The runaway success of Cyber Group Studios’ Gigantosaurus came as no surprise to anyone who’s familiar with the children’s animation landscape. The Paris-based outfit behind such well-received shows as Taffy, Zorro the Chronicles and Sadie Sparks had a sure-fire hit on its hands after it introduced the world of the dinosaur friends on Disney Channel in early 2019. Based on the book by Jonny Duddle, the show found a devoted audience among young kids and delivered strong ratings worldwide.
“Children have always been fascinated by dinosaurs, and Gigantosaurus does a wonderful job of exploring their world with these four charming main characters,” says Pierre Sissmann, studio co-founder, CEO and producer of the series. “I think kids really related to these dinosaur characters because they’re also just beginning to assert their independence and learn about the importance of friendship. We’re very excited to dive into season two and three with Disney Channel and France 5. The show debuts on Netflix and Disney+ this summer as well.”
Cyber Group has launched new Gigantosaurus licensing plans with American Marketing Enterprises, Centric Socks, Children’s Apparel Network and Jay Franco, in addition to playthings from JAKKS Pacific, which arrived last year, and a new deal with Panini for Europe. In March, the studio also introduced Gigantosaurus: The Game, in partnership with Outright Games and Bandai Namco Ent. Europe. Cyber Group is also planning a live, worldwide musical tour for early 2022 and is in the process of completing the first album (with 12 music videos) to be released this summer via Disney.
The licensing deals are only part of the property’s big-picture plans. Sissmann, a well-respected music business and animation veteran, says he and his team are also working on a big-screen musical Gigantosaurus project for late 2022 or early 2023. “Michael J. Wilson, the creator of the Ice Age franchise, is working on the script with me and our longtime Cyber Group senior executive Olivier Lelardoux will be directing the movie. We’re very excited about this family movie, which will be a fresh prequel to the show.”
Also in the mix is a series of high-quality digital shorts, which help kids learn more about the dinosaurs that once roamed the planet. “We’re in the process of producing about 78 two-minute shorts exploring more educational info about dinosaurs,” says Sissmann. “They are called Know Your Dino and Dino News, and they offer a fresh take and more real information about these creatures, which is what kids and parents wanted us to do.”
Another huge development is the launch of a new real-time spinoff titled The Giganto Club, which puts the dinosaurs in a TV talk show setting. “We’re looking at a new 40 x 11′ show, which is hosted by new dinosaur characters and features guests, news, geographical segments, etc.,” explains Sissmann. “Kids will visit places that dinosaurs have been discovered all over the world and it will have all the various elements of a prime-time talk show — like The Tonight Show, but for kids!”
Sissmann and his team will produce the show in a new state-of-the-art studio they’re building in the north of France. “We’re really excited to be exploring the new possibilities afforded by the latest real-time Unreal technologies, mo-cap and VR,” he says. “We were very pleased to see how great the visuals look in terms of emotions and movements, and it allows us to produce more affordable and great-looking animated content for a fraction of the cost. The plan is to launch the show in the first quarter of 2022. It’s quite amazing to think that we pitched the concept for Gigantosaurus only a few years ago at Cartoon Forum, and here we have such a huge hit with so many different exponents and exciting new directions to grow.”
To learn more, visit www.cybergoupstudios.com