Boomerang Nabs Rights to 'Wind in the Willows' Series (Exclusive)

Courtesy of Boomerang

The streaming service will release a 52-episode animated series based on the classic British book.

Children's novel The Wind in the Willows will soon come to life onscreen, as video streaming service Boomerang will air a new animated series based on the British classic. Boomerang has acquired the U.S domestic rights from U.K. distributor Hoho Rights, which will release the show internationally. 

The series, produced by Martin Gates and Hoho's Oliver Ellis, will include 52 eleven-minute episodes based on The Wind in the Willows. Written in 1908 by Kenneth Grahame, the book follows the riverside adventures of Mole, Rat and Toad.

This is not the first time it has been adapted for television, as it has been made into several television movies and a British animated series that ran in the 1980s. More than 85 million copies of the book have been sold in 29 languages.

“We have lived with this beautiful book for so long, it has become part of the fabric of our lives,” Gates said. “Twenty years on, we feel the time is right to breathe new life into the stories for a whole new generation of children, rediscovering beloved old characters and introducing some new female ones including adventurous Squirrel, resourceful Rabbit and the scheming Chief Weasel. There are just so many more stories to tell.” 

Gates has a long history with the animated world, having made feature-length versions of The Ugly Duckling, Jack and the Beanstalk and The Snow Queen. He also produced the half-hour special Mole's Christmas, based on The Wind in the Willows, which was an international Emmy nominee. 

The Wind in the Willows will join Boomerang's animation library, launched in April 2017, which includes the likes of Scooby-Doo, Tom & Jerry, Bugs Bunny, The Flintstones and The Jetsons. A co-partnership of Turner and Warner Bros., Boomerang — overseen by vp and general manager Sundance Feniger — is a 24-hour all-animation network that has evolved into a premium video subscription service this year after a partnership with Warner Bros. 

Hoho Rights, headed up by joint managing director Helen Howells, will be in the U.K. Village Pavilion at MIPCOM distributing the series internationally.