Thursday, June 18, 2020

‘Avatar: The Last Airbender’ Imagines a World Free of Whiteness

‘Avatar: The Last Airbender’ Imagines a World Free of Whiteness
by Maya Phillips for The New York Times.

The animated adventure series, which recently returned to TV, offers complex characters, an epic narrative and a reminder that stories don’t always have to be of the same white America.

In “Avatar: The Last Airbender,” Aang, a 12-year-old air-bending monk, travels the world with a water-bender named Katara and her brother, Sokka.

Anyone unfamiliar with “Avatar: The Last Airbender,” the animated adventure series that ran on Nickelodeon from 2005 to 2008, was probably surprised by the buzz that greeted its arrival on Netflix last month.

It was the most-watched show on the service for days, and became a trending topic on Twitter as long-simmering debates about the series (Who wins the title as the avatar GOAT: Aang or Korra?) were reignited, funny GIFs were created, hashtags were shared.

But “Avatar” always stood out; I dipped into it years ago, during its original run, drawn in during the marathon blocks of the show Nickelodeon sometimes aired in the afternoons. Its allure was its visual proximity to the anime series I loved, but it was also endlessly bingeable. Not simply a series of short episodic adventures, “Avatar” was an invitation to immerse yourself in an epic journey with conflicts, characters and long-running jokes (like the misfortunes of an unlucky cabbage vendor, a fan favorite) that built on what came before.

When “Avatar” premiered on Netflix, I jumped back into the mythology to re-examine its longstanding reputation as one of the best animated shows of the past two decades. I rewatched it from beginning to end and discovered a fresh comfort in the series — something that I hadn’t consciously clocked in my first watch but that underscored my renewed affection for it right now.

Though often celebrated for its sophisticated storytelling and complex characters, “Avatar” most notably dreams up a world free of whiteness, a cultural haven from and refreshing salve in a country that has, especially in recent months, shown marginalized communities its most gruesome face.

Created by Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko, “Avatar” is set in an Asiatic world comprising four nations that are each defined by a single natural element — earth, fire, water and air — and gifted citizens known as “benders” who are able to manipulate the elements of their homelands. This world is menaced by the Fire Nation, ruled by a totalitarian regime that attacks, exploits and oppresses the other lands.

The only one who can bring balance to the world is the Avatar, who in the lore of the story is reborn as a different member of the four nations during each lifetime and has the ability to master all four elements. In the series the Avatar is a precocious 12-year-old air-bending monk named Aang, who reappears, after a hundred years trapped in a state of hibernation, to complete his bending training and defeat the megalomaniacal fire lord.

Aang teams up with two members of the Southern Water Tribe, a water-bender named Katara and her brother, Sokka, and travels the world in search of masters of the elements, while also having side adