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Mediawan Kids & Family

Programming Profile

Mediawan strengthens its European presence, lines up Cannes slate


Julien Borde, president of Mediawan Kids & Family, outlines the company’s M&A strategy, its move into gaming-inspired content and new genres of animation, and showcases his slate of new titles for Mipcom.


Mediawan Kids & Family launched 18 months ago. What can you tell us about the new division?
Mediawan, founded in 2015, has rapidly become a global leader in independent entertainment. With 70 production labels spanning Europe, the UK, US and Africa, we offer a diverse range of content, from dramas to animation, tailored to both streaming platforms and traditional broadcasters.


A year-and-a-half ago, we launched Mediawan Kids & Family, building on the success of Method Animation, known for hits like Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir. Now we’re expanding further, introducing specialised labels like Elliott Studio, for innovative live-action, and Somewhere Animation, for 2D and musical series.


Julien Borde
Julien Borde,
Mediawan Kids & Family

After the recent Wildseed and Submarine deals, how is your M&A strategy changing?
Mediawan Kids & Family is actively strengthening its European presence by seeking out the best creative studios and talent. We’ve recently integrated Wildseed Studio and Submarine Animation into our expanding family. Emphasising collaboration, we encourage our labels to join forces for innovative content creation.


For instance, Method Animation and Palomar Animation are teaming up to bring a new adaptation of The Three Musketeers to life for Rai, France Télévisions and ZDF. These partnerships extend across various Mediawan companies, such as Elliott Studio’s collaboration with DEMD Productions on the thrilling hybrid comedy series Boule & Bill, showcasing our commitment to diverse content genres.


What new shows are you lining up for Mipcom?
Initiated during the Cartoon Forum, Mediawan Kids & Family is thrilled to showcase three exciting shows in Cannes: Leaves & Roots (Somewhere Animation), Boule & Bill (Elliott Studio) and Toko Loko (Submarine). We’re also presenting Witch Detectives and Ki & Hi, along with sneak peeks of Pirate Academy and The Little Prince & Friends.


Leaves & Roots

Our mission is to nurture Europe’s top talent across our eight production labels, crafting content that resonates globally. We collaborate with talent worldwide, like Joel Mackenzie and Simon Nicholson, to create engaging series like Tuff Pom and The Little Prince &s Friends. Additionally, we’re excited about Thomas Astruc’s CGI Astroboy reboot. With Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir, Thomas has proven he is one of the most creative, innovative and generous storytellers.


How is the popularity of gaming impacting your TV development?
The convergence of animation and gaming has reached new heights, exemplified by the global success of the Mario Bros movie and the acclaimed series Arcane on Netflix. Recognising the 360-degree potential of IPs, we are dedicated to bridging the gap between the gaming and content industries.


A prime example is TemTem, coproduced by our 2D label Somewhere Animation and Marla Studios, an exciting TV series inspired by the Pokémon-like video game phenomenon boasting over 1.5 million players on PC, PlayStation, Switch and Xbox. Additionally, Somewhere Animation’s line-up includes Chefclub, based on the immensely popular digital hit with over 3.5 billion monthly views worldwide and 300 million views in France, complete with interactive cooking games for kids.


Conversely, we are also venturing into the gaming realm with our own franchises. Miraculous, for instance, which we coproduce with ZAG, is not only a hit TV series but also the number two game on Roblox with 650 million plays. Moreover, we’ve expanded The Little Prince into the gaming world through a partnership with the leading Metaverse platform, the Sandbox, ensuring our IPs thrive in both animation and gaming spheres.


Boule & Bill

How is the market for live-action for kids changing?
It is an ongoing evolution that goes with the important phenomenon of ‘kids growing old younger.’ The proliferation of platforms and formats, such as those offered by streamers, introduces children to discover new programmes, including live-action. The dynamic nature of platform offerings encourages us to imagine new IPs and genres for an increasingly discerning youth audience. Through the creation of our label Elliott Studio, dedicated to youth and family live-action, and with our expertise and know-how in animation, we strive to meet the demands of an ever-evolving market and audience.


How is Mediawan Kids & Family embracing new styles of animation, such as anime?
Kids all over the world love anime, but many series contain unsuitable violent content for six- to 10-year-olds. Mediawan Kids & Family recognised this gap and is producing Ki & Hi (52×13’), its first anime-adjacent TV series for kids, adapted from the universe of the famous French YouTuber Kevin Tran. The series will use the visual grammar coming from manga and anime and mix it with universal themes to create a comedy sitcom that will appeal to kids globally.


Simultaneously, Mediawan Kids & Family aims to captivate young adults and adults with visually stunning narratives. We work closely with international talents to introduce fresh animation styles, to entertain a mature audience craving for originality and excitement. We are currently developing Banana Sioule, based on a comic book about a young heroine trying to thrive in the world of Sioule, an ultra-masculine and violent sport. Our mission, with both anime and young-adult content, is to redefine animation, appealing to both kids and adults.


How is the growth of FAST [free, ad-supported streaming TV] and AVoD changing your strategy?
We’re excited to reach audiences globally through various platforms, adapting to changing dynamics. Our success with Miraculous on YouTube has been a valuable experiment, extending the show’s reach beyond TV screens with 16 localised channels, more than 36 billion views and over 30 million subscribers. We’re also exploring opportunities on YouTube Kids, like Petronix Defenders, our first official partnership in the US, where we generated 55 million views, and The Little Prince & Friends, reaching a million households within 10 days.


Witch Detectives

Social media is a powerful tool to connect with our audience and experiment with new formats. Our Miraculous TikTok account is now the number one kids brand on the platform, with 5.5 million subscribers and more than 40 billion views, offering new content and fostering a vibrant community. We’re committed to expanding our shortform content across TikTok, YouTube Shorts and Meta Reels to meet our audience wherever they are.


How are you seeing artificial intelligence [AI] impacting Mediawan Kids & Family’s business?
We are fascinated and super motivated by AI. Of course, it raises many issues, but we believe both the writing and animation process are going to be boosted by the new technology. Animation is a very long and fragmented production process and can really benefit from AI. We have no doubts creativity and human talent will remain the irreplaceable core of our industry.


What other content initiatives are you working on for 2024?
We have a dynamic slate with more than 10 series in production and 30 in development across our eight labels in Paris, Bristol, Amsterdam and Rome. We are diversifying our offerings to our partners to cover all the needs of the market and build next-generation favourite franchises.


We have four top priorities: preschool, action-adventure, mixed media and new creative partnerships. We have launched a solid slate of preschool shows with original IPs created to inspire and entertain young children. We are preparing a new action-adventure slate with concepts coming from gaming. We are innovating with mixed-media shows to explore storytelling opportunities of new animation and live-action technologies. And we are also excited to partner with talent in the US, Africa and Asia, as good ideas come from everywhere and are enjoyed by kids and families all around the world.