Five different show characters displayed on red and grey shapes.

WildBrain Spark Studios: 2020 Rewind

While 2020 hit pause on many things, our awesome WildBrain Spark Studios team in London continued to create a wealth of premium and brand-safe content for our original shows and for our partners.

We encountered challenges along the way, implementing new COVID-19 safety procedures, responding to rapidly changing guidelines and every one of us going to 'work from home' overnight. Despite the huge upheaval, our brilliant team remained resilient, adaptable and kept a sense of humour. Our Studios had a great year and for that we’re feeling extremely proud.

“I’m in awe of the ingenuity and relentless creativity of our team and the production partners we work with. 2020 changed everything, for all of us, but our team barely skipped a beat as the productions kept rolling and the huge array projects we work on got out the door to excite and engage our eager audience.” - Matt Rennie, Director of Operations

Amidst the pandemic, we also saw seismic changes in the way content was consumed: kids and families are now viewing content for longer, reflecting an increase in co-viewing on the large screens of connected TVs. We saw countless headlines of ‘streaming wars’ and the industry reaching a ‘tipping point’. How does WildBrain Spark Studios respond to this changing landscape? We simply focus on creating quality content, bringing joy to kids and families around the world.

Let's take a look at some of our highlights...

The Ellie Sparkles Show: With summer camps cancelled due to the pandemic, the Ellie Sparkles team created a camp-themed content series that enabled us to bring the experience and joy of camp to families with kids at home. The content featured on YouTube Kids as part of their #CampYouTube initiative. Ellie Sparkles consistently delivers >50m views each month on YouTube and YouTube Kids!

Kiddyzuzaa: Princesses must follow COVID guidelines too - our Kiddyzuzaa gang found new ways of filming and had a lot of fun doing so, alongside some all-too-familiar Zoom-related mishaps. Channel views soared during the first lockdown in April, reaching 30M monthly views and 1.2M views in a single day at its peak.

Boy & Dragon: This WildBrain Spark original show deservedly received industry recognition this year, with its nomination for a 2021 Kidscreen Award. Set inside a notebook world, the loveable characters in this hand-drawn animation provided much-needed escapism in 2020. Families tuned in for Halloween, leading to a 166% increase in channel views during the month of October and total subscribers have now surpassed 300k.

Caillou’s New Adventures: The iconic character from this classic brand has been revived in this original web-series produced by WildBrain Spark for YouTube and YouTube Kids, and distributed in seven languages globally. Now on season 4, the show covers sensitive topics and situations that are familiar to preschool kids, told through a relatable character. From encountering bullying, to going to the dentist, parents and kids alike connect with the recognisable themes explored throughout the series.

Billy Bricks: Navigating the world of stop-motion animation through new production guidelines didn’t stop the team producing -- and viewers watching! -- new episodes of this awesome show. Watch it here.

Super Binks: This team of superhero babies jumped onto our screens in 2020, following initial fame as toy figurines on lollipops. WildBrain Spark Studios worked with Park Star Media to develop these toys into characters and co-produce a hilarious animated content series for YouTube and YouTube Kids.

BFF Bright Fairy Friends: Working closely with our partners at Funrise Toys, we have had the joy of bringing to life their new toy line through digital-first content. Together, we have produced both an animated and toy-play series for YouTube, involving the all-new dolls as characters.

“While there were many tough moments last year, I feel lucky to have such a fantastic team who had a focused and positive attitude towards adapting. They continued to deliver excellent work and went above and beyond to make things we can all be proud of. The ways in which we collaborated with our production and client partners had to shift but this gave us opportunities to re-focus and think about the creative and production team we want to be in 2021 and beyond.” - Nico Lockhart, Head of Production

At WildBrain Spark, we offer a wide range of services across all forms of Live Action, Animation and Editorial content, that can be scaled up based on the creative brief. We produce insight-led, premium content that focuses on both great storytelling and creative optimised for YouTube and WildBrain Spark’s distribution strategies. If you would like to talk to our team about creative possibilities for your brand this year, we’re here to help. Please get in touch with us here.