Netflix has released information about 4 new titles that they plan to debut over the course of 2015 into 2016. Each of them will vary in count of episodes, but will boost Netflix popularity with parents as commercial-free viewing for their children.
The 4 new shows are:
- “Cirque du Soleil Luna Petunia” (to debut fall 2016): Preschool series from Saban Brands and Cirque du Soleil Média chronicles the adventures of Luna Petunia, a girl who lives in our world but plays in a dreamland where she learns how to make the impossible possible. The first season of 11 episodes will premiere worldwide exclusively on Netflix, kicking off a franchise rollout that will include a consumer products line, interactive digital content and a potential live tour.
- “Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Tarzan and Jane” (second half of 2016): In modern-day remake of the classic characters, 16-year-old Tarzan returns from the African jungle to a London boarding school where he meets Jane, who helps him solve environmental injustice, crimes and mysteries. The eight-episode season comes from 41 Entertainment and executiveproducer Avi Arad (which are also developing “Kong – King of the Apes” original series and feature-length film for Netflix) with animation from ARC Prods.
- “Kulipari: An Army of Frogs” (2016): Based on the trilogy of books by NFL star Trevor Pryce that were inspired by his childhood fear of frogs. The series targets grade-school boys and follows poisonous frogs, scorpions and spiders who must go to war to ensure their power and the survival of their entire world. The 13-episode season, produced by Splash Entertainment and Outlook Company, will premiere worldwide exclusively on Netflix in 2016.
- “Puffin Rock” (Sept. 1, 2015, in major markets): Set on an island off the coast of Ireland, series revolves around charismatic and plucky young puffling Oona, who with her curious little brother Baba explores a diverse array of sea, sky, land and underground creatures. Actor Chris O’Dowd narrates the English-language version of the series, from Penguin Random House Children’s, Dog Ears and animation studio Cartoon Saloon. The 13-episode season premieres exclusively on Netflix in the U.S., Canada, Latin America, Benelux, France and Germany in September, and with other Netflix territories to follow at a later date.
Netflix is also adding three new first-run exclusive kid series: “Masha and the Bear”, “The Day My Butt Went Psycho”, and “Elias”.
Netflix has a win-win scenario with this. It gives the parents hours of entertainment for their kids, the episodes don’t have to be cut for time, and the most successful will drive people to keep up their subscription for whenever new seasons of shows will premiere. In the meantime, people can still enjoy a variety of family friendly, and more grown-up entertainment as they blast through things from “Puss-N-Boots”, “M*A*S*H*”, “Daredevil”, to “Orange is the New Black”. Plenty for everyone, in an age where more people turn away from cable due to expense and overall lack of programming. It’s things like “Game of Thrones” or “Penny Dreadful” that keep people coming back, but even at that, more than a few have gone to the HBO GO, or Showtime on Demand services. Those that haven’t just download the episode offline. Numbers don’t lie on that. Even so, the waiting game seems to be on the viewer’s side. Those who don’t mind the wait will likely find that HBO and Netflix will eventually strike some sort of deal for the rights to show “Game of Thrones” and “Penny Dreadful”.
Back on to the children’s side of things, I’ve found a great amount of material to benefit from the Netflix library. Watching “Batman Beyond”, “Justice League”, “Justice League Unlimited”, “Garfield and Friends” (though this one in short doses), and several new release films. When Cartoon Network may not win the day completely, and Boomerang isn’t showing the cartoons of yesteryear that a kid may want to see, this opens up so many doors. It can allow parents to introduce things to their kids they enjoyed growing up. Add the benefit of original programming, helping to further give a kid their Saturday morning cartoon fix back. Netflix just wins all around.