06/04/14: nabi DreamTab offers immersive experience; DreamWorks Animation’s Peter Gal gets animated; Cartoon says, More Gumball!


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Good morning. It’s Wednesday, June 4, 2014, and this is your first early morning briefing.


Fuhu and DreamWorks Animation’s new nabi DreamTab HD8 tablet is "a new model not only for how we at Fuhu work with other companies, but for how mobile devices in general can work with content partners to create immersive experiences," Lisa Lee, Fuhu SVP of marketing, tells CynKids. "When you get something so deeply integrated, the model begins to shift." The $269 tablet, which bows this week at Target and Wal Mart and will roll out to other retailers this month, packs an operating system overlay with 400-plus features, the same stylus technology used by DreamWorks Animation filmmakers, a child-friendly/parent-managed social network and near field (NFC) gaming technology. To support the NFC platform, Fuhu is launching nabi Morpho Pods, a collectible toy line in which kids build their own dragon figures and then bring them to life by tapping them on the DreamTab. While the tablet contains some DreamWorks exclusives, it also features content from other kids programmers. Lee says Fuhu’s approach is not to flood the market with next-generation tablets. "We want families to invest in them and grow with them, so they remain valuable over a long period of time," she says. "We will launch new products when we can bring something really unique and innovative."


It’s almost showtime. CynKids’ !magination Awards is just one week away on Wednesday, June 11 at the Yale Club in NY. Each week we’ve been featuring a Q&A with one of the Animation Innovators who will be sharing their insights during a panel discussion I’ll be moderating at the Awards. Here’s Peter Gal, head of television development at DreamWorks Animation. Register here.

What’s fresh in animation today
It’s a matter of using whatever tools you have at your disposal, finding really talented people, working with them and setting them free to do their best work. The freshest thing can be a great, new funny voice that comes to work on a property and creates a whole new universe.

Spinoff strategies
Every project is its own unique discovery and requires a different approach. Something like Dragons, where we knew there would be a second and third film coming—it felt like the TV series had to live in same visual world as the feature films. The most thrilling thing about Dragons from a kid’s perspective is that these creatures could be their best friend, and they could fly them. We could only deliver that experience with a deeply immersive CG world. With Turbo, we looked at what the most exciting elements of the filmwhich was this crew of adrenaline-junkie snails and continuing their adventure. If we really wanted them to be able to go all over the world, it felt like CG would be too limited and 2D presented a great opportunity to for a new graphic style and the ability to push the comedy even further.

A DreamWorks flow chart
We’re not deep into original development yet; we’re just getting the studio up on its feet. But there’s going to be a lot of interesting flow between TV and features. We have a couple of productions that started in the feature department and got pulled over into television because we realized there was a better opportunity to introduce the property via television. They’re sending stuff our way, we’re sending stuff their way. We bounce ideas back and forth all the time.

Fur real?
While technology is not driving the kids TV animation business in general, it is essential to our business at DreamWorks. The evolution of technology in the last several years has been incredible. We’ve had some breakthroughs developing King Julien and Puss In Boots. It was probably around 2006 when I was at Nickelodeon and we were developing Penguins of Madagascar that we were doing some amazing things with the animals and their fur. What we’re able to do with fur and rendering of characters today… that now feels like a million years ago.


Cartoon Network is doubling down on The Amazing World of Gumball, greenlighting two additional seasons of the series about an amusing blue cat, his best goldfish pal, and their family who lives in the ‘burbs. Tomorrow (June 5, 6:30p) marks the season three debut of the show, created by Ben Bocquelet and directed by Mic Graves. Gumball is the first full-length animated series to come from Cartoon’s EMEA studio in London. In the States, season two ranked No. 1 in its timeslot among K6-11 and Boys 2-11 & 6-11. The Amazing World of Gumball reached 36.5 million primetime viewers across EMEA during January-March 2014.


Baby Genius, Secret Millionaires Club and Thomas Edison’s Secret Lab content is headed to LeapFrog platforms thanks to a new deal between Genius Brands International and LeapFrog Enterprises.
Let us know what you think by taking the Cynopsis poll: If you were stranded on a desert island with wireless service, what one device would you want? Vote on Cynopsis.com.

Amazon is the new exclusive U.S. home to the Fireman Sam franchise, with the global retail platform offering TV episodes, ebooks, and apparel surrounding the HIT Entertainment property.

WATCH Disney 2.0 is here. Newly re-launched versions of Disney Channel, Disney Junior and Disney XD TV Everywhere products feature some new twists including a character-focused design, Radio Disney live streams, game play via Android and Kindle Fire devices, and exclusive early program premieres. Additionally, there’s a new Spanish-language section of Watch Disney Junior, Disney Junior en Espanol, marking the first time the net is offering a block of programming in Spanish on mobile devices. Also new to WATCH subscribers is Radio Disney Junior, a six-hour block of programming hosted by Genevieve Goings. Disney’s WATCH apps have been downloaded more than 20 million times and have 1.7 billion video views to date.

Parents looking for some summer edutainment content will be jazzed about a spate of new online resources from PBS Kids including daily learning tips, and recommended games and activities, available today through Aug. 22 at pbskids.org/learn. New features include Camp PBS Parents, with parent-penned blogs; PBS Kids Partner Resources with learning materials from Carson-Dellosa and and LeapFrog; free apps, free series episodes and e-books.

ABC Family is stirring up interest in the upcoming Young & Hungry with a selfie sweepstakes where viewers can enter for a chance to win free groceries for a year. Through Monday, June 30, fans can enter by posting a selfie with their fave food on Instagram with the hashtag #YoungandHungrySelfieSweeps. Series, starring a grown-up Emily Osmet, premieres Wednesday, June 25, at 8p.

Let’s get personal! If you have Happy News–weddings, babies, engagements –you’d like to share with industry colleagues as part of a new feature going up soon on our website and newsletters, please email the info to Cathy@Cynopsis.com.


Cartoon Network Games is mixing it up with new additions to its Calling All Mixels app. Updates include three new environments, nine new characters and a host of new unlockables and extras that essentially double the existing gameplay. Icing on the cake? The app is on sale at the iOS App Store for $1.99 for a limited time.

How To Train Your Dragon 2 will be in theaters on June 13, and Cupcake Digital and DreamWorks Animation tomorrow will release the new read and play app How To Train Your Dragon 2 (The Official Storybook App), featuring two games and coloring pages.


Reaching Today’s U.S. Hispanic Connected Audience Through
Digital, Social Media and Web Video Webinar

Date: March 27, 2014 | Time: 1:30 – 3:00 PM EST
Featured Speakers:
Daniel Eilemberg, Chief Digital Officer (Fusion)
Virginia Lennon, SVP, Client Partnerships (Ipsos MediaCT)
Carlos Restrepo, VP, Business Development & Sales (Outrigger Media)
Gabrielle Medecki, Director  (CNET en Espanol at CBS Interactive)


Coolabi Group inked a trio of new deals for preschool brand Poppy Cat. Agents Firefly Brand Management and El Ocho have been appointed in the U.S. and Spain, respectively, and Cosmic Forces is developing an app, "Poppy Cat Goes to the Market," which teaches basic Spanish language to English-speaking toddlers.

Lawless Entertainment appointed Paris-based The Agency to represent Suzy’s Zoo in France and Benelux for licensing and merchandising.


The savvy young reviewers at Kids First! checked out X-Men: Days of Future Past. See what they have to say about the film, and its PG-13 rating.


PBS Distribution, the partnership between PBS and WGBH, named Debbie Ries Managing Director, Children’s Distribution; and Alexandra Ries Senior Director, Children’s Distribution. The two execs, known for their work at NCircle Entertainment, will continue to be based in Dallas and will focus on maximizing home entertainment revenue for PBS’ kids programming, including developing marketing plans and new products, expanding sales opportunities, and acquiring new properties.


Top 10 Basic Cable Ratings for the week of May 26-June 1, 2014

K2-11 Total Programming Day

K2-11 Prime (Monday  Sunday 8-11p.m.)

K2-11  (Monday-Sunday 6 a.m.-11 p.m.)

K6-11 Total Programming Day

K6-11 Prime (Monday  Sunday 8-11p.m.)

K6-11  (Monday-Sunday 6 a.m.-11 p.m.)

K9-14 Total Programming Day

K9-14 Prime (Monday  Sunday 8-11p.m.)

K9-14  (Monday-Sunday 6 a.m.-11 p.m.)

Source: Disney from Nielsen Media Research National MIT, ranked on coverage ratings
Viewing Type: Live + Same Day

K2-11  Top 10 Programs for the week of May 26- June 1 , 2104
5/27/14/The Fairly OddParents/NICK/4:30-5p/1547
5/27/14/The Fairly OddParents/NICK/4-4:30p/1406
5/31/14/Sofia the First/DSNY/8:30-8:55a/1369
5/31/14/Jake and the Neverland Pirates/DSNY/8-8:25a/1342
5/30/14/Sofia the First/DSNY/10-10:25a/1278
5/31/14/The Muppets (2011)/DSNY/9-10:50a/1278

K6-11  Top 10 Programs for the week of May 26-June 1, 2014
6/1/14/Austin & Ally/DSNY/9:30-10p/908
6/1/14/Austin & Ally/DSNY/10-10:30a/901
5/26/14/Teen Beach Movie/DSNY/8-9:45p/885
6/1/14/Dog With A Blog/DSNY/9-9:30p/869
5/26/14/The Fairly OddParents/NICK/7:30p-8p/862
5/27/14/The Fairly OddParents/NICK/4:30-5p/858
6/1/14/Good Luck Charlie/DSNY/10-10:30p/857
5/31/14/Sam & Cat/NICK/9-9:30p/835
5/31/14/The Muppets (2011)/DSNY/9-10:50a/825

Source: Turner Research based on Total US Television Universe of 115,800,000 homes.

Weekend box office estimates for the 10 top-grossing kids/tween/teen movies rated G, PG or PG-13, provided by Rentrak for May 30-June 1, 2014:

Maleficent (Disney) PG $70 million (weekend) $70 million (1-week cume)
X-Men: Days of Future Past (20th Century Fox) PG-13 $32.6 million (weekend) $162.07 million (2-week cume)
Godzilla (Warner Bros.) PG-13 $12.23 million (weekend) $174.66 million (3-week cume)
Blended (Warner Bros.) PG-13 $8.43 million (weekend ) $29.63 million (2-week cume)
Amazing Spider-Man 2 (Sony) PG-13 $3.78 million (weekend) $192.73 million (5-week cume)
Million Dollar Arm (Disney) PG-13 $3.70 million (weekend) $28.10 million (3-week cume)
The Other Woman (20th Century Fox) PG-13 $1.43 million (weekend) $81.11 million (6-week cume)
Belle (Fox Searchlight) PG $1.28 million (weekend) $6.21million (5-week cume)
Rio 2 (20th Century Fox) PG $1.05 million (weekend) $124.25 million (8-week cume)
Heaven Is For Real (TriStar Pictures) PG $775,000 (weekend) $87.99 million (7-week cume)


What are you waiting for?

Cynopsis Kids !magination Awards
June 11| 8AM-10AM | The Yale Club NY

Register before the event sells out!

Join award finalists/winners, support your colleagues + network with the best in the industry! Hosted by Inside Edition’s Megan Alexander.


Answer to last week’s Trivia Question: Who plays the hooded man with the briefcase in the opening sequence of the TV show? Apologies readers! Wasn’t trying to be esoteric, just forgot to add "Goosebumps." The answer, for the record, was: author RL Stine.

Today’s Trivia Question: What’s the name of Gumball Watterson’s school? (Email cathy@cynopsis.com with your answer and be sure to include your name, company, city and time zone.)

Cheers — Cathy Applefeld Olson
Cathy@cynopsis.com for
Cynopsis Kids!

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