Premium video streaming service, Boomerang, has acquired the exclusive US domestic rights to the classic story The Wind in the Willows from UK distributor Hoho Rights, it has been announced.
Boomerang will produce a new animated series of 52 eleven-minute episodes, which is being created and produced by veteran UK producer Martin Gates, who produced the earlier half-hour specials. Hoho’s Oliver Ellis is serving as one of the executive producers and Hoho Rights, who will be in the UK Village Pavilion at MIPCOM distributing the series internationally.
The classic British story, which was first published in 1908, will join Boomerang’s stable of animated series alongside the likes of Hanna-Barbera, MGM and Looney Tunes catalogues including Scooby-Doo, Tom & Jerry, Bugs Bunny, The Flinstones, The Jetsons and more.
“As home to the world’s greatest collection of animation, we are proud to add Wind in the Willows to Boomerang’s original programming offering,” said Sundance Feniger, vice president and general manager of Boomerang. “We know this next chapter in the adventures of Mole, Rat and Toad will resonate with and delight fans of all ages.”
“We have lived with this beautiful book for so long, it has become part of the fabric of our lives,” added Martin Gates. “Twenty years on, we feel the time is right to breathe new life into the stories for a whole new generation of children, rediscovering beloved old characters and introducing some new female ones including adventurous Squirrel, resourceful Rabbit and the scheming Chief Weasel. There are just so many more stories to tell.”
Helen Howells, joint managing director of Hoho Rights concluded: “With over 85 million copies of the book sold in 29 languages, The Wind in the Willows has worldwide recognition and so together with Boomerang we look forward to introducing these much-loved characters to a new generation of American children”.