Mondo Media’s accident-prone forest pals are headed to MTV in Latin America, Germany and Brazil through broadcast license deals secured by Cinema Management Group (CMG). Consisting of 13 half-hour episodes, the Happy Tree Friends seies will debut in North America on Oct. 2 on G4 Network, the first TV broadcaster to pick up the series. CMG has since pre-sold the show in more than 40 territories.
Created by Kenn Navarro and Rhode Montijo of Mondo Media, Happy Tree Friends began life as a series of animated shorts that built a following on the Internet and on the film festival circuit. The property features such cute animal characters as Cuddles, Giggles, Lumpy and Toothy, who always manage to get mangled in creative calamities. G4 began airing the shorts last year as part of its Late Night Peep Show block, and the Happy Tree Friends podcast logs approximately 1.5 million downloads per month, making it one of the highest-ranking podcasts on iTunes.
CMG previously closed deals for the Happy Tree Friends series with such broadcasters as the recently launched Mad-TV network in Greece, Yes-TV in Israel and Music Plus and Chum TV in Canada. In addition, NSTV in Russia has acquired the Pay TV broadcast rights and up-start 20 TV in Moscow has purchased the Free TV rights. TV rights in New Zealand were picked up by Can West.
‘The international reaction to this show proves the innovation and market knowledge of John Evershed and his team at Mondo Media,’ says CMG president Edward Noeltner. ‘They were geniuses at creating a show that has worldwide appeal with teenagers and young adults that needs no dubbing or subtitling in order for the series to translate overseas.’
CMG has also pre-sold the North American DVD distribution rights to the series to BCI Eclipse. Internationally, DVD rights have been snapped up by Bac Films in France and French speaking Switzerland, Polyband in Germany and Austria, RCV Entertainment in the Benelux, Movie One in Italy, Baditri in Spain, Nobel Entertainment in Scandinavia, LNK in Portugal, Akella in the CIS territories, Budapest Films in Hungry, Hollywood Ent. in the Czech and Slovak Republics, Monolith Films in Poland, Village Roadshow in Australia and New Zealand and Focus Films in Brazil. Quality Films in Mexico recently came onboard for DVD distribution during the Toronto Film Festival.