AG Properties, the recently formed intellectual property and outbound licensing division of American Greetings, heads to MIPCOM for the first time with a slate of familiar brands including Care Bears, Holly Hobbie & Friends and Twisted Whiskers. The company will also unveil two new animated franchises, Maryoku Yummy and Sushi Pack, at the market in Cannes, France.
To commemorate next year’s 25th anniversary of the Care Bears property, AGP is developing a slate of new CG specials produced by SD Ent. One of the new characters, Oopsy Bear, will be the star of Oopsy Does It, which is scheduled to get theatrical and home video releases through 20th Century Fox in the fall of 2007. Fox Home Entertainment has signed on as the long-term exclusive U.S. distributor of new Care Bears content, with three additional releases planned for 2007 and 2008. AGP also acquired the Care Bears animated series from the 1980s. Previously owned and represented by Corus’ Nelvana, the show consists of 49 half-hour episodes. International distribution rights to the specials and classic series are up for grabs.
Holly Hobbie & Friends is a contemporary take on the classic brand that began with a doll. Academy Award-nominated producer Julia Pistor and writers of Jimmy Neutron and The Wild Thornberrys teamed for the new franchise, which follows Holly and friends Amy and Carrie as they spend summers together in the cozy town of Clover. A new animated special titled Holly Hobbie & Friends: Christmas Wishes will air on Nick Jr. and be released on home video in the U.S. this holiday season. Three additional specials are now available and four more are in production.
Twisted Whiskers, one of AGP’s most popular greeting card lines, is being developed as a multi-platform entertainment property. The stretched, squashed and pop-eyed pets will be brought to the screen by animator Bill Kopp, whose credits include the original Simpsons shorts that aired on The Tracey Ullman Show, and Savage Steve Holland, the writer/director of the cult film favorite Better Off Dead. They are producing a series of nine 30-60 second CG-animated shorts, some of which are available now.
The preschool series Maryoku Yummy revolves around Maryoku, an adorable creature who lives in a magical world where children’s wishes are processed so they can come true. The production of 26 22-minute episodes is being overseen by Barbara Herndon and Jill Gorey, screenwriters whose credits include Rugrats and The Wild Thornberrys.
Sushi Pack features five brave, smart and precocious adolescent pieces of sushi that came to life through a series of extraordinary events and fight crime for the betterment of all human-and fish-kind. The series for kids 5-8 is being written by Tom Ruegger and Nicholas Hollander, the Emmy-winning writers/producers behind Animaniacs, Tiny Toon Adventures and Pinky and the Brain.