Thursday, October 09, 2014

Expanding the Franchise

Sony (via press release) informs us it's building two animated features into a larger franchise.

DHX Media, a key player internationally in the creation of content for families and children, has signed a deal with Sony Pictures Animation to expand the blockbuster film franchise Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs into television with a brand-new adaptation.

The far-reaching deal will see DHX Media develop and produce twenty-six 22-minute, traditionally animated small-screen episodes of the acclaimed computer-generated animated feature films, and includes global television and non-US home entertainment exploitation rights to Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs: The Series (Sony will distribute home entertainment in the US). The deal also has DHX Media representing merchandising for the television series on a worldwide basis.

The 2009 mouth-watering animated comedy Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs and its 2013 sequel, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2, were produced by Sony Pictures Animation, and distributed by Columbia Pictures. Both films were critical and commercial successes which grossed a combined $510 million in theaters.

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs: The Series takes place before giant food came raining down on Swallow Falls. Flint Lockwood is a high school tween with big dreams. Swallow Falls is a blue-collar town where sardines are driving a booming economy. But Flint suffers from NFD: Non Fish-related Dreams. He wants to be a serious scientist and maybe one day not have his inventions blow up in his face. Along for the ride is Sam Sparks, who's the new girl in town and the school's newest wannabe ace reporter. These two outsiders come together for laughs and comedic adventures with all the great characters from the film: Flint's Dad Tim, Steve the Monkey, Manny the head of the school's audiovisual, school gym teacher Earl before he becomes a cop, Brent who still models baby wear, and Mayor Shelbourne, who wins every election on the pro-sardine platform.

Steven DeNure, President and COO of DHX Media, said: “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs has a tremendous legacy as beloved children’s books and a duo of highly popular feature films, showing how great ideas can succeed across media. We believe audiences both old and new are going to love this fiercely funny franchise reimagined for the small screen.”

Bob Osher, President of Sony Pictures Digital Productions, said: “I'm thrilled to see the adventures of our beloved characters from Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs further expanded to television for audiences around the world to enjoy.”

Rick Mischel, executive producer at Sony Pictures Animation, added: “DHX’s track record in creating great kids’ television content makes them an ideal partner to capture the unique humor and tone of Flint Lockwood and his friends that made the theatrical franchise so successful.”

DHX Media is, naturally enough, a Canadian company.

Sony's going to Canada to get the show done. That's where the most free money is. (Time will tell whether any California artists are able to pick up some free-lance work.)


David said...

"Time will tell whether any California artists are able to pick up some free-lance work."

I would not hold my breath. Most of the job listings I ever see from Canadian studios specify : "Must be Canadian resident" "in-house only". And that's often on shows that are made for a U.S.-based company, such as Disney. Canada protects it's animation industry workers.

Steve Hulett said...

But not by allowing them to be in a union.

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