Kidscreen Award-nominated and multi-genre children’s entertainment company, Baby Octopus, is expanding its portfolio of female-led fantasy animation series, by acquiring the rights of Nadya Skylung books for a series and is signing a development deal for television and merchandising with author Jeff Seymour.
Nadya Skylung has 26 half-hour episodes for tweens which is currently in development. This series will also reunite Baby Octopus with Auckland, New Zealand-based animation company Toybox, co-producers of hit YouTube Kids show Sherwood. The companies will work with Seymour to bring the Nadya Skylung stories to life.
Baby Octopus co-founder Diana Manson said, “We were enthralled by these books and the strong character of Nadya as soon as we read them. This is just the type of distinctive, multi-layered and powerful project we love. Seymour has created an absorbing and complex world with dramatic ecological airships and tense humanistic themes that are ideal for the screen. We can’t wait to work together with Jeff and our colleagues at Toybox, whose cinematic style of animation for television will bring his incredible vision to life.”
The deal was brokered by Danielle Burby at Nelson Literary Agency and Wayne Alexander of Alexander, Lawrence, Frumes and Labowitz, LLP representing Seymour; and Jane McGregor, representing Baby Octopus.
Founded by Manson and Megan Laughton, Baby Octopus was established to continue to produce quality children’s entertainment in all genres. Current book-based properties include Chu, by global best-selling author Neil Gaiman’s preschool picture book series, illustrated by Adam Rex.
Sherwood, created by Manson and Laughton, debuted on YouTube Premium in March 2019. The retelling of the Robin Hood legend is set in a plausible future after catastrophic climate change, following 15-year-old Robin and her friends’ battles with the wealthy Upper City in their efforts to overcome inequality and fight for justice.
In addition to the central slate of publishing titles, Baby Octopus continues to develop original IP and will be making announcements on these projects soon. The team works with Sesame Workshop and Sesame Studios regularly on musical live-action and classic educational shorts.
Before Baby Octopus, Diana and Megan worked on Max & Ruby, airing continuously on Nick Jr since 2003; Peter Rabbit; Olivia; The Mr Men and Little Miss Show; Noddy and Gaspard and Lisa.