FilmRise Licenses Scholastic Series for FAST, AVOD Platforms

FilmRise, a New York-based film and television studio and streaming network, has licensed nine children’s programs from Scholastic Entertainment, including the 1990 “The Baby-Sitters Club” series, “Animorphs,” “Stellaluna” and “I Spy,” among others.

The deal gives FilmRise exclusive English and Spanish-language distribution rights to the programs on AVOD and FAST platforms.

“These programs are based on beloved book series that families have embraced over the years,” Danny Fisher, CEO of FilmRise, said in a statement. “Our partnership with Scholastic Entertainment allows FilmRise to share the joy of learning with a new generation of young viewers and families and significantly expands our footprint in the children’s AVOD space.”

The deal includes 230 episodes. In addition to the above, the other programs include “Astroblast,” “Maya Y Miguel,” the animated version of “Horrible Histories,” “Dear America” and “Dear America: Royal Diaries.”

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Based on the best-selling Scholastic book series by Ann M. Martin, “The Baby-Sitters Club,” which originally aired on HBO in 1990, follows Kristy and her friends as they juggle babysitting, friendship, boys, school and growing up.

“Animorphs,” based on the best-selling book series of the same name, follows five kids who are given the power to morph into any creature they touch to help them fight the villain Visser Three and his fellow Yeerks, a breed of parasitic aliens threatening Earth.  

“Stellaluna,” based on the beloved children’s book, is an animated feature that follows a young fruit bat who finds friendship, love and acceptance in the most unexpected places. Stellaluna learns to cherish the things that make her different from everyone else.

The Scholastic picture-riddle books come to life in “I Spy,” an animated play-along adventure series for kids. Viewers join Spyler and Cece as they attempt to find the four hidden objects featured in a riddle.

Netflix to Bow Animated Family Series ‘Wings of Fire’ With Ava DuVernay

Netflix has announced a new family animated series “Wings of Fire” based on the best-selling series of Scholastic books and produced by Ava DuVernay and her Array Filmworks.

The book series from author Tui T. Sutherland has 14 million copies in print.

The animated adaptation will feature 10, 40-minute episodes. In the story, a bitter war has raged for generations between the dragon tribes who inhabit the epic world of Pyrrhia. According to prophecy, five young dragons will rise to end the bloodshed and bring peace back to the land.  Raised and trained in secret from the time they were hatched, the Dragonets of destiny — Clay, Tsunami, Glory, Starflight and Sunny — embark on an evolving quest that will bring them face to face with their true selves and the overwhelming scope of this savage war they are destined to bring to an end.

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The series is executive produced by DuVernay, Dan Milano, Christa Starr, Justin Ridge, Tui T. Sutherland, Sam Register and Sarah Bremner for Array Filmworks.

“Within this epic book series from the mind of Tui Sutherland is an elegant saga filled with wisdom and wonder, exploring ideas of belonging and bias, camaraderie and community,” DuVernay said in a statement. “On behalf of my colleagues Sarah Bremner and Paul Garnes of Array Filmworks, we’re thrilled to partner with Netflix and Warner Bros. Animation for this dynamic adaptation where five young dragonets fulfill their destiny and show viewers how to fulfill their own.”

“We couldn’t be more proud that Ava has chosen Netflix as the home for her first animated series,” Melissa Cobb, VP of original animation for Netflix, said in a statement. “An epic fantasy saga full of sweep and spectacle, ‘Wings of Fire’ promises to be a must-see event for the whole family.”

“The ‘Wings of Fire’ books have captured the imagination of millions,” said Sam Register, president of Warner Bros. Animation and Cartoon Network Studios. “In Ava, Justin, Christa and Dan we have a visionary creative team that will bring that same sense of wonder and adventure from the books to life with animation and create the next great animated family series at Netflix.”