ANNECY REPORT: DBTV, Disney EMEA order new toons

Disney Branded TV's Ayo Davis and EMEA VP Orion Ross delighted the lakeside crowd with their reveal of a new Disney Junior series featuring an aged-down marquee character, plus two greenlit projects with Canadian and UK prodcos.
June 14, 2023

The Disney presentation is always a hot ticket at Annecy, and this Tuesday’s event was no exception, with big queues lining up to hear the studio’s big news.

The House of Mouse announced new renewals and greenlights, marking its centennial anniversary with a 75-minute presentation called “The Next 100.”

Disney Branded TV (DBTV) president Ayo Davis unveiled a new CG-animated preschool series from LA’s Wild Canary called Disney Junior’s Ariel, building on the buzz from The Little Mermaid’s spring theatrical run. It also continues Disney’s tried-and-true strategy of aging down legacy characters (like Alice and Spider-Man), starring an eight-year-old Ariel and her friends. Ezra Edmond (Minnie Bow-Bot Robot) and Lynne Southerland (Mulan II) are producing and executive producing, respectively.

Disney Junior’s Ariel

Aiming slightly older, DBTV has also ordered a 2D-animated series called StuGo from LA’s Titmouse. The concept centers around six middle-graders who are tricked into attending a fake summer camp by a mad scientist. Trapped on a tropical island, the squad must deal with the likes of mind-reading manatees and violent fungi.

On the Disney EMEA side of things, VP of animation Orion Ross presented a new preschool original called Magicampers (pictured). Paris-based Mikros Animation produces the series, which is set in a magical world where every creature is a blend of two animals. The protagonists—a pig/Pegasus and a donkey/unicorn—spend their days playing and learning to master their mystical powers.

Ross also revealed another original series called The Sunnyridge 3, which leans into comedy as well as spooky/mystery elements to engage older kids. The show stars three best friends who investigate strange happenings at their local mall, chasing down answers to conspiracy theories about ancient curses, robots and AI. Blink Industries in the UK is producing this project with Canada’s Boat Rocker Media.

In other Disney content news, The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder (Disney+) and Firebuds (Disney Junior) were both renewed for a third season; Marvel’s Spidey and his Amazing Friends season four has been greenlit for Disney Junior; and Kiff will return for a second season on Disney Channel.

Interspersed with sneak-peek footage from previously announced projects and a retrospective of Disney’s legacy, “The Next 100” presentation also included a trailer for upcoming Disney+ series Kizazi Moto: Generation Fire, which sparked loud cheering from the audience. This animated anthology premieres on July 5, featuring stories inspired by Africa.

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