October 21, 2019

Coolabi group partners with China’s Fantawild in major international move for Clangers

Chinese animation leader Fantawild and international rights owner Coolabi Group, have announced a new partnership to bring the much-loved pre-school brand, Clangers to the Chinese market.

Clangers is an award-winning stop-motion animation about a family of lovable, pink, mouse-like creatures who communicate in whistles and live on the Little Blue Planet. Originally broadcast in the UK on BBC One between 1969 and 1972, the programme received hugely successful viewing figures and had a cult following in the UK. Since the new series aired in 2015, it has won a series of major international honours including BAFTA, Pulcinella Awards and Kidscreen awards.

Last week at the annual Fantawild Animation Expo, Jeremy Banks, CEO of Coolabi Group said: “I knew that we had to work with Fantawild in China on this property the first time I met with them and heard their vision for Clangers in China. They are very well-established and respected and we trust that Clangers is in the best of hands with them.”

At the conference, Fantawild disclosed that it will localise the show and develop new merchandise to make it more adapted to the taste of the Chinese preschoolers.

“We are very happy to be partnering with our friends at Coolabi,” said Daisy Shang, Executive President of Fantawild Group and President of Fantawild Animation, “we believe that Clangers will instil something new into the Chinese pre-school animation industry. The enlightening program will stimulate children’s imagination and become a unique presence in the Chinese market.”

Coolabi Group is a leading independent international media group and rights owner specialising in the creation, development and brand management of high quality children’s and family intellectual property rights. The company owns the rights to over 200 book series and 20 TV series. Its shows have aired in more than 140 territories on channels including ABC, Cartoon Network, CBeebies, CBBC, Disney, Netflix, and Nickelodeon.

Key Coolabi Group brands include Beast Quest, Scream Street, Poppy Cat, Giraffes Can’t Dance and Warriors, one of the group’s most successful book series, which has sold in excess of 40 million books to date, including in China where the series has sold over 3 million copies.

Fantawild Animation is a top animation studio in China famous for its Boonie Bears brand. In China, its projects have been aired on over 200 channels with top ratings and a whopping view of over 300 billion on digital platforms. The company also generates an annual sale of over $440 million in merchandising. Globally, its works have been distributed to over 100 territories and aired on major international platforms like Disney, Nickelodeon, Discovery Kids, Netflix, DirecTV, etc. Its parent company Fantawild Holdings Inc. is also renowned for its theme park business. Ranking No.5 globally in number of admissions, it owns 29 theme parks in operation and over 10 in construction, which further benefits its brand operation in an all-round way.

October 3, 2019

Coolabi licensing reaches new heights with global licensing rights for Giraffes Can’t Dance

Coolabi Licensing has today announced it has secured the global licensing rights for the much-loved classic children’s picture book Giraffes Can’t Dance.

Written by Giles Andreae and illustrated by Guy Parker-Rees, Giraffes Can’t Dance celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. It is published by Orchard Books (part of the Hachette Children’s Group) and has been translated into 34 languages, selling over 10 million copies worldwide.

Giraffes Can’t Dance promotes self-esteem in young children by championing the important and universal message of acceptance and self-belief.

Coolabi Licensing plans to build an extensive licensing portfolio across core categories, driven by plush, apparel, games and puzzles.

Allison Watkins, Director of Consumer Products and TV Distribution at Coolabi Group comments: ‘’Giraffes Can’t Dance is such a beloved book all over the world and remains one of the best-selling picture books of the last 20 years. I am delighted that Coolabi Licensing have the opportunity to extend this wonderful book in to merchandise for the very first time. The beautiful colour palette and wonderful characters created by Giles and Guy will work across all product to delight boys and girls across the world.’’

The news follows the recent announcement of the new Giraffes Can’t Dance stage adaptation for Christmas 2019. The Made at Curve production will run in the Curve Rose Theatre in Leicester from 9th to 29th Dec this year and will be produced in association with Hachette Children’s Group and Coolabi Group.

On top of Giraffes Can’t Dance, Coolabi Group own certain rights for a large number of Giles Andreae’s children’s books, including the much-loved Rumble in the JungleCommotion in the OceanFarmyard HullabalooThere’s A House Inside My Mummy  and The Lion Who Wanted to Love, plus many more.

July 29, 2019

Clangers new merchandise range ‘DoppelClangers’ launches with Doctor Who

Independent international media group and rights owner Coolabi Group has today announced an exclusive new partnership between the award-winning brand, Clangers, and BBC Studios’ legendary adventure brand, Doctor Who, as part of Clangers’ 50th anniversary celebrations.The iconic British space-based adventurers come together to launch the new DoppelClangers merchandise range, a series of iconic and quirky mash-ups of Clangers with different icons from pop culture, from musicians through to scientists and celebrities. The new Doctor Who range will launch today exclusively on Clangers’ official online shop (shop.clangers.com) and the Doctor Who official online shop (shop.doctorwho.tv)

The first line in the DoppelClanger product range will be inspired by the Fourth Doctor, as played by the legendary Tom Baker. The designs, featuring Major Clanger dressed up in the Doctor’s long coat and colourful scarf, will be available on a range of items from mugs and t-shirts to tote bags.

The DoppelClangers Doctor Who series is set to continue, initially with the first seven Doctors, ensuring the products will have true cross generational appeal.

True aficionados will know that these much-loved programmes, Clangers and Doctor Who, have come together before, across space and time, in the 1972 Doctor Who episode, ‘The Sea Devils’ with Jon Pertwee as the Doctor. In the episode, the Master watches Clangers on his television screen, whistling along with their tuneful interactions.

More recently, Clangers featured a Doctor Who reference within the special commemorative episode ‘The Visitor’, which aired on Saturday on CBeebies. The storyline, features an astronaut, inspired by space scientist Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock MBE, who is greeted on arrival with gifts from the Clangers, including a hand knitted Fourth Doctor-style scarf. The episode is a homage to ‘The Tablecloth’ episode from the original series which also celebrates the moon landings.

Michael Dee, Director of Content at Coolabi Group comments: “We are absolutely thrilled to be partnering with BBC Studios to produce this unique and wonderful selection of products that will appeal to all ages. Clangers and Doctor Who are such iconic and timeless brands with shared values of friendship, adventure and imagination and we can’t wait to see what fans old and new think of this ‘out of this world’ product range.”

Jason Easy, Head of Licensing BBC Studios said: “This is an ideal collaboration of much-loved British characters embodied in a range of exciting new products. For anyone that ever loved the time travelling Doctor or those loveable Clangers, this merchandise will make the perfect gift.”

July 27, 2019

Giraffes Can’t Dance – licensing for the first time ever!

2019 is the 20th anniversary year for the book and licensing opportunities are now available.

For more information please email info@coolabi.com

Giraffes Can’t Dance has been delighting children for 20 years. It was first published by Orchard Books (part of the Hachette Children’s Group) in 1999 and has gone on to be translated into 34 languages, selling millions of copies worldwide.

July 19, 2019

Bestselling picture book Giraffes Can’t Dance turned into stage show for Christmas 2019

A brand-new production based on the number one bestselling picture book by Giles Andreae and Guy Parker-Rees, Giraffes Can’t Dance, is coming to the stage this Christmas. Presented by Curve Theatre Leicester, Rose Theatre Kingston and Simon Friend Entertainment, the show is being produced in association with Hachette Children’s Group and Coolabi Group. It will run in the Curve Theatre’s 300-seat studio in Leicester from 9th to 31st December this year.

The stage rights deal was signed between Karen Lawler, Head of Licenced Content for Hachette Children’s Group and Simon Friend, for Simon Friend Entertainment Limited.

Giraffes Can’t Dance has been delighting children for over 20 years. It was first published by Orchard Books (part of the Hachette Children’s Group) in 1999 and has gone on to be translated into 34 languages, selling millions of copies worldwide. 2019 is the 20th anniversary year for the book, supported by a publishing programme which showcases this wonderful story in a variety of fun new formats, bringing the book to an audience of new readers.

Karen Lawler, Head of Licenced Content for Hachette Children’s Group, says, “Giraffes Can’t Dance is a modern classic, beloved by millions of families all over the world. At its heart is an important message of self-acceptance and being yourself.  I know children will love boogieing along with Gerald as he discovers the joy of dancing to his own tune.”

Illustrator Guy Parker-Rees says, “I remember trying out lots of dance moves in the mirror to illustrate this book. I can’t wait to see how this rather brilliant stage company brings it all to life.”

Having opened this Christmas at Curve, the stage adaptation will move to the Rose Theatre in Kingston from 8th to 19th April, before embarking on a national tour (full dates to be announced).

Curve’s previous work for children includes successful productions such as Dr Seuss’s Cat in the Hat and Roald Dahl favourites George’s Marvellous MedicineThe Twits and The Witches. Giraffes Can’t Dance will see Curve and Rose Theatre Kingston come together once again as co-producers to create live storytelling for children and young people at its finest.

Carrying the important and universal message of acceptance and self-belief, the story of Giraffes Can’t Dance is perfect for young children, who will be encouraged to dance to their own tune with Gerald the Giraffe and company of five actors playing warthogs, lions, rhinos chimps – and a violin-playing cricket.

Curve will also be creating a number of workshops for children to accompany the production, encouraging young people to creatively explore the show through dancing and dramatic activities.

Speaking about the production, Curve’s Chief Executive Chris Stafford and Artistic Director Nikolai Foster said, “Giraffes really can dance! Giles Andreae’s world is richly imaginative and a beautifully colourful account of the giraffe who finds his dancing shoes and unique freedom of expression, making it a perfect Christmas treat for the little ones. With West Side Story playing opposite this world premiere stage production of Giraffes Can’t Dance, it really is the Christmas season of love, dance and music for all the family at Curve this Christmas.”

July 15, 2019

Clangers celebrates 50 years!

Coolabi Group are celebrating 50 years since the first transmission of Clangers with a brand-new third series of the BAFTA-winning show and a series of special events.

The new series launches on CBeebies on 20th July with special commemorative episode, ‘The Visitor’, timed to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the Moon landing that inspired the Clangers.

Narrated once again by Sir Michael Palin, series three follows the Clangers on a host of new adventures, with friends old and new, and sees the return of the Eggbots, the Wols setting up their own radio station, a supernova above the Clangers’ planet and a happy event in the life of the Skymoos.

‘The Visitor’ features an astronaut, inspired by renowned space scientist and life-long friend of the Clangers, Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock MBE, who lands on the Clangers’ Little Blue Planet, in a storyline that pays homage to the original moon landings episode, ‘The Tablecloth’.

The special episode will also feature in a series of screening events on 20th July. Bluedot festival in Cheshire will feature a panel discussion hosted by Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock, who will be joined by Clangers executive producer Dan Postgate, the son of original Clangers co-creator Oliver Postgate, series producer Dan Maddicott from Coolabi Group, and series co-directors Jo Chalkley and Chris Tichborne from animation studio Factory. The discussion, which will cover the history of Clangers, the new series and the making of both Moon landing episodes, will be live streamed via the Clangers official YouTube channel.

The bluedot panel event will be followed by a Clangers themed dance party featuring a special, one-of-a-kind DJ set of cosmic proportions and will be hosted by family rave specialists, Big Fish Little Fish.

The Science Museum in London will also be celebrating the landmark anniversary with a screening of both Moon landings episodes, introduced by series narrator Sir Michael Palin. Sue Horne from the UK Space Agency will also showcase some exciting scientific experiments for families.

Sir Michael Palin also introduces a curated YouTube Kids Space playlist launching on July 18th on the YouTube Kids app, which includes a 10- minute Clangers space compilation clip alongside a mix of space themed order soma pills online songs, learning, animation and pre-school content.

The Clangers’ 50th anniversary celebrations continue with the exclusive release of a limited-edition print, ‘Once in a Blue Moon [Maybe Twice]’, which is an illustration of the Little Blue Planet by the late Clangers co-creator, Peter Firmin. The fifty numbered prints are available to purchase now from the Clangers online shop (shop.clangers.com).

Jeremy Banks, Chief Executive at Coolabi Group comments: “Clangers is an iconic and growing pre-school property that is just as relevant today as it was fifty years ago. The show has an enduring magic and charm and we are absolutely over the moon to be marking this fiftieth anniversary with so many exciting events, a new third series and the limited-edition release of Peter Firmin’s beautiful illustration.”

He continues: “We have an exciting year ahead and we shall look forward to more celebrations to come later in the year when the brand officially turns 50 on 16th November.”

Clangers will also be part of a very special CBeebies Prom as CBeebies and BBC Radio 3 take audiences on a musical journey to the moon with live orchestral music. Presented from the Royal Albert Hall the event will be hosted by some of CBeebies’ favourite presenters including YolanDa Brown, Maddie Moate and Justin Fletcher, as well as juniors and the first CBeebies Prom Choir made up of 400 voices.

In addition, Clangers will be hosting the chill out zone at the BBC Summer Social 2019 at Croxteth Country Park in Liverpool on Saturday 3rd and Sunday 4th August. Families will have the opportunity to watch Clangers episodes, make a wish on the Clangers’ kindness tree, help water the plants, plus complete the maze to find the secret Clangers garden.

There will be more celebrations to come for the Clangers birthday on 16th November, which will be announced very soon.

The first episode of the new Clangers series, ‘The Visitor’ will air on Saturday 20th July at 6.10pm on CBeebies.

Clangers airs every day at 6:10pm on CBeebies.