Turner’s premium streaming service dedicated to classic cartoons, Boomerang, has acquired the US domestic rights from Hoho Rights to create a new show based on Kenneth Grahame’s The Wind in the Willows. Boomerang plans to create 52 episodes of 11 minutes each to be produced by Martin Gates, who previously created a series of adaptations based on the property in the mid ‘90s. Oliver Ellis of Hoho will serve as an executive producer.
“We have lived with this beautiful book for so long, it has become part of the fabric of our lives. Twenty years on, we feel the time is right to breathe new life into the stories for a whole new generation of children, rediscovering beloved old characters and introducing some new female ones including adventurous Squirrel, resourceful Rabbit and the scheming Chief Weasel. There are just so many more stories to tell.”
In a press release, Turner states:
Part of Britain’s great literary heritage, Wind in the Willows was first published in 1908 and the riverside adventures of Mole, Rat and Toad have been enchanting children ever since. Harking back to a gentler era of altruism, good manners, community and citizenship, the values in The Wind in the Willows continue to endure.
Boomerang is a channel which airs classic animated shows and shorts, such as Looney Tunes, Tom & Jerry, Scooby-Doo, and The Flintstones, most of which come from Time-Warner’s library of cartoons. The Wind in the Willows will continue the network’s recent trend toward original programming such as Dorothy and the Wizard of Oz and Wacky Races.
Aside from Gates’s earlier adaptations, The Wind in the Willows has been adapted to stage and screen numerous times, in both animated and live-action form. Disney adapted it into part of The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad in 1949, and Terry Jones of Monty Python directed a live-action version in 1996.
Hoho Rights will be at the UK Village Pavilion at MIPCOM to present the series to international buyers.