Iron Man rocked the box office last summer, and comes to animated form tonight (April 24) in the new Nicktoons series, Iron Man: Armored Adventures.
But this isn’t exactly the same Iron Man. Armored Adventures tells the tales of teenage Tony Stark, as he tries to learn who killed his father and regain control of Stark International using the Iron Man armor ‘ all while going to school and dealing with life as a teen.
This is the second Marvel franchise to come to Nicktoons, with Wolverine and the X-Men having debuted in January to strong ratings. It also bolsters Nicktoons ‘ the all-animation sister channel to classic kids net Nickelodeon ‘ with its core audience of young boys.
Keith Dawkings, GM of Nicktoons, says the channel’s average viewer is 11-year-old boys and while they enjoy Nick’s more comedic fare such as SpongeBob SquarePants, Iron Man: Armored Adventures delivers the kind of sci-fi action adventure they want.
‘Avatar as a show really helped us figure that out,’ says Dawkins. ‘It’s a departure from the stuff Nick traditionally does, and our audience has a big appetite for that stuff.’
The addition of Iron Man: Armored Adventures also builds Nicktoons’ relationship with Marvel, which is flying higher than ever on the success of its live-action movie slate.
Dawkins says he hopes the relationship will continue. It was a new kind of venture for Marvel, but the success of Wolverine and the X-Men and high hopes for Iron Man: Armored Adventures so far has worked extremely well, he says.
Key to the success of both shows is that neither is a retread. While Wolverine and the X-Men stays true to the popular 1990s animated series, it goes in a new direction. The same is true with Iron Man: Armored Adventures, which has its own twist on the character unique from both the comic book version and the live-action movie.
‘On the various kids services, you’re seeing a resurgence of superhero content, but not all of it is new or all original,’ he says. The lesson from the success of Avatar was to be fresh and original ‘ even when tackling such well-established and long-lived characters as the Marvel heroes.
Plus, the superhero genre is well suited to multilayered storytelling that includes action but also themes of good vs. evil, empowerment and dealing with every day life, Dawkins says.
Iron Man: Armored Adventures ‘ a production of Marvel Animation and Method Aniamtion ‘ debuts tonight at 7 on Nicktoons, but we’ve got a sneak peek at the show you can catch right now.