Tweety’s 80th anniversary celebrations take flight

WarnerMedia Global Brands and Experiences (WMGBE) is reminding the world that Tweety is no ordinary canary by launching an 80th anniversary celebration on a global scale.

As one of Looney Tunes’ most beloved characters, Tweety is known for being unflappable and unapologetically authentic. WMGBE has commissioned a diverse group of artists worldwide to design 80 original murals reflecting Tweety’s rich history and dynamic personality.

The “80 Years of Tweety” campaign kicked off in Austin at SXSW 2022 on March 11, where the first group of murals officially debuted. The anniversary honours will continue throughout the year across the Studio with new Tweety content from HBOMax, WarnerMedia Kids & Family, along with new themed experiences and collections from Warner Bros. Consumer Products. The celebration will culminate on Tweety’s birthday on November 21, 2022.

Free for everyone to enjoy, the Tweety-themed works of art will appear in the United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Poland, Spain, Italy, Mexico, Brazil, United Arab Emirates and more. In the United States, Tweety murals will be seen in more than 30 cities. To track where to find Tweety murals, as well as all things Tweety, visit Tweety’s Anniversary website.

“For eighty years, Tweety has marched to the beat of his own drum, inherently representing what it means to be unapologetically yourself. His endearing personality has made him a pop culture favourite and he’s known for making appearances in the most unexpected ways,” says Pam Lifford, President, WarnerMedia Global Brands and Experiences.

“As a key member of the Looney Tunes franchise, we definitely wanted to celebrate Tweety’s 80th in a big way and are excited for the year-long celebration ahead. Keep your eyes out for him to pop up anywhere, from fashion to collectibles and more.”

To complete the murals, WMGBE collaborated with 16 artists, each with a different take on the tiny hero. Tweety’s signature yellow colour runs through the designs, but the artists’ different styles will make each one unique. Artists have been selected through the lens of diversity across different countries, artistic mediums and expressions, ethnicities, genders and sexualities.

In addition to the murals, Tweety’s 80th Anniversary celebration features products, content, experiences and more, including:

  • Warner Bros. Consumer Products (WBCP) will announce new offerings and partnerships across all categories (fashion, collectibles, beauty, and more) throughout the year. Available now only on WBCP’s Looney Tunes Shop is the all-new Tweety’s 80th Mural Collection. The collection is set to feature a number of the 80 Tweety-inspired mural designs on a unique selection of merchandise and apparel. The ultimate fan destination to celebrate Tweety, the Looney Tunes Shop will unveil product drops throughout the year, including merchandise with Tweety mural designs yet to be revealed, leading up to Tweety’s birthday on November 21, 2022.
  • Loungefly has produced a Tweety 80th Anniversary Plush Backpack. The front features Tweety’s unmistakable shape, featuring wings on the front zipped compartment that move back and forth ($80.00). Also available is a Tweety and Sylvester 80th Anniversary Zip Around Wallet ($40.00). Available now, both products feature Tweety 80th Anniversary motif on the inside lining, along with vegan leather.
  • Available now, the Ugly Dukling x Tweety Bird Collection is a limited-edition, box collection of luxury 3D magnetic eyelashes featuring a special-dose of Tweety. The curated collection features four classic statement style lashes named “Tweety Pie,” “Tweety Bird,” “Looney Luxury Lashes” and “I Tawt I Taw a Puddy Tat!” Presented in Tweety-themed keepsake packaging, the collection continues Ugly Dukling Beauty’s tradition of high quality, hand crafted seven-magnet eyelashes.
  • Warner Bros. Themed Entertainment will be joining in on the festivities for Tweety’s birthday with exclusive murals around the world including at Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi, Warner Bros. Movie World in Australia, and Parque Warner Madrid.
  • HBO Max: Tweety continues to star in the hit Looney Tunes Cartoons animated series from Warner Bros. Animation now streaming on HBO Max. New episodes will debut from the Max Original series throughout the year in celebration of the beloved yellow canary.
  • Cartoonito: This summer, Tweety will star alongside fellow Looney Tunes characters in Bugs Bunny Builders, a new preschool animated series produced by Warner Bros. Animation, coming to Cartoonito on HBO Max and Cartoon Network.


Bing strengthens US presence with launch on Cartoonito on HBO Max

Acamar Films’ International Emmy Award-winning hit TV show Bing is set to make further inroads in North America with its launch on Cartoonito on HBO Max on Thursday February 24.

The HBO Max launch follows last September’s successful US debut of a new, bespoke American version of Bing on Cartoonito on Cartoon Network – created to make the preschool series as relatable as possible for US audiences.

According to WarnerMedia Kids & Family, Cartoonito, its new preschool block, offers “a modern approach to preschool programming with its proprietary educational framework, Humancentric Learning”. Bing, which celebrates the “joyful, messy reality of preschool life” is highlighted by Cartoonito as a series that helps young viewers understand how to manage emotions, understand others’ perspective and develop social skills.

