Tencent Takes 'Shaun the Sheep' Series for China in Aardman Deal

Courtesy of Lionsgate
'Shaun the Sheep'

The Tencent Video streaming platform will become home to all 170 episodes of the animated show.

Shaun the Sheep has gone truly global. 

Aardman's much-loved animated farmyard creation and his flock of woolly friends are heading to China following a deal with Tencent Video, which will see the Chinese streaming platform become home to all 170 episodes of the Shaun the Sheep TV series, including season six, which launched this year.

The arrangement complements the worldwide deal outside of China that Aardman struck for the show with Netflix. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

"Our new deal with Tencent Video is a truly exciting next step for our business in China and a great moment for the studio," said Robin Gladman, Aardman's senior distribution and acquisitions manager. "Tencent Video will become a fabulous new home for our biggest global brand Shaun the Sheep and help us reach millions of families across the territory."

First introduced as a character in 1995 in Aardman's Oscar-winning Wallace & Gromit short film A Close Shave, Shaun has gone on to become the British animation powerhouse's most recognizable faces and its biggest global ambassador (thanks in no small part to the lack of need for dubbing or subtitles). Alongside the TV series, which first aired in the U.K. in 2007, there have been two Shaun the Sheep feature films, the latest being last year's BAFTA-nominated A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon.

While Tencent will become the new streaming home for Shaun, the sheep has already been introduced to China following a promotional partnership with sportswear brand FILA (a campaign video amassed 11 million views in just 24 hours). Aardman is also developing its Shaun the Sheep attractions and live experiences in the country, including a touring stage show called "Shaun the Sheep — The Alien Visitor and Shaun the Sheep Go to Sanya," launching at the Mangrove Tree Resort World in Hainan this summer.