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Guru, the studio behind animated hit Paw Patrol, is teaming with Foundation Media Partners and global cheerleading industry leader Varsity Spirit for a new animated series starring Cheer breakout Morgan Simianer.
The companies are developing Spirits of Ridgeway High, a story about optimist cheerleader Melissa Mayfield, whom Simianer will voice. While on a mission to lead her last-place cheer team to victory, Melissa discovers both cheer and music have secret magical powers. Now, she and her teammates will need to work together to master their powers and keep their school safe.
“I am beyond excited to be a part of this amazing project,” Simianer said in a statement. “As someone who knows firsthand the power of school spirit, I cannot wait for audiences to see the world we have created. This show is going to be a must-watch for anyone who loves animation, cheerleading and magic.”
The former reality star will also serve as an executive producer and cheer adviser on the series.
“We are thrilled to partner with Varsity Spirit and Foundation Media Partners to bring Spirits of Ridgeway High to life,” Frank Falcone, Guru Studio’s president and executive creative director, added in a statement of his own. “This show is a celebration of school spirit, teamwork and the power of determination. Morgan Simianer is the perfect fit to lead our talented cast, and we cannot wait for audiences to fall in love with the world we have created.”
In addition to Paw Patrol, Guru Studio has produced Sesame Street animated spinoff Mecha Builder, True and the Rainbow Kingdom and Ever After High, with an adaptation of E.B. White’s classic Charlotte’s Web currently in production.
Varsity Spirit has become a driving force behind cheerleading’s growing influence and profile, as well as its modern transformation as a high-energy sport, maintaining a focus on educational curriculum and promoting safety standards. According to the company’s president, Bill Seely, the series “embodies our commitment to the sport of cheerleading.”
“At Varsity Spirit, our mission has always been to promote school spirit and the values of teamwork, dedication and inclusivity that are at the heart of cheerleading,” his statement continued. “We believe that this series will inspire and uplift audiences while showcasing the athleticism and creativity of cheerleading in a fun and engaging way.”
The first-of-its-kind collaboration between Guru, Varsity Spirit and Foundation Media promises to be a coming-of-age story “that tackles important issues facing kids today,” said Patrick Hughes, founder and CEO of Foundation Media Partners, which was behind the acquisition of 2022 DreamWorks Animation hit The Bad Guys. He added, “Morgan has undeniable talent. She’s uniquely positioned to tell a story that authentically captures the heart and soul of this sport.”
In 2020, Simianer signed to CAA after appearing prominently in the first season of Netflix’s docuseries Cheer, which followed the National Championship-winning competitive cheerleading squad from Navarro College based in Corsicana, Texas. Since her appearance on the show, she’s become an influencer, partnering with brands like Buick, American Eagle and Secret Deodorant.
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