Shout! Studios, Toei Animation Team on ‘Digimon Adventure 02 The Beginning’ Home Entertainment Release Plans

Shout! Studios and celebrated anime studio Toei Animation Inc. on Jan. 31 announced a new home entertainment distribution deal for Digimon Adventure 02 The Beginning, the 2023 feature film based on the original TV sequel series from the globally popular Digimon anime franchise, which marks its 25th anniversary this year.

The multiyear partnership provides Shout! Studios with North American home entertainment distribution rights to the film for cross-platform releases in the United States and Canada, including all packaged-media and electronic sellthrough digital rights.

Shout! says it plans a strategic rollout of the film across multiple entertainment platforms in 2024. 

“We are delighted by this new opportunity with Toei Animation,” said Melissa Boag, Shout! Studios EVP of kids and family entertainment. “Over the years, we enjoyed tremendous success with the ‘Digimon Adventure tri.’ film series and Digimon Adventure: Last Evolution Kizuna. We look forward to presenting Digimon Adventure 02 The Beginning to anime fans and families through home entertainment very soon.”

Masayuki Endo, president and CEO of Toei Animation, added that “today’s news is one of many exciting things planned during 2024 as part of Toei Animation’s year-long celebration of the 25th anniversary of Digimon.”

Digimon Adventure 02 The Beginning enjoyed a two-day U.S. theatrical release in November by Toei Animation and Fathom Events. Based on the TV sequel series “Digimon Adventure 02” and its new cast of children that aired in 2000, the movie is a contemporary continuation of the series, with the DigiDestined children now 20-year-old young adults. The film was directed by Tomohisa Taguchi from a script by Akatsuki Yamatoya, with production by Toei Animation.

The home entertainment release features an English dub produced by Toei Animation specifically for the U.S. theatrical run. The English voice cast includes Brian Donovan, who voiced the character Daisuke Motomiya in the TV series, along with Jeannie Tirado, Bryce Papenbrook, Tara Sands, Johnny Yong Bosch, and Derek Stephen Prince.

The film is set in 2012, 10 years since the adventure in the Digital World. Daisuke Motomiya is now 20, and he and the rest of the DigiDestined seem to be changing bit by bit in terms of appearance and lifestyle. Then, one day, a giant Digitama suddenly appears in the sky over Tokyo Tower. Daisuke and the others encounter a mysterious young man named Lui Ohwada, who informs them that he’s the first-ever DigiDestined in the world.

Shout! Factory Promotes Veteran Exec Melissa Boag to EVP

Shout! Factory on March 15 announced the promotion of longtime senior executive Melissa Boag to EVP of kids and family entertainment.

In her new role, Boag will continue to work closely with CEO Garson Foos in overall leadership across the company and big picture strategy that supports Shout’s long-term growth. In addition, she will continue to expand her role in the content acquisitions process and continue to oversee all aspects of animated and live-action family entertainment for Shout! Factory, Shout! Studios and Shout! Factory Kids.

Melissa Boag

“Melissa is a high-level strategic thinker and a successful leader,” Foos said. “Her impact on Shout’s business is tremendous. Many years back, she had the vision that kids and family entertainment could be a very big business for Shout! And she was right. She has driven the growth across this business vertical by super-serving our partners and maximizing business opportunities. This has led to our excellent reputation and consistent acquisition of new and top-level content partners.”

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Boag said, “I am so proud to work at Shout Factory, with a truly amazing team of dedicated and talented individuals who share my vision and passion for animation, anime and family entertainment. I look forward my new leadership role at Shout Factory and to charting the continued expansion of family content here.”

Boag joined Shout! Factory in 2003 and most recently served as SVP. As head of the family entertainment division, she develops North American marketing, publicity, distribution, acquisitions, and sales strategy in the physical and digital business. She oversees the company’s key partnerships with Sesame Street, Hasbro/eOne Entertainment., GKIDS, Laika Studios, Anime Limited, Toei Animation, Eleven Arts, and other notable filmmakers and producers.

Under Boag’s management, Shout’s animated entertainment business has seen significant growth each year, showcasing key lines including Studio Ghibli classics with GKIDS, Laika Studios specialty releases, the classic “Transformers” series and animated movie, GKIDS’ wide range of acclaimed animated and anime films, “Digimon Adventure tri” movies, along with other top anime properties and critically acclaimed family movies.

Shout! Factory Cuts Deal for Four Laika Films, Including ‘Coraline’

Shout! Factory and animation studio Laika Feb. 8 announced a new alliance to distribute the latter’s first four award-winning legacy films in the U.S. home entertainment marketplace.

The multiyear agreement provides Shout! Factory with U.S. home entertainment distribution rights in all packaged media to Laika’s first four Oscar-nominated films: Kubo and the Two Strings (2016), The Boxtrolls (2014), ParaNorman (2012) and Coraline (2009).  Leveraging access to archived content from Laika, new bonus content, collectible packaging, and specialty releases are in development. As excitement builds for these upcoming home entertainment product lines, Shout! Factory and Laika will announce additional news and activities in the forthcoming months.

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“We’ve been huge fans of Laika, Travis Knight, and his extraordinary team,” said Melissa Boag, SVP of family entertainment at Shout! Factory. “Their legendary ingenuity, independent spirit and storytelling have inspired us and continue to entertain audiences worldwide. We’re incredibly excited about this new opportunity with Laika and look forward to presenting these beloved films with enlightening extras and lavish packaging to fans and collectors everywhere.”

“We’re delighted to launch our partnership with Shout! Factory,” said David Burke, Laika CMO and SVP of operations. “Their ability to maximize value for legacy titles by bringing films to entirely new audiences well after their theatrical release cycle is unparalleled in the industry.  We look forward to a long and impactful relationship with these industry leaders.”

The content deal was negotiated by Jordan Fields, VP of acquisitions, and Steven Katz, VP of business affairs for Shout! Factory, and Laika’s Michael Waghalter, head of business development, and Colin Geiger, general counsel and head of business affairs.

The titles were previously released on Blu-ray and DVD by Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.

Shout! Studios to Distribute Animated Family Feature ‘Dreambuilders’

Shout! Studios on Dec. 18 announced it has entered into an exclusive movie deal with Sola Media GmbH to distribute Dreambuilders, a new animated family feature film from the director of All Dogs Go To Heaven and Ferngully.

“Dreambuilders is an incredibly unique and engaging story, and we’re very excited to once again partner with Sola Media as we did on the wonderful family films Swift and Snowtime, to distribute it to a North American audience,” said Melissa Boag, Shout’s SVP of family entertainment.

Dreambuilders follows the story of a young girl named Minna who, in order to teach her stepsister a lesson, misuses her newfound ability to create and control other people’s dreams. This brings dire consequences, and Minna now must face the dreams she has created and enter the dream world one last time in to save her stepsister and her new family.  The film is directed by Kim Hagen Jensen, best known for All Dogs Go To Heaven and FernGully) and Tonni Zinck (The Neon Demon), and is produced by Nynne Selin Eidnes of First Lady Film.

Shout! Studios has secured all North American distribution rights to Dreambuilders, including theatrical, digital, video-on-demand, broadcast, and home entertainment for cross-platform releases. Shout! Studios plans a strategic launch of the film across all major entertainment platforms, including Blu-ray Disc and DVD.

Shout! Factory, Anime Limited Announce Deal to Bring ‘Bartender’ to Blu-ray, Digital Home Entertainment Platforms

Shout! Factory and U.K. animation distributor Anime Limited Sept. 4 announced a new North American distribution partnership for the popular anime series “Bartender.”

Based on the best-selling Japanese manga books by Araki Joh, “Bartender” was adapted into an anime series in 2006 and a live-action Japanese television drama in 2011. The anthology series was directed by Masaki Watanabe, written by Yasushiro Imagawa, and produced by Palm Studios.

This multiyear distribution deal provides Shout! Factory with distribution rights to “Bartender,” including digital, video-on-demand, broadcast and home entertainment for cross-platform releases in the United States and Canada.

Shout! Factory, in collaboration with Anime Limited, plans to bring the anime series to the home entertainment marketplace in early 2021, with a special 15th anniversary multi-disc collector’s edition Blu-ray Disc set, and a digital launch across major entertainment platforms.

“We’ve been enjoying our ongoing collaboration and couldn’t be more excited about this new opportunity with Anime Limited,” said Melissa Boag, SVP of family entertainment at Shout! Factory. “This truly unique and highly entertaining anime series is a very exciting addition to our anime library. We look forward to bringing the ‘Bartender’  collector’s edition to fans and collectors in North America.”

“Bartender” is centered on a bartending prodigy named Ryū Sasakura (voiced by Takahiro Mizushima) known for his spectacular cocktails. He opens his own bar, the Eden Hall, in downtown Tokyo, which soon becomes a gathering spot for customers who share their troubles and seek advice from the young bartender as they indulge in his “Glass of Gods” — the right drink for whichever situation they happen to find themselves in.


Shout! Factory Bags Distribution Deal for Anime Series ‘B: The Beginning’

Shout! Factory and U.K. animation distributor Anime Limited June 8 announced a North American home entertainment distribution deal for the suspenseful anime series “B: The Beginning.”

Shout! Factory plans to bring the first season of “B: The Beginning” to home audiences later this year, with plans for a Blu-ray Disc as well as an electronic sellthrough release on select digital platforms.

“We’re thrilled to be embarking on this new relationship with Anime Limited,” said Melissa Boag, SVP of Family Entertainment at Shout! Factory. “They’re well-known for their expert, high-quality releases and forward-looking business strategy, and we’re excited to partner with them.”

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“We’re excited to be collaborating with Shout! Factory to bring our ultimate edition of ‘B: The Beginning’ to U.S. audiences,” added Andrew Partridge, founder and CEO of Anime Limited. “Working with Shout! Factory provides access to their experience and expertise in the US, while developing the Anime Limited collector’s edition in a brand-new market. Shout! Factory is the ideal company to set out on this new venture with, and we’re looking forward to seeing what we can do together.”

The deal was negotiated for Shout! Factory by Jordan Fields, VP of Acquisitions at Shout! Factory, and Partridge.

“B: The Beginning” is a character-driven mystery thriller created by Kazuto Nakazawa (Parasite Dolls) alongside the renowned studio Production I.G. (Ghost in the Shell, Psycho-Pass), and was directed by Nakazawa. The soundtrack is composed by Yoshihiro Ike (Blood: The Last Empire, Tiger & Bunny), with the theme song provided by former Megadeth guitarist Marty Friedman.