ORLANDO, Fla., Oct. 3, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment™ is making waves in its new media enterprises division. The company unveils a new live action television series and a third season of the popular Sea Rescue show, as well as two new animated properties in development.
The media enterprises initiative began in 2011 and extends the 50-year-old brand beyond its famous parks and into new media platforms, connecting people to nature through movies, television and digital media. The initiative also has generated the company's first documentary in U.S. theaters, digital game app, and TV series.
Animation: two new kids' properties
The Jungle Bunch to the Rescue
SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment™ has entered into an agreement with international brandmanager PGS Entertainment to manage U.S. television and merchandising rights for the TAT Productions' wildly popular franchise The Jungle Bunch. As part of the agreement, SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment will be seeking a television distribution outlet in the states, and also has secured exclusive family amusement park merchandising rights in the U.S. for their Busch Gardens and SeaWorld parks.
The Jungle Bunch is the winner of five international kids programming awards, and was nominated for the prestigious Kids' Emmy Award (a first for a French production). It features enchanting animal characters, including Maurice the penguin who thinks he's a tiger; Miguel the punchy gorilla; Fred the warthog crooner and Junior the tiger fish. In the English-language movie, Maurice is voiced by Emmy®- and Golden Globe®-winning actor John Lithgow. In The Jungle Bunch to the Rescue series, the team comes together to save animals all over the world. The film and the series are produced by TAT productions and Master Films and commissioned by France Televisions and Super RTL.
"Jungle Bunch is an award-winning franchise that is phenomenally successful across all continents," said Philippe Soutter, co-founder and president, PGS Entertainment. "The brand is poised to enter the U.S. on an international high note and, thematically, it couldn't be more well-suited to SeaWorld's amazing brand mission with its fun-loving animal characters who carry a positive message of conservation."
New program from the producers of popular pre-schooler series
Little Airplane Productions, producer of some of the most popular television series for preschoolers, including The Wonder Pets, 3rd & Bird and Small Potatoes, has teamed up with SeaWorld to jointly develop a new television property for pre-school children. The new program will be inspired by SeaWorld's deep commitment to the environment, conservation, exploration and care for animals both on land and in the sea.
"Working with Sea World is a natural fit for Little Airplane," said Josh Selig, Founder and President, Little Airplane Productions. "Both companies share a deep love and respect for animals and nature and we believe we can create something truly exceptional together."
LIVE-ACTION – two television series tell heartfelt stories of animals and people
Focusing on land animals, the new series The Wildlife Docs™ goes behind the scenes with veterinarians, technicians and trainers as they care for the more than 12,000 exotic animals that live in Busch Gardens® Tampa (the sister park to SeaWorld®). Whether assisting with the birth of tiger cubs or giving an elephant a pedicure, no day is the same for these zoo professionals. Viewers get an up-close look at the park's ground-breaking medical procedures and care. Twenty-six half-hour episodes are in production for an October 5 premiere in the U.S. on most ABC stations.
In addition, this fall sees the premiere of the third season of SeaWorld's Sea Rescue™. The award-winning show tells the stories of marine animal rescue, rehabilitation and return by the SeaWorld rescue team and its partners. The popular show has been seen by more than 86 million viewers in its first two seasons airing on ABC affiliates across the U.S.
"SeaWorld celebrates all kinds of animals and strives to inspire and educate young people to care about the natural world," said Scott Helmstedter, Chief Creative Officer of SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment. "Our new partners not only highly regarded in the industry, they are passionate about creating projects that help make a difference. And these new properties will do just that, using their unique blend of humorous, charming and adventurous stories and characters."
About SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment
SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment inspires millions, through the power of entertainment, to celebrate, connect with and care for the natural world. The company has been creating innovative entertainment experiences that blend imagination with nature for more than 50 years and is best known for its 11 U.S. theme parks, attractions that hosted more than 24 million guests in 2012 and include the beloved SeaWorld®, Busch Gardens® and Sesame Place® brands. In 2011, SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment began expanding its popular brands into media and entertainment platforms to connect people to nature and animals through movies, television, and digital media; plus began developing new lines of licensed consumer products.
SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment is one of the world's foremost zoological organizations and a global leader in animal welfare, training, husbandry and veterinary care. The company collectively cares for one of the largest animal collections in North America and has helped lead advances in the care of animals. The company also rescues and rehabilitates ocean marine animals that are ill, injured and orphaned, with the goal of returning them to the wild. The SeaWorld rescue team has helped more than 22,000 animals in need over the last four decades.
SOURCE SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment