News snapshot: what you might have missed

Including worldwide birthday initiatives for Disney’s Mickey Mouse.

Disney’s Mickey Mouse is to embark on a trip around the world to celebrate his upcoming birthday on November 18 – which marks the release of his first theatrical film, Steamboat Willie in 1928. The character’s adventures will be chronicled on his Facebook page – with an Instagram account having also launched. The birthday will be celebrated in the parks at Disneyland, Walt Disney World and Disneyland Paris, while an exclusive pre-parade birthday celebration for Mickey and selected happenings will be hosted at Disneyland Paris. In addition, Disney Stores across Europe will be distributing commemorative ‘Happy Birthday, Mickey’ buttons. Also through November, Disney Junior will premiere new episodes of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, while D23: The Official Disney Fan Club, Oh My Disney!, Babble and other Disney sites will be posting Mickey-related videos, galleries, stories, crafts and recipes leading up to his birthday.

Rocket Licensing has revealed a number of new licensing partnerships for the Grinch in the led up to Christmas. Dreamtex (bedding), IG Design Group (Christmas gift wrap), BCI (kids’ nightwear), Brand International Group (footwear and slippers) and Misirli (socks) are all now on board. They join existing licensees including Somerbond (adult nightwear and underwear) and Park Agencies (adult apparel).

A sequel to the popular Shaun the Sheep Movie is on the way from Aardman and StudioCanal. Pre-production is due to begin in January 2017. The first movie grossed $106 million worldwide.

A raft of merchandise is rolling out to accompany the arrival of Marvel’s Doctor Strange at the box office. Licensees including LEGO, Funko Pop, Hasbro, Mad Engine, Rubie’s, Bioworld and New Era among others are all on board.

Sex toy specialist Lovehoney has launched the Motörhead Bomber Massage Missile, the latest product in its Motörhead: The Official Pleasure Collection.

Cartoon Network has greenlit a third season of We Bare Bears. The animation is averaging a global reach of 29.5 million kids for 2016 to date.

eOne has secured a broadcast deal for its BAFTA award winning film Lost and Found on US preschool network, Sprout. The half hour animation will premiere on December 2 and air throughout the month.

MD Licensing is teaming with Galbani to bring Masha and the Bear to mealtimes in Italy. Galbani will be supplying a Masha and the Bear fridge magnet in every pack of the Crema Bel Paese spreadable cheese triangles until October 31. There are 23 to collect in total.

A number of celebrities and their families headed to a special VIP screening of FremantleMedia Kids & Family’s Kate & Mim-Mim, with Cat Deeley also making her voice debut. A special episode called Kate in Oz will air on CBeebies on October 29, with a new series beginning from October 30.

Alibaba Pictures Group has secured an agreement with Working Partners and its parent company Coolabi for the film rights to Warriors. The book series has sold more than 30 million copies worldwide.

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