor Arrested for Plotting Sex With Minor

    Disney Channel has severed ties with “Andi Mack” actor Stoney Westmoreland following his arrest for allegedly trying to arrange a sexual encounter with a 13-year-old. “Stoney Westmoreland, an actor working on the series ‘Andi Mack,’ was arrested in Salt Lake City today,” a Disney Channel spokesperson said in a statement Friday. “Given the nature of [...]

  • Russian Doll

    TV News Roundup: Natasha Lyonne's 'Russian Doll' Sets Netflix Premiere Date

    On Friday’s roundup, Netflix announces the premiere date for “Russian Doll” and Benedict Cumberbatch’s “Brexit” film has a premiere date on HBO FIRST LOOKS Showtime has released a new teaser for the upcoming comedy series, “Black Monday,” which will premiere Sunday, Jan. 20 at 10 p.m. ET/PT. The series stars and is executive produced by Don [...]

  • Vanity Fair Review

    TV Review: 'Vanity Fair'

    There’s something comforting about the predictability of a period piece novel adaptation in the Masterpiece Theater tradition. Knowing the story, or even just the rhythms of the genre, there are rarely many surprises. The women will toss off witticisms and cry careful, pretty tears; the men will steel their jaws and declare their love, ideally [...]

  • FILE - In this April 5,

    CBS Claims Commitment to Ending Harassment. Its Actions Say Otherwise (Column)

    At this point, a new breaking sexual harassment case at CBS isn’t exactly a surprise. Over and over again, powerful CBS company men from producers to executives to the ex-CEO himself have made headlines for propagating decades of harassment and abuse, with dozens of witnesses affirming that the pattern was business as usual. But as [...]

  • Willow ShieldsVariety Portrait Studio, Beautycon Festival

    'Hunger Games' Alum Willow Shields Joins Netflix Drama Series 'Spinning Out'

    Willow Shields has been cast in a series regular role in “Spinning Out,” the upcoming ice skating drama series at Netflix. She joins a cast that also includes Kaya Scodelario, who was announced as the series lead on Thursday, taking over the role originally held by Emma Roberts. Shields will star as Serena, Kat Baker’s (Scodelario) [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content