'My Big Big Friend' and 'Hairy Scary' Win Licensing Challenge

Two new animated children’s shows were selected from almost 50 entries at the 4th Annual Licensing Challenge held this week in conjunction with MIPCOM Junior in Cannes, France. Sponsored by License! Global Magazine, the live pitching presentations

April 6, 2018

Two new animated children’s shows were selected from almost 50 entries at the 4th Annual Licensing Challenge held this week in conjunction with MIPCOM Junior in Cannes, France.

Sponsored by

License! Global

Magazine, the live pitching presentations for five finalists was moderated by Tony Lisanti, global editorial director for

License! Global

Magazine.

“It was a very close competition with five high-quality programs that resulted in two winners for the first time,” Lisanti said.

 “My Big Big Friend” from Breakthrough Animation (Canada) and “Hairy Scary” from Alphanim (France) were selected by jury members consisting of leading licensing executives and headed by jury president Leigh Anne Brodsky, president, Nickelodeon & Viacom Consumer Products.

The international jury also included: Stan Clutton, senior vice president, Licensing & New Business, Fisher Price; Anna Hewitt, head of international licensing, BBC Worldwide; Andrew Lane, director of international licensing, Hasbro International; John

Lee, chairman & co-founder, Ready to Learn Partnership; and Richard Woolf, director of international licensing, Jetix Consumer Products.

The other finalists included: “Katie’s Picture Show” from New Moon Television (UK); “Sportlets” from Workout Factory BV (Netherlands); and “Uki” from BMC Publishing/ARS Entertainment (Belgium).

“We are extremely pleased that ‘My Big Big Friend’ was honored at the Licensing Challenge this year,” said Kevin Gillis, executive producer and managing partner of Breakthrough Animation. “This is a very special property with unique characters and intriguing storylines that will resonate with the 4- to 6-year-old age demo worldwide. Every child needs a big big friend, especially at this time in their lives.”


The Licensing Challenge is a pitching session that showcases the TV property with the highest licensing potential based on the following criteria:

• Uniqueness and overall appeal of the property

• The look, story, and themes of the show

• Distribution plans and/or broadcast plans

• Clear potential for licensing

• Suitability/match of property with identified audience target

• Merchandising potential

• Property hasn’t previously been broadcast.

The winners receive several prizes including an exhibit booth at the industry’s largest convention, Licensing International, June 10-12 at the Javits Center in New York. 

In other news from MIPCOM Jr., HIT Entertainment and Spargo Productions Plc announced a strategic agreement to distribute children’s properties “Willo the Wisp,” “Little Monsters,” and “Microscopic Milton.” Also, BBC Worldwide was awarded the global rights to two new preschool programs, “Harry and Toto” and “3rd and Bird!”

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