Academy Award, Emmy Award and Annie Award-winning New York entertainment company, Believe Entertainment Group, and award-winning, former Nickelodeon senior executive, Keith Dawkins, and his company, Rock Hill Media Ventures, come out of the gates with its first half-hour kids series collaboration with Dinosaur, Mermaid, Racecar, Pufferfish, produced and created by respected animator, Larry Schwarz. The live-action adventure comedy series is geared toward kids ages 6 – 11 but also has the fun to attract a co-viewing/family audience.
Dinosaur, Mermaid, Racecar, Pufferfish is the first initiative in the 2020 kids programming slate for the new partners, who came together last year to accelerate expansion into the kids and family content space by creating a diverse and robust pipeline of new content and building global kids IP. The series is created for a multiplatform media environment and provides multifaceted digital companion content and viral elements for social, leveraging the characters in short form.
“Creating multiplatform kids programming that reaches kids in the way they consume content now drives every facet of this fantastically original show, one of the first to combine multiple components of linear, digital and social,” said Dan Goodman and William H. Masterson III, co-founders, Believe Entertainment Group. “Larry is known for creating characters, telling stories and producing content across multiple platforms in kids, youth and family entertainment. We are excited to partner with him and bring this vision to life.”
Dinosaur, Mermaid, Racecar, Pufferfish centers around four characters (as the title suggests), the galaxy’s most unlikely superheroes, and their fun and misadventures. After an acclaimed scientist bioengineers the four characters to combat other mutant monster creatures, he banishes them to the planet Uranus to battle their way out and back to Earth. Half kung fu monster battle and half character-based sitcom, the production provides plenty of live-action battle characters and comedy antics while conveying positive messages about teamwork, loyalty and friendship.
The series is created by Schwarz under his Larry Schwarz and His Band banner. Believe Entertainment Group will executive produce alongside Keith Dawkins for Rock Hill Media Ventures who jointly developed the project to bring it to market. The trio will produce the project at Pinewood Atlanta Studios, the second-largest purpose-built studio facility in North America, and whose president serves as a Believe board member.
“In an increasingly fragmented viewing marketplace, where kids have more choices than ever before, we know that great storytelling still finds a way to break through the clutter,” said Dawkins, founder and CEO of Rock Hill Media Ventures. “‘Dinosaur, Mermaid, Racecar, Pufferfish’ is just the type of breakthrough content, from the mind of a true storyteller, that we think that kids (and families) will rally around on a variety of platforms.”
Schwarz and his studio, Larry Schwarz and His Band, bring to the project more than two decades of producing and creating television series including global distribution for a variety of kid/family platforms. Schwarz’s award-winning, critically-acclaimed work has amassed a devoted fan base and has been distributed on every major platform around the globe from Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network to key international platforms such as Netflix and Canal+. With one of the largest libraries of independently produced kids content in the industry, Schwarz has attracted partnerships with FremantleMedia’s Kids & Family Entertainment division and investments from British film production and distribution company, Handmade Films.
“In today’s digital economy, audiences, and especially kids and families, bond with content, characters and brands in totally new and fluid ways,” said Schwarz. “We want to encourage co-viewing (parents watching with kids) and hopefully inspire them to enjoy this fun experience together.”
Additional projects are expected in the coming months.