Japan to Make Way for Noddy

Daily Variety reports that the popular British animated kids property, Noddy, is setting out to crack the Japanese television and consumer products market. The CG series, Make Way for Noddy, will hit three networks in Japan in late 2005 through a deal struck between U.K. rights owner Chorion and OLC/Rights Ent. Japan (ORE), a Tokyo-based intellectual property rights subsidiary of theme park owner Oriental Land Co.

Consisting of 100 10-minute episodes, Make Way for Noddy is based on the beloved books of children’s author Enid Blyton. The show is set in the magical world of Toyland, a place where toys come to life and adventures never cease. The title character is a little wooden boy who can’t stop nodding when he gets excited because his head is on a spring. The peaceful way of life in Toyland is often disrupted by a pair of mischief-making goblins named Sly and Gobbo, who live in the Dark Wood just outside of the capital city.

Hundreds of licensed Noddy products have been introduced in the U.K. alone and the series airs in 115 territories, including the U.S. and China. The property also recently made its publishing debut in China, where state-owned Beijing Publishing House released translated versions of Blyton’s original 24-book series.