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Mattel is continuing its aggressive push into television.
The toy company has set a pair of animated specials, Barbie & Chelsea: The Lost Birthday and a musical sequel, focused around its iconic Barbie character. Both specials are poised to launch this year and follow the success of last year’s Netflix foray Barbie Princess Adventure.
“Barbie’s brand message, about inspiring the limitless potential in every child, and her stories resonate deeply with both kids and parents all over the world,” said Mattel TV exec producer Adam Bonnett. “This year, we are expanding the Barbie content universe in a number of ways starting with a fantastical story centered around Barbie’s little sister, Chelsea, an incredibly popular character in the Barbie family. We have barely scratched the surface of the stories the brand can tell, and this is the first of many scripted and unscripted Barbie projects we have in production and development.”
Cassi Simonds (Barbie Dreamhouse Adventures) will direct Barbie & Chelsea. Bonnett, Mattel TV GM Fred Soulie and Mattel TV senior vp development Christopher Keenan. Ann Austen will co-executive produce. Mainframe Studios will handle the animation. The 60-minute special will debut on Netflix in the U.S. and on Cartoonito (Italy), Pop (UK); 9Go! (Australia), Neox Kids (Spain), SuperRTL (Germany), Carousel (Russia) and iQIYI (China). Additional broadcast and streaming partners to be announced.
The Barbie specials come as Mattel has been expanding its TV business. The company is also teaming with Fremantle to adapt its iconic Whac-a-Mole game as a reality competition series an is also adapting its beloved Uno for television. Mattel is also readying a feature film based on Uno.
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