In “Lilly Singh’s Proud Princess,” the YouTuber and host of NBC’s “A Little Late with Lilly Singh” will voice a young girl discovering pride in her true identity. The film is currently in pre-production.
“She’s an amazing talent and represents an example of the diverse points of view we are bringing to our audience,” Pocket.watch chief content officer Albie Hecht said. The film “will speak to LGBTQ identity issues for kids. Lilly will be an eloquent and articulate spokesperson for that.”
Singh will executive produce for her production banner Unicorn Island Productions, alongside Polly Auritt. Julie Sype, the author of “Once Upon a Story You’ve Always Been Told,” the book from which the short is adapted, is also an executive producer.
Singh, the actor and comedian who rose to fame on YouTube, two years ago announced on social media that she is bisexual, female and “coloured.” “Throughout my life these have proven to be obstacles from time to time. But now I’m fully embracing them as my superpowers,” she wrote at the time, referencing her original “IISuperwomanII” online handle.
Pocket.watch has not set a premiere date or distribution for “Lilly Singh’s Proud Princess.” Hecht said the company will release additional details, including who will be writing the music for the film, later in the year.
All told, in 2021, Pocket.watch plans to nearly double its output of original content, according to Hecht. By the end of the year, the studio expects its library to top 300 hours (19,000 minutes) of original programming, comprising over 1,600 episodes.
Pocket.watch has greenlit a second season of “Love, Diana,” after the premiere of the live-action/animation hybrid series last summer from the Ukrainian family behind YouTube channel Kids Diana Show starring six-year-old Diana. Season 1 of “Love, Diana” has generated over 1 billion views on YouTube alone. Pocket.watch ordered a 32-episode season 2 as well as three “Love, Diana” specials to be released this year.
The company also announced that a new season of “Oynx Monster Mysteries,” from YouTube’s Onyx Family, will get an exclusive window on the Amazon Kids Plus subscription service beginning October 2021. Last fall, Pocket.watch cut a deal giving Amazon Kids Plus exclusive rights to “Super Spy Ryan,” a half-hour special featuring the star of Ryan’s World.
In addition, Pocket.watch said it will bring out more Ryan’s World programming from hugely popular kid YouTuber Ryan Kaji and his family, with new Ryan’s World specials and a new season of preschool show “Ryan’s Mystery Playdate” for Nickelodeon. Pocket.watch is the exclusive studio partner for Ryan’s World.
Also this year, Pocket.watch will produce and distribute new seasons of its “Ultimate Mishmash” series, which is comprised of repackaged content from its biggest creators such as KidsDianaShow, Karina Garcia, EvanTubeHD, JillianTubeHD and the Onyx Family.
“Our franchises reach a massive audience and Pocket.watch takes seriously its responsibility to accurately represent the global community we serve,” Hecht said. “The 2021 content slate is reflective of that.”
Other originals in production at Pocket.watch:
- “Rosanna Pansino Magic Food Truck”: Animated series starring YouTube food vlogger Rosanna Pansino and her cooking-utensil friends flying around the world in her Magic Baking Truck, serving up help and learning about local food. (Hecht described it as “The Magic School Bus” meets “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.”)
- “Misprints”: Animated series that follows Lucky Parker, a Misprint in a world where everyone is printed perfectly. Our happy-go-lucky hero turns his physical challenge on its head when he and his Misprints Crew approach every middle school situation with blind optimism.
- “For The Win!”: Live-action competition series for kids 7-12 where Gen Alpha’s favorite YouTubers will battle it out in video games while simultaneously undergoing physical challenges.
- “Dani & the Weeds”: Animated musical series for kids 5-8 that introduces Dani Lyons, a cheerful, often hyperactive, young dandelion with a personality as sunny as her petals, who is determined to bring the young weeds and the flora of Plentiful Petals Academy together.
Pocket.watch’s distribution partners include Amazon Prime Video, Roku and Hulu. The Culver City, Calif.-based company was founded in 2017 by CEO Chris M. Williams. Investors include ViacomCBS, Greycroft, Third Wave Digital, UTA, Robert Downey Jr.’s Team Downey and Jon Landau.