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Time Travel, Child Hosts, Diversity Build in Kids Shows, Says Glance Study

CANNES —  More or less the only thing that hasn’t changed in Avril Blondelot’s MipJunior presentation of Kids Audience Successes Around the Globe was Blondelot herself.

As well as, which she began by reporting, that “Alvin and the Chipmunks,” “SpongeBob SquarePants” and “Miraculous Ladybug” – in that order – still dominate the rankings for the top three programs watched by children in Europe.

But Eurodata TV Worldwide, which Blondelot has represented over the last few years, has been rebaptized from this month as Global Audience and Content Evolution (Glance), a change reflecting in part the enhanced now often highly global reach.

The rebranding also underscores vertiginous change in content markets. One case in point, said Blondelot. Over the first six months of 2019, half of 2019, 18 new launches figured in the top 20 best-performing programs in Europe’s Big Five territories of France, U.K. Germany, Italy and Spain, according to Glance’s Kids TV Report, Jan.-June 2019.

Yet trends there are among such dynamism, Blondelot insisted. Following, five takeaways from her session, which saw participants melt at some breathtakingly beautiful animation, and at a kids entertainment industry which seems to be providing at one and te same time, more actin, higher production levels and pumped up educational values:

1.Animation Still Reigns

In fact, if anything it has increased its dominion. Toons currently accounts for an average 78% of the 20 best-performing children’s shows in Europe’s Big Five, among viewers under 15. In the last five years, that ratio has never been highe, Blondelot said.New animation launches rose 15% over the 2018-19 season, compared to 2017-18.

2.Young Private Investigators, “Supersized Travel”

Building kids entertainment animation trends cut several ways. Kids, animals, even food characters are playing sleuths. Though they’re trying to help the police corner a super villain, this is done in a knockabout, fun, action-packed way,” Blondelot said, showing “Grosha & Mr. B.,” a slapstick comedy airing on France’s Teletoon Plus,from La Station Animation and France TV Distribution, “Hard Boiled,” from Singapore’s One Animation where, yes, the gumshoes are a dinky egg and her friend, a big, human-shaped chunk of ham,, and, for a far older age group, Netflix’s “Mama K’s Team 4,” from Malenga Mulendema, where four disparate teenage girls are recruited to save the world.

Or kid characters travel, in time and space. “Time Traveler Luke,” a South Korea-Malaysia co-production from Anyzac Co, SKB, Daewon and Giggle Garage Animations has Luke, a young bell-boy uses a time-traveling lift. “Kim & Jim’s Wormhole” has two kids who discover a vortex which allows prehistoric animals to enter their daily life, attend their school. “Dinosaurs firm part of kid’s imaginative world: the wormhole is like a metaphor for how they are connected with this past,” Blondelot said.

Presented at MipJunior by France’s Toon Factory and Mediatoon, “Sardine in Outer Space,” based on the French comic nook, has a feisty young girl, Sardine, battling the dastardly Supermuscleman and Dr. Krock, to save the world.

3.It’s a Global Production Business

Glance’s brief was to range far and wide in its overview of airing and upcoming shows. So Blondelot’s presentation covered 26 different children series coming from 20 countries. “Wormhole” marks one of China’s latest bids to produce at international levels, “Wormhole.” Sneak peaked at a Netflix presentation this June in Annecy, produced by South Africa’s Triggerfish Animation Studios and the U.K.’s Cake Entertainment, “Mama K’s Team 4” is created by Zambia-based Mulendema, represents Netflix’s first animated African series and is set in a near futuristic Lusaka.

4.Diversity

Diversity is being seen ever more in children’s programming and being aired for younger audiences. One example described by Blondelot: In Canada, Hulu’s 13 x 11-minute “The Bravest Knight,” aired since June, relates the adventures of a very young brave knight who marries a prince and adopts a daughter with him. And another: ABC Me’s four-part “First Day,” produced by Australia’s Epic Films, has four young girls beginning secondary school in skirts abandoning past male birth name and identity. The show scored 25% above channel average in girls 5-12.

5.Young TV Hosts

In formats, as YouTube consolidates as the most powerful brand in U.S. kids lives, not just entertainment, according to a 2019 Kidfinity  study, the content industry is reading out of YouTube’s playbook. Or just grabbing their stars. The star of YouTube’s “Ryan Toy Review” in 2015, which had 22 million subscribers and 30 billion accumulated views, was by April this year presenting in the U.S. Nickelodeon Junior’s “Ryan’s Mystery Playdate” on Nickelodeon, which punched ratings 25% on channel average.

Kids area slo warming to the same franchises they’re parents watch. Fox may serve up “MasterChef Junior,” but the phenomenon of kids take adults roles is far broader.

Sky Kids’ “For Your Information” (FYI), from Fresh Start Media and Magnify Media, is a 15-minute news show, delivered by child reporters.

In the two minute episodes of TV Brasil’s “Ta na Hora de Brincar,” from Framme Produções, it’s kids, abetted by a wizard narrator and a clown, who travel to the Brazilian outdoors, around the country, teaching viewers traditional games and their meaning, whether hopscotch or hide and seek, Blondelot said.

“Hosts are younger than were used to in traditional TV, come from the digital space, or may feature in outdoor challenges, which may be one way broadcasters and parents address the fear of turning them into couch potatoes,” Blondelot said.

Teens can also play big roles in high-end teen drama where the are projected into adults’ lives. In the buzzed-up online Swedish show “Dream,” from Palladium Fiction and Sony Pictures TV, which bowed in August on SVT Play’s Barnkanalen, kids dream they are adults in a world threatened by a disaster. “The photography is absolutely beautiful and performances quite in line with what you can get on TV,” said Blondelot.

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