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‘Angry Birds Blues’ Series, Co-Starring Hatchlings, Set to Perch on Rovio’s ToonsTV

Variety logo Variety 2/8/2017 Todd Spangler
© Provided by Variety

Rovio Entertainment is hoping fans of last year’s hit “The Angry Birds Movie” will flock to the weekly “Angry Birds Blues” series on its kid-friendly ToonsTV service.

The 30-episode short-form animated show debuts March 10 on the free, ad-supported ToonsTV service. “Angry Birds Blues,” which was teased during the end credits of the movie, follows the antics of the boisterous bluebird triplets known as the Blues — along with the cuddly, wide-eyed Hatchlings, who became breakout stars from the film in their own right.

“It started from a very successful movie with these super-cute characters. We found our fans really loved them,” said ToonsTV head Sanna Korppoo. “It’s a new type of digital distribution that keeps on giving to our fans.”

The “Angry Birds Blues” series was produced out of Rovio Animation’s studio in Vancouver. Each of the 30 episodes, which run 2-3 minutes, will premiere weekly. The new series joins the other Rovio originals based on the mobile-game franchise: “Angry Bird Toons,” “Stella” and “Piggy Tales.”

But ToonsTV — which hosts 600 videos across 30 channels — is more than just “Angry Birds” spinoffs. About half of the content on the service is licensed from partners including National Geographic, Aardman Animations (“Wallace & Gromit: Cracking Contraptions”), Toonbox, Motion Pictures Distribution, and Graphic India. Additional third-party content partners coming to ToonsTV include MondoTV, BWO Berlin, Mauricio de Sousa Producoes, and Ideas at Work.

“Our fans love our own characters a lot but there’s also a certain kind of humor we’re programming for with the content from our partners,” said Korppoo, along with educational content.

Since launching in 2013, ToonsTV has garnered more than 6 billion video views to date, according to Korppoo. She declined to provide more detailed metrics.

Finland-based Rovio also is bolstering its lineup of advertisers for ToonsTV, having recently signed Lego, Kellogg’s and Universal Home Entertainment. Additional advertisers include Crayola, Disney, Fox, General Mills, Hasbro, Mattel, McDonald’s, Paramount Pictures, PBS, Sony Pictures and Spin Master.

ToonsTV is available on the web, Apple TV, Roku, Samsung Smart TVs, and YouTube; in standalone apps for iOS, Android and Amazon devices; and in the company’s roster of mobile games.

“The Angry Birds Movie,” distributed by Sony, was released in May 2016 and grossed about $350 million at the box office worldwide. Rovio now has a sequel in the works.

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