Thomas the Tank Engine is pulling a big new order as the virtual edition of MIPJunior gets underway.
Mattel greenlit 104 11-minute episodes of Thomas & Friends and a pair of hour-long specials to air over the course of two seasons. Mattel Television expanded its relationship with Corus Entertainment by enlisting the Canadian company’s Nelvana Studio to co-produce the longrunning series beginning with Season 25, which will debut next fall.
Perhaps the biggest change for Thomas & Friends in years is that the series will be reimagined and “contemporized for today’s families” in an all-new 2D animation style with a fresh creative approach.
“Thomas & Friends enduring legacy and focus on the importance of friendship continue to resonate with global audiences, and we look forward to unveiling our new content to consumers next year,” says Fred Soulie, senior vice president and general manager, Mattel Television. “Nelvana is the ideal production partner for the series, understanding the importance of staying true to Thomas’ ethos and heritage while bringing the franchise to life creatively in new ways for today’s kids.”
Corus Entertainment also serves as Mattel’s licensing and broadcast partner in Canada for Thomas & Friends.
Created as a fictional story for the Reverend. W. Awdry’s son Christopher in 1945, tales of Thomas the Tank Engine and his friends on the Island of Sodor sell more than 2 million books each year across more than 100 titles. Mattel is in the midst of celebrating Thomas & Friends’ 75th anniversary this year with new products from Fisher-Price and a 24th season of the hit TV series, which recently debuted on Netflix.
Last week, plans were revealed for a live-action Thomas film to be helmed by Marc Forster (Christopher Robin).