Since Bing’s US premiere, six episodes have been running each weekday on Cartoonito on Cartoon Network. The show’s availability on HBO Max will further increase its reach in North America, with the popular streaming service having currently reached a US subscriber base of more than 45 million.

Jodie Morris, Chief Content & Audiences Officer, Acamar Films, says: “We are absolutely thrilled with our new American version of Bing, and are delighted that, through its launch on HBO Max, we now have an even greater opportunity to move and delight US audiences with our stories and characters.”

Bing is currently distributed to over 130 territories and engages digital audiences on a daily basis via 20 language-specific YouTube channels, social media channels, and a suite of digital apps.

Growth for Bing softlines as Acamar Films renews deals with apparel partners

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WarnerMedia Kids & Family acquires animated series Dodo from CAKE for HBO Max and Cartoon Network

Leading kids’ and family entertainment specialist CAKE has announced a deal with WarnerMedia Kids & Family for Wildseed Studios’ animated kids’ comedy series Dodo. Based on the multi-award-winning short film and YouTube hit Not the End of the World by British creator and series director Jack Bennett, Dodo (20 x 11 minutes) perfectly depicts the drama every child experiences during middle school through the character of 11-year-old Joe Connolly and his friends Frisbo, Pete and Lily. The series will air on HBO Max and Cartoon Network in 2022.

Ed Galton, CEO at CAKE says, “We are delighted to bring Joe’s dramas to audiences in the US. His hilarious adventures will resonate with and delight children, who can identify with his experiences as well as parents, who will remember their school days with fond nostalgia.”

“Whether our middle-school memories were fraught with tears or laughter we all went through them, and they are perfectly captured in this intensely profound comedy,” says Adina Pitt, Vice President, Partnerships, Acquisitions and Co-Productions for the Americas, WarnerMedia Kids and Family. “CAKE has delivered yet again a hilariously palpable story that kids can identify and laugh along with.”

Dodo is produced by Helen Stern (Gumball), directed by creator Jack Bennett, with the support of Ben Ward (Horrible Histories) on scripting and with executive guidance provided by Wildseed’s Head of Kids and Animation Sarah Mattingley. Produced by BAFTA-winning Wildseed Studios (The Last Bus for Netflix, Counterfeit) in association with Birkdale Film and Television, Toonz Media Group in India and Telegael in Ireland, Dodo is a Sky Original.

CAKE is a leading independent entertainment company specialising in the production, distribution, development, financing and brand development of kids’ and family properties. CAKE Productions Ltd supports CAKE’s development and production activities on shared and originated projects. With over 13 properties in development, productions include Angry Birds: Summer Madness for Netflix; Mama K’s Team 4 with Triggerfish Animation for Netflix; Angelo Rules with TeamTO for France Télévisions, Canal+ and Super RTL, Space Chickens in Space with Anima Estudios for Disney EMEA; Pablo with Paper Owl for CBeebies and Mush-Mush & The Mushables with La Cabane and Thuristar currently premiering internationally on Boomerang.


WarnerMedia merges with Discovery in latest move to join the streaming giant race

The scene has been set for the creation of yet another streaming giant vying for consumer attention, through the planned merger of AT&T’s Warner Media with Discovery.

The landmark deal will see the two companies become the second largest media group by revenue after Disney, with $41bn in sales annually as it brings together movie giant Warner Bros, HBO and other networks along with Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, TLC and more.

“This agreement unites two entertainment leaders with complementary content strengths and positions the new company to be one of the leading global direct-to-consumer streaming platforms,” AT&T chief executive, John Stankey said in a statement.

“It will support the fantastic growth and international launch of HBO Max with Discovery’s global footprint and create efficiencies which can be re-invested in producing more great content to give consumers what they want.”

The joint company – still in the process of decided a new moniker, with suggestions including Warner Discovery, Warner Bros Discovery and Warner Discovery Media – will be lead by Discovery’s president and chief executive, David Zaslav, who has said that the combined company would spend around $20 billion a year on content. 

Zaslav has suggested that the company could see its annual sales hit $52bn by 2023.

The merger will sit among some of the most significant deals of the past five years, alongside Disney’s purchase of Rupert Murdoch’s Fox empire, and AT&T’s acquisition of Time Warner. It is part of a plan to increase AT&T’s content pool as the streaming race intensifies further.

Netflix is leading the race to date with over 200 million subscribers, while Disney+ boasts its 104 million. Both HBO and Discovery entered the race recently with the launch of HBO Max and Discovery+. HBO Max, together with the HBO cable network has around 44 million customers, while Discovery has 15 million global streaming subscribers.

For WarnerMedia, the deal will mark the third restructuring in as many years.

HBO Max picks up US rights to pre-school adventure Love Monster

HBO Max has picked up the US rights to the new pre-school adventure Love Monster, from Boat Rocker Studios’, a division of global media company Boat Rocker Media.

A hit since it premiered on CBeebies in the UK in late January, the animated series is based on the award-winning preschool books of the same name by Rachel Bright.

Love Monster follows the exploits of one-of-a-kind, huggable hero Love Monster as he navigates the challenges involved in being a bit funny looking in a world of cute fluffy things. Every day provides Love Monster the opportunity to embark on all kinds of big adventures with his friends in Fluffytown, where, together, they learn all kinds of little life lessons.

Full of heart and helping preschoolers understand and manage different emotions, Love Monster showcases the importance of kindness, empathy, connection and instinct.

In addition to HBO Max, multiple other international broadcast partners have come on board since launch, including ABC Australia, CBC Canada, RTE Ireland, YLE Finland, TVNZ New Zealand, MBC Middle East, Canal Panda Spain and Viu TV Hong Kong.

Love Monster is a ground-breaking collaboration between BBC Children’s In-House Productions, Boat Rocker Studios, and Chinese entertainment company, UYoung.  Boat Rocker Studios is managing the global content distribution and consumer products program for the franchise.

Sesame Street prepares to launch 51st season to HBO Max this week

Sesame Workshop is gearing up for the launch of Sesame Street’s 51st season this Thursday, November 12th on HBO Max, marking the first season of the popular pre-school series to debut on the streaming platform. A run of 35 episodes will be available on the platform, ahead of the season’s launch onto PBS Kids next autumn.

“We are proud to announce our newest episodes of Sesame Street, designed to entertain and educate kids as we help them build curiosity, creativity, and persistence – an especially crucial focus as families continue to face unprecedented challenges,” said Steve Youngwood, Sesame Workshop’s president of media and education and COO, who becomes the nonprofit’s CEO in January 2021.

“This season debut on HBO Max marks another key moment in our partnership with WarnerMedia. We are grateful to them and our longstanding partners at PBS for their continued support as we work together to help children grow smarter, stronger, and kinder.”

 Tom Ascheim, president, Warner Bros. Global Kids, Young Adults and Classics, added: “Sesame Street has a longstanding legacy of doing incredibly important things for children by shaping culture and sparking important conversations among all of us.

“For me personally, I’m thrilled to be reunited with all the exceptional people that make Sesame Workshop the force that it is.”

Sesame Street’s latest season marks the beginning of a two-year curriculum focused on playful problem-solving, designed to build critical thinking skills in young children and better equip them to handle challenges in school and beyond. As Sesame Street Muppets, human cast members, and guest stars alike face obstacles – while building a castle, staging a circus, fixing the inner workings of a grandfather clock, and more – they approach these problems with curiosity, creativity, and perseverance.

A new anthem – “I Wonder, What If, Let’s Try” – performed by celebrity guest Hailee Steinfeld, brings this curriculum to life and makes its season debut on Thursday, November 26. The anthem will appear in Sesame Street episodes through the year.

41Entertainment lands first SVOD and broadcast deals for animated series S.M.A.S.H

HBO Max has signed a new deal with 41 Entertainment that grants it the First Window Exclusive SVOD rights to the company’s new animated series S.M.A.S.H in the US. The streaming platform is joined by Super RTL in Germany who has secured the exclusive content rights for Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.

41 Entertainment will launch the new animated series on a global scale in 2022. Discovery Family Channel and Discovery Familia in the US has already secured the exclusive linear rights to the series.

S.M.A.S.H is set at a one-of-a-kind sleepaway camp located on Lake Sebastian in Bavaria, Germany where four kids with superpowers – Streak (St Petersburg, Russia), Rocket (Cape Town, South Africa), Flare (Glasgow, Scotland) and Vitoria (São Paulo, Brazil) – are preparing to become the next generation of superheroes.

At the center of this super heroic action team is Mei Lien, a clever and charismatic mechanical genius from Guangzhou, China. Mei Lien is a tehc whizz and inventor of many of the SMASH kids’ customised vehicles and gadgets.

Created by Allen Bohbot and based on an original idea by Kaaren Lee Brown, S.M.A.S.H has been developed for television by Kaaren Lee Brown and Kiersten Halstead, illustrated by Mel Bontrager, and executive produced by Allen Bohbot. The series is planned to launch in 2022 worldwide from the same creative and production team as the international hit Super Monsters.

“We have built a great team of writers to bring the S.M.A.S.H adventures to life, including Josh Haber (My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, Skylanders Academy, Spider-Man) and Eric Rogers (Skylanders Academy, Futurama, Brickelberry),” said Halstead.

“We are also fortunate to have a fantastic production team to build out the Camp S.M.A.S.H world. Each episode focuses on fun and engaging superhero adventures that require teamwork, problem solving, and a sense of humour.”

Nancy Koff, VP, sales and marketing, added: “It is thrilling to be announcing an initial line-up of such stellar international broadcasters. The response from the market to S.M.A.S.H has been very encouraging and we look forward to announcing additional broadcasters and platforms soon.

“We believe the property is attractive to customers worldwide due to the high quality CG animation, cultural diversity of characters, and earnest storylines, which revolve around the children honing their skills and powers, while realizing how much they still need to learn in order to become a superhero like their parents Torpedo, Silver Streak, Rocket Man and Flame.”