Nelvana is a world-leading international producer and distributor of children’s animated and live-action content. LM interviewed Mellany Welsh, Head of Nelvana Enterprises, to know more about the 2023 news and licensing strategies.
Which properties are you concentrated upon at the moment?
We’re really focused on finding broadcast partners by way of presales for some of our new shows. One, in particular, is based on the global Monster Jam brand. It is a CGI series, tentatively entitled, Monster Jam Gears & Galaxies and is inspired by renowned Monster Jam trucks, from our partners, Feld Entertainment.
Millie Magnificent is a new series that we’ve recently greenlit. We have pre-sold the show with some great broadcasters but we are looking for more partners to come on board. It is a beautiful series based on the book called The Most Magnificent Thing, from our sister company Kids Can Press and subsequent award-winning short film about 8-year-old creator, problem solver and innovator, Millie Sparks. With a load of determination and spark of imagination, Millie and her Creato-crew friends strive to find THE MOST MAGNIFICENT solutions to their neighbourhood’s challenges.
We’re equally enthusiastic about Builder Brothers Dream Factory, which is a new preschool CG series that is inspired by the real-life Property Brothers, the popular global show with two big tv personalities. We partnered with Sinking Ship Entertainment and Scott Brothers Entertainment for this series, and we are handling global distribution and licensing & merchandising, so we are looking for toy partners and additional broadcasters.
Which are the licensing activities around these new titles?
Concerning Monster Jam Gears and Galaxies, Spin Master is already on board, who is producing an amazing line of toys around the current Monster Jam trucks and will be producing a new line based on the TV series. We are searching for new partners in other categories, such as publishing, apparel, etc.
For Builder Brothers Dream Factory, we are actively looking for a Toy partner. We’re having conversations presently with several major licensees. Following the nature of the series, we will be able to see what aspects are really resonating to kids and collaborate with our licensees to reflect this in the line of products.
For Millie Magnificent, we’re also interested in building a toy and craft line. Millie is a maker girl, she’s always creating different things and coming up with fun little products and games from her imagination, so we’re going to find some partners to help us bring those products to life.
What kind of partners are you hoping to connect with this year?
For some time now, we have had the opportunity to attend in-person events to reconnect with our partners, as we did recently at Kidscreen in Miami and at the Bologna Licensing Trade Fair/Kids. In both trade events, there were so many different partners from our industry, across licensing, merchandising, broadcasting, and content, so I’ve been happy to just meet face-to-face with people and talk about different opportunities.
What will be next about Nelvana’s content strategy?
You can expect to see some great new animated series from Nelvana, with our 50-year history of creating beautifully animated content.
But we’re also active about our live-action slate and strategy, preparing more and more new live-action shows in the future.
What will be the next events will you be attending?
This spring we’ll definitely be present at Annecy Festival and Licensing Expo, which are important trade shows for us.