Chinese video streaming firm iQiyi has teamed with Canada’s Wildbrain to jointly produce kids’ animation series “Jonny Jetboy.” The series was hatched by Keith Chapman, creator of “PAW Patrol” and “Bob The Builder” and will run to an initial forty 11-minute episodes.
The story follows Jonny Jones, the youngest member of a family of heroes as he learns to become a superhero like his JetForce family. They are committed to protecting the high-tech city Calamity Canyon, from its many villains. Jonny wields a JetGlove and is the fastest member of the force, but often he struggles to control his special powers.
The deal marks first global partnership for original China IP struck by WildBrain’s dedicated Shanghai team. Now under way, production is taking place at China’s WingSing Animation Studio with WildBrain acting as supervisor. Delivery is scheduled for 2023.
The Canadian company is also handling global distribution and licensing outside of Greater China.
Chapman, Michael Vogel (“My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic” and WildBrain’s new Strawberry Shortcake series, “Berry in the Big City”) and Lu Jinming (“GG Bond”) from WingSing are credited as executive producers.
“Previously, iQIYI and WildBrain mainly collaborated over content acquisition. ‘Jonny Jetboy’ marks collaboration from creative stage for both parties. Together with first-class teams from both international and domestic, as well as WildBrain’s strength in international distribution and licensing in global market, this is a key step for iQIYI in building an internationally recognized IP,” said iQiyi VP Yang Xiaoxuan.
The two companies expect to be able to leverage mutual capabilities across production, distribution and consumer products.
iQiyi is China’s second largest conventional video streamer with over 100 million paying subscribers at its most recent quarterly report. The company has recently laid off a significant proportion of its staff and industry reports indicate that it may trim back its Asian expansion program. But it continues to launch new shows.
Wildbrain has a content library of 13,000 half-hours of filmed entertainment including brands “Peanuts,” “Teletubbies,” “Yo Gabba Gabba! Caillou,” “Inspector Gadget,” “Johnny Test” and “Degrassi.” Its Vancouver studios produce series including “The Snoopy Show,” “Snoopy in Space,” “Chip & Potato,” “Carmen Sandiego,” and “Go, Dog. Go!” It also operated four TV channels.