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Pandas from Can(a)da

There’s a new animation production partnership starting up in Canada between Corus Entertainment (home of Nelvana Animation) and Bento Box Entertainment (home of Bob’s Burgers and more). From the press release, thanks to Animation World Network: “Canadian-based media and entertainment company Corus Entertainment and Los Angeles animation studio Bento Box Entertainment have announced the creation of Bento Box Canada, an animation production company based in Toronto. The venture follows last year’s announcement of the multi-year, co-development deal between the two companies. As part of the agreement, Bento Box Entertainment and Corus will work side-by-side to develop and produce a slate of original, primetime animated series for Corus networks, to be distributed internationally by Bento Box Entertainment. This fall, production will begin on the first Bento Box Canada series, The Pandas.  From creators Mikael Wulff and Anders Morgenthaler, The Pandas is an irreverent, animated family comedy full of hard jokes, whimsical wonder, biting satire and just the right amount of heart.” We’ll certainly see when it premiers.

image c. 2015 Bento Box Canada

image c. 2015 Bento Box Canada

Colorful Bears, Coming to Save Your World

In case anyone needs a refresher: The Care Bears were created in 1981 by American Greetings (originally for greeting cards, of course), and eventually starred in their own TV series and animated movies (produced by Nelvana) before they went on to conquer the world of tie-in marketing entirely. Well now the entirety of that original animated series is available in a -DVD box set (!) called Care Bears: The Original Series Collection. “The lovable bears of Care-a-lot, Cheer, Share, Harmony, and all their bear buddies with unique belly badges and a caring mission have been delighting fans for 30 years! Whether it1s learning the value of friendship, helping someone in need, or using their special powers to brighten up the day, the adorable Care Bears are always ready for caring, sharing, and giving goodness!” The set is available now from Miramax/Lionsgate.

image c. 2012 Miramax/Lionsgate

Franklin Returns

Franklin is, of course, more than a turtle — He’s a well-known children’s book character with his own long-running TV series from Nelvana. Well now Franklin has returned to Nickelodeon in Franklin and Friends, a new CGI series produced by Nelvana and Infinite Frameworks. Here’s a press release we picked up from Cartoon Brew: “Franklin is back and better than ever in the brand-new CG-animated preschool series, Franklin and Friends, premiering Monday, Feb. 13, at 9:30 a.m. (ET/PT) on Nickelodeon. Based on the best-selling children’s book series by Paulette Bourgeois and Brenda Clark, published by Kids Can Press, the half-hour series follows a turtle named Franklin as he experiences adventures and milestones, learning lessons along the way with his pals Snail, Rabbit, Beaver, Fox, Goose and best friend Bear. The series emphasizes the importance of family, friendship, community, personal growth and helping others. Franklin and Friends, produced by Nelvana and Infinite Frameworks Pte. Ltd., will regularly air weekdays at 9:30 a.m. (ET/PT) on Nickelodeon.” The article goes into much more depth about the show, and includes a video snippet from the first episode.

image c. 2012 Nelvana/Infinite Frameworks

That’s One Old Elephant

It seems amazing, but the fact is that this year Babar the Elephant is celebrating his 80th birthday. Yes, the paternal pachyderm first appeared in Histoire de Babar (The Story of Babar) by writer and illustrator Jean de Brunhoff in 1931. Since then there have been numerous books and more than one TV series — perhaps the most famous having been animated by Nelvana back in the 1980’s and 90’s. Now, to celebrate this new milestone, Nelvana has hooked up with The Clifford Ross Company to create numerous celebrations of the royal elephant in the famous green suit. Frankly, there’s too many to even describe here, so we’ll simply direct  you over to Cartoon Brew’s handy News Feed, where you’ll find a detailed listing of it all.

image c. 2011 Nelvana Enterprises