Viacom International Media Networks and Alibaba group’s streaming platform Youku have signed a co-production deal for Little Luban, an original animated series.
The partnership, inked at Mipcom, will see the pair collaborate on the development, production and distribution of the show in a multi-year relationship.
Little Luban will aim for a broad, global audience with ‘characters and themes that the production partners beleive will resonate with viewers around the world’ according to a joint statement.
Themes will tackle friendship and teamwork, but will also include ‘specific elements of Chinese culture and philosophy’, which will be apparent throughout the storylines and in the animation’s visual style.
The show is based on the legend of master builder Lu Ban, who lived during the Zhou Dynasty in ancient China, and while the family-friendly series is inspired by Chinese culture, Youku Kids General Manager Aaron Liao said the characters and themes would resonate with global audiences.
“We look forward to not just bringing the series to Chinese viewers, but also sharing these characters with children and families across the world,” Aaron said.
Nina Hahn, SVP of Nickelodeon’s International Production and Development division at Viacom International Media Networks, calls the show “a natural brand fit,” and adds: “We are looking forward to developing the project into something that kids around the world will watch with love,” she said.
Youku and VIMN will also further cooperate to develop and license a range of consumer products to support the series.