News snapshot: what you might have missed

Including DHX Media and Mattel’s new tie up and Danger Mouse heads to Downing Street.

Cartoon Network Enterprises has appointed Megalicense International as its licensing representative in Russia and the CIS region. Effective from January 1, 2016, the deal will see Megalicense build and manage the official licensing programmes for CNE’s portfolio of animated properties in the territory.

Mister Maker’s Arty Party launched in the UK last week and is already performing well for CBeebies. The Zodiak Kids Studios property is achieving substantially above the benchmark for the target four to six year old audience, with an average 27% share of viewing. This ranks as the second highest performing series in the age group on the channel this year.

Danger Mouse mingled with a host of celebrities when he made his debut at No 11 Downing Street for a special Christmas party. The event was hosted by the Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne MP, and Starlight Children’s Foundation for 45 children with serious and terminal illnesses. The super suave secret agent was apparently a hit with the children and celebrities alike, who include actor Rupert Grint, singer John Newman, I’m a Celebrity contestant Brian Friedman, dancers and contestants from Strictly Come Dancing and the winner of The Great British Bake Off, Nadiya Hussain among others.

Aardman has released its latest official Shaun the Sheep game, Llama League. The new app has been launched in celebration of the new half hour special, The Farmer’s Llamas, which is set to air on BBC1 on Boxing Day.

Rocket Licensing has bolstered the CP programme for the upcoming new Ghostbusters movie in 2016. Recent signings include Centum Books, Brand Alliance, BC International, Poetic Gem, Danilo, Branded Distribution, Hancocks, Kinnerton and Finsbury Foods. There are now 23 companies involved with the movie, which hits cinemas next July.

DHX Media has formed a long-term partnership with Mattel for the development, production and distribution of a new range of multi-platform content inspired by properties including Bob the Builder, Fireman Sam, Little People and Polly Pocket. Under the new partnership, Mattel and DHX Media will jointly fund, co-develop and co-produce new episodic, short-form and long-form content for the Mattel properties, designed for a variety of traditional and digital platforms.

Knockout Licensing has added a brace of licensees to the programme for TV series Outlander. Tonner will be launching limited edition 16″ and 17″ collectable dolls, while Toy Vault is planning board games.

Nelvana has added a batch of licensing agents to help build its Little Charmers brand worldwide. The Fusion Agency (Australia/New Zealand); Agosin Licensing (Chile); AMV Licensing (Peru/Bolivia); Big Star (Caribbean); Exim Argentina (Argentina/Paraguay/Uruguay); Empire Multimedia (South Korea/Philippines/Singapore/Malaysia/Indonesia/Thailand/Vietnam/India); and Arabian Licensing Company (Middle East/Africa) are all on board.

Outfit7 has launched its latest app – Talking Tom Bubble Shooter. The Talking Tom and Friends franchise now boasts 21 apps and recently celebrated three billion downloads.

Puffin Rock – the preschool animation from Penguin Random House, Cartoon Saloon and Dog Ears – has picked up coveted nominations at both the Annie Awards and the Kidscreen Awards.

Pixar Animation Studios‘ head of creative development, Mary Coleman, will open the 2016 Kidscreen Summit in February. Mary will talk about how storytelling has been driving tech innovation at the company for the last two decades.

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