Greenlights Feature Length Specials for Thomas & Friends™, Mike the Knight and Fireman Sam.
HIT Entertainment, one of the world's leading pre-school entertainment companies, announced today it is expanding its content portfolio by greenlighting three direct-to-DVD feature specials (3 X 60’) for its globally successful brands, Thomas & Friends, Fireman Sam, and for the first time, Mike the Knight, co-produced with Corus Entertainment’s Nelvana.
This announcement follows last year’s centralisation of content creation, production and brand management and forms part of HIT Entertainment’s renewed focus on tent pole events and its on-going commitment to investing in new content and providing engaging storytelling which extend the ways in which audiences emotionally connect with its brands.
Production is currently underway for all three titles: Thomas & Friends: Tale of the Brave, Mike the Knight: Journey to Dragon Mountain and Fireman Sam: Heroes of the Storm (working title).
Michael Carrington, VP Content and Head of Production, HIT Global Brands, says: “HIT Entertainment is committed to producing exceptional content, with rich and character driven stories that capture the hearts and imaginations of pre-schoolers around the world and I’m delighted to announce these three new 60 minute specials.
“Tent-pole programming offers us the perfect opportunity to introduce new storylines and characters and build products and experiences around them which provide audiences with new ways to enjoy, engage and interact with their favourite characters.”
Thomas & Friends: Tale of the Brave, which will premiere in 2014, explores the theme of bravery. When Thomas spots some giant footprints his friend Percy quickly becomes convinced that there is a monster on the island. When an unusual engine, with sloping boilers, first appears, Percy believes he must be the monster but the new engine proves to be a good friend and ally. He even helps Percy discover what it really means to be brave.
HIT Entertainment has also greenlit a new 26 x 11’ CGI series of Thomas & Friends. This will be the eighteenth series of Thomas & Friends, which remains one of the world’s premiere preschool lifestyle brands and currently broadcasts in 200 territories to over 1.1 billion households.
The Journey to Dragon Mountain is the first feature-length outing for Mike the Knight. In the special, which will premiere in 2014, Mike’s father the King is on a mission to save Glendragon by returning a crystal jewel to the giant dragon of Dragon Mountain. Mike and his sister Evie secretly follow their father and unfortunately for the King, Mike’s attempts at being knightly only make the mission harder. But when Evie accidentally causes a rock fall, it’s Mike who bravely saves the day.
A huge hit with audiences around the world, the first two series of Mike the Knight have so far been sold to 27 broadcasters in 112 territories.
Fireman Sam: Heroes of the Storm follows on the heels of the brand’s hugely successful first tent-pole special ‘The Great Fire of Pontypandy’. Penny takes Norman, Mandy, Sarah and James on a pot-holing trip in the old mines, but when a hurricane is spotted out at sea it’s up to Sam to save them. Meanwhile, Elvis helps prepare Pontypandy for the storm and Station Officer Steele gathers everyone at the new fire station. When a fire breaks out, it’s a race against time to save the day. It will premiere in 2015.