Today, WarnerMedia Kids & Family unveiled during its upfront that it will be expanding its content commitment to appeal to a broader spectrum of children, including preschoolers, kids ages 6-11, girls and family co-viewing. Altogether, the entertainment conglomerate’s hefty kids and family brand portfolio will soar to more than 300 hours of originals and 3,000 hours of premium library content. These series, specials and acquisitions will begin to debut on its global Cartoon Network channels and WarnerMedia streaming platform HBO Max later this year.
“Tiny Toons Looniversity” from Warner Bros. Animation, Amblin Television and returning executive producer Steven Spielberg and yet-to-be-aired animated prequel “Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai” were among some of the season-two double-downs announced during the presentation.
“After 100 years of creating some of the world’s most beloved IP, today we’re at the beginning of our new story, with the history, corporate unity and modern approach to be the industry leader our heritage deserves,” said Tom Ascheim, president of Warner Bros. global kids, young adults and classics, in a statement.
Besides, WarnerMedia Kids & Family released plans today to launch Cartoonito, a new preschool programming block set to debut on Cartoon Network and HBO Max this fall with 20 new series at launch. WarnerMedia has pledged to grow this offering to nearly 50 new original series within its first two years.
“Cartoonito is our biggest commitment to preschool programming in 100 years. Our educational philosophy coupled with the incredible caliber of innovative, educational content that will comprise this offering is second to none,” Ascheim added. “Reimagining some of our legendary franchises with preschool-appropriate spinoffs like ‘Batwheels,’ ‘Bugs Bunny Builders’ and ‘Tom and Jerry Junior’ will keep new generations laughing and learning for years to come.” Furthermore, HBO will continue its content partnership with Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit behind Sesame Street, for the new animated preschool comedy series “Bea’s Block.” The upcoming show joins Sesame Workshop’s flagship show “Sesame Street” and spinoffs “The Not-Too-Late-Show with Elmo” and forthcoming CGI-animated “Mecha Builders,” as well as “Esme & Roy,” on the streamer.
To leverage its legacy and commitment to animated and live-action content expansion, Cartoon Network was officially deemed the central kids and family brand for WarnerMedia and has reenergized its brand promise with a new tagline, “Redraw Your World.” The slogan aims to “empower kids to feel comfortable with who they are, embrace their uniqueness and believe in their own ability to impact change,” the statement described. Moreover, to help bring this refreshed brand position to life, Cartoon Network inked its first-ever kid musician-in-residence deal with 10-year-old viral music sensation and rock prodigy Nandi Bushell to create a plethora of multiplatform content.
“Gremlins: The Secrets of the Mogwai” is currently in production and features a predominantly Chinese star-studded voice cast including Izaac Wang, Ming-Na Wen, BD Wong, James Hong, A.J. LoCascio, Gabrielle Green, and Matthew Rhys. Other new series greenlights include three 44-minute “Ben Ten” specials, season four of “Craig of the Creek,” “Infinity Train: Book Four,” two new seasons of “Total Drama Island” and the third season of “Victor and Valentino.” Also incoming is the new series “Jade Armor,” which centers around the martial arts-loving Lan Jun, an unlikely teenage heroine who must learn the ancient secrets of her family and uncover the unexpected, all while navigating life as a team. “Jade Armor” is currently in production with TeamTO and features an all-female creative team.
Other new movie projects in development include a music-filled live-action comedy created by Michael Poryes (“Hannah Montana,” “That’s So Raven”) entitled “Family Mash-Up,” an animated comedy from Cartoon Network Studios produced by Adam Scott (“Parks and Recreation” and Naomi Scott (“Other People”), as well as “The Amazing World of Gumball Movie,” “Teen Titans Go! The Night Begins to Shine” and “Tweety Mysteries.”
Cartoon Network will also launch weekend family movie nights with blockbuster features including “Gremlins,” “Happy Feet,” “The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part,” “Shazam!,” “Back to the Future” and more.