Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN) is collaborating with Youku, the video streaming platform from China’s Alibaba Group, on an original animated series as part of a wider deal.
Little Luban (working title) is part of a memorandum of understanding for a multi-year content development and distribution partnership that was signed by the two companies at Mipcom in Cannes today.
It isn’t the first time VIMN has partnered with a Chinese streaming giant, having previously developed properties such as Deer Squad (fka Deer Run) with iQiyi.
The production partners said Little Luban would feature characters and themes that would “resonate with viewers around the world.”
Global values of friendship and teamwork, along with specific elements of Chinese culture and philosophy, will be incorporated into both the storyline and the visuals.
The original production is targeted at younger kids audience but is also intended to be enjoyed by families. It is set to be made available on Nickelodeon in international markets.
Youku and VIMN will also further cooperate to develop and license a range of consumer products to support the series.
Viacom International Studios, which is responsible for all international content syndication, format sales and production and co-production activities for Viacom outside the US, will work across the development and production of the animated series.
“It’s a natural brand fit and we are looking forward to developing the project into something that kids around the world will watch with love,” said Nina Hahn, VIMN’s senior VP of international production and development, Nickelodeon.
Pierre Cheung, senior VP and general manager for Greater China at VIMN, added: “We have a big pool of animation talent here in China and we’re continuously exploring opportunities to collaborate with local partners.”
Aaron Liao, GM of Youku Kids, described the show as an original and uplifting story inspired by Chinese tradition and culture.