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YouTube unveils slate of kids’ originals

Super Sema has an African-futuristic setting

YouTube has revealed a slate of animated series as part of its US$100m commitment to providing original content for kids and families.

The Google-owned platform pledged to put millions towards original children’s content between 2019 and 2022 after its offering to young audiences came under fire.

It has subsequently developed “content goals” in collaboration with experts in areas related to child safety, child development and digital literacy, with a focus on producing shows that inspire kids to learn and pursue their passions.

Among the properties that will launch on YouTube is Super Sema, an animated series about a young superhero girl and her world-changing adventures. It was created by UK- and Kenya-based Kukua and produced by a female-led team.

Set in an African-futuristic world, it was written by Claudia Lloyd (Charlie & Lola, Mr Bean, Tinga Tinga Tales) and directed by Lynne Southerland, the first female African-American director for Disney (Mulan II).

The Workout Badges, meanwhile, sees popular UK fitness coach Joe Wicks encourage young audiences to join him in different exercise routines, with characters from BBC Studios’ Hey Duggee featuring in animated segments.

Also in production and due to launch later this year are The Eggventurers, produced by GoldieBlox; The Guava Juice Show, produced by Studio71 and Mainframe Studios; Kid Correspondent, from SoulPancake; Lottie Dottie Mini, from Bromelia Productions; Millie & Lou, produced by Blue Zoo Animation Studio; Supa Strikas: Rookie Season, from Moonbug Entertainment; and BookTube Jr.

Meanwhile, among 25 projects in development is Jam Van, from Believe Entertainment Group and composer and producer Bill Sherman, and Corpse Talk, produced by Tiger Aspect.

“Coming from an incredible calibre of creators, our new roster of shows celebrates the diversity of kids and empowers them to pursue their dreams and care for each other and the world around them,” said Nadine Zylstra, head of family, learning and impact for YouTube Originals.

“Each of these projects is in lockstep with the tone of the YouTube Originals Kids & Family brand. In essence, shows that are entertaining, compelling, embrace big ideas, have strong takeaways and ultimately bring the positive spirit of YouTube to life for our youngest audience.”

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