Featured in this edition: Arcana Studio, Big Bad Boo Studios, Babel Films, Blachfilms, Carte Blanche Films, GAPC Entertainment, Goddard/Brown, Imagine Create Media, Oasis Animation, Tobo, ToonDraw, and Vérité Films.
Big Bad Boo Studios
The Bravest Knight won a prestigious 2020 GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Kids & Family Programming! The Hulu Original Series was sold internationally to Hop Channel Israel and TFO.
16 Hudson received three Leo Award nominations and won for Best Writing! It was sold to RTP Portugal, Discovery Kids and launched on Amazon Prime Video in the US. Big Bad Boo has been busy producing Season 2, which is launching on TVOKids, Knowledge Kids, SRC Radio-Canada, TFO and ICI Television. During the first weeks of the pandemic, Big Bad Boo completed and launched five COVID-19 PSAs entitled 16 Hudson ER. As the first preschool series to feature a refugee family in its cast, 16 Hudson has been at the core of a digital campaign called #MyFamilyJourney, encouraging all families to share their journeys to their newfound communities.
Galapagos X, a show that tackles climate change, has a pilot episode due for release later this year. Also in development are new series Razzle Dazzle, Billy and the Boingo Band and Chamber Chasers. In addition, GAPC is producing season 3 of Lili & Lola as well as a new series teaching the ABCs, entitled ABC with Kenny G. A spinoff of 16 Hudson, this musical series launches on TVOKids, TFO, and Knowledge Kids later this year.
Big Bad Boo also launched its very first BIPOC Workshop Series in three areas of Children’s Television: Animation, Writing and Storyboarding. Sponsored by CMF and supported by CBC Kids, this free workshop series was created in an effort to foster diverse talent in several areas of the production pipeline.
Pourquoi? Seasons 1 and 2 are now on TV5 Monde and production is in development for season 3!
Le 422 won a Prix Gémeaux for Best Children’s Fiction Program or Series (ages 13-17)! After months of waiting, season 2 shooting will begin in March, and the series will be on air in December 2021.
The webseries Off (La panne) will be broadcast on television on Télé-Québec during spring break 2021, and season 2 is in production. It was an official selection at the 2020 San Diego International Kids Film Festival and was a NYC Web Fest 2020 winner for Best Mystery/Suspense program! It also won a Prix Gémeaux for Best Original Program or Series Produced for Youth Digital Media: Fiction.
Carte Blanche Films
Carte Blanche Films delivered the fourth and final season of Amélie et compagnie!, airing on Groupe Media TFO until March 2021. Two digital media convergent projects associated with Amélie et compagnie! will also be available in 2021 via TFO’s YouTube page TFLIX and their website! These include:
- 200 x 2.5-minute episodes of Les Vlogues de Newton. Amélie’s cat Newton shares his insights about the world, his adventures and many, many facts about cats with his fans.
- 26 x 5-minute animated shorts called Ellie l’exploratrice. A sweet flying squirrel named Ellie travels across the continent to discover why certain animal species have become endangered.
Carte Blanche has also confirmed financing for a new youth series (9 -12) called La petite mairesse for Unis-TV5 and Le Groupe Media TFO, slated to begin production in July 2021! This 13-episode comedy features Charlie, a 13-year-old trailblazer who becomes Mayor of her town.
STEM-based series ScienceXplosion teaches kids about the wonders of science with the help of an adventurous magician and scientist. It was officially selected for “Best Family Content” in Toronto Webfest 2020.
Es-tu prêt? aired on TFO in summer 2020 with bite-sized episodes for preschoolers about discovering, experiencing, and accomplishing everyday firsts.
Launching this year, Where’s My Alphabet? is a series that takes viewers on a scavenger hunt to discover the alphabet in their own backyards. O c’est pour Ottawa! transforms the alphabet into a road map to explore Canada’s National Capital, and will air on TFO this summer.
- Tout sexplique! (working title) is an accessible, engaging, and informative sexual health education program for youth aged 12+ adapted for French Canada and Unis TV, based on the highly popular, award-winning format, “Doctor Corrie” (Netherlands’ NTR).
- Polkaroo Reads! (TVOkids) stars TVO favourite, Polkaroo, who will discover the alphabet and some simple words in 26 episodes. Also starring Polkaroo is Polkaroo Counts!, with 30 shorts in preschool numeracy and mathematics, scheduled to be completed this spring.
And in development!
- BIENVENUE! is a shadow puppet animated series for and about displaced children and host communities. It follows the adventures of a group of young animal friends from different parts of the world who create a new community based on diversity, acceptance, and building resilience.
- The Whiskers is a preschool series about social emotional development that will feature real dogs as the characters with a goal to provide insight into how every child can navigate solutions to remain safe, strong, empathetic, kind, and free, along with developing a wonderful sense of self-esteem.
- Hoda Elatawi, executive and senior producer at GAPC Entertainment, was featured on “Film Chats”, originally captured at a 2020 International Womxn’s Day event at Invest Ottawa called “Vision 2020: Womxn in Film and Media Panel, Moving Forward & Making Waves”, hosted by Samphe Ballamingie. Hoda spoke about womxn’s representation in the film and media industry.
- Hoda will be participating in this year’s Muslim Awareness Week, speaking on the experience of being a Canadian and Muslim. The MAW will feature her award-winning film “Muneeza in the Middle”, the story of a 2nd generation Muslim trying to reconcile her religious values with her cultural and western values. GAPC is currently in production on their feature length documentary “So You Want to be a Muslim?”, with Elatawi directing, writing and producing.
Big Block Singsong’s “Greatest Hits, Vol. 4” won the 2020 JUNO Award for Children’s Album of the Year! It features music from the animated series, which airs on CBC and Disney Junior US.
The first season of ABC Singsong, distributed by Bejuba! Entertainment, was licensed to ABC Australia and will debut in 2021. Season 2 just debuted on TVO Kids in January, and more episodes of the literacy-based musical series are in production and set for delivery later this year.
Goddard/Brown continues as a contributor to Sesame Street, producing a short film called S is for Spiders and a series of six short counting films for the upcoming 51st season of the show.
Imagine Create Media
I Love (TVO Kids / Knowledge Kids) features 40 real-life kids sharing what they love to do. It won the 2020 Prix Jeunesse Shorts Prize!
Books 5 and 6 of The Gumboot Kids nature mysteries were released in September 2020, and books 7 and 8 are currently in production!
Imagine Create Media has completed production on Space Kids and The Gumboot Kids Christmas Special. A half-hour version of The Gumboot Kids series is being completed, and production is wrapping on their new series Baby Baby for TVO. They are entering production of Season 3 of Daisy & The Gumboot Kids and are starting a brand new animated series, Run Jump Play, for TVO, Knowledge Kids and Sportsnet.
Oasis Animation is developing a new series with an emerging writer with the support of a grant from Netflix and l’École nationale de l’humour. Read about it in La Presse.
Tobo delivered its first-ever animated series this year. Dounia, which tells the story of a little girl’s migration from Syria to Canada, is now available on Télé-Québec’s digital platform and was broadcast on the network on Christmas Day. It was featured three times on Radio-Canada’s radio, and was the subject of numerous articles, namely in Le Devoir and La Presse. Interviews and articles were also published in the Arab world.
Also delivered this year was Recreation Collection, a webseries available on the Bayam platform that proposes video workshops with three artists who are exploring their creative discipline – dance, public art and sound exploration – and sharing it with kids.
ToonDraw has inked several new broadcast deals for its 2D-animated series for preschoolers, Genius Genie. The first season (78 x 5’) has recently been picked up by free-to-air broadcaster TVP ABC (Poland) and US streamers ToonGoggles, Cocoro and Ameba. The show has previously been picked up by YLE (Finland), Alati International (Russia) and Discovery Kids (MENA). Season 1 was produced in partnership with Canadian broadcasters Radio-Canada, Knowledge Network, Télé-Québec and TFO.
Genius Genie follows the adventures of a well-meaning genie who pops up whenever anyone says the word “problem”. Though his magic often makes the situation worse, his friends Lili, Leo and Penelope are always willing to help with teamwork and creative problem solving.
Jeremy and Jazzy has reached some exciting milestones over the past year! The 360° brand aims to bring kids joy through stories about friendship, collaboration, and music. It includes television, game, book, music, live performance, and e-learning components.
The first 2 x 11min pilot episodes of the TV series have now completed production. Vérité has developed two prototype books and a sing-to-read app based on those first episodes; the app is currently in beta.
The company is now in pre-production on a 50 x 2min spin-off series of animated digital shorts based on new music by award-winning artists: folk-pop musician Jeremy Fisher and Afro-pop musician Aiza Ntibarikure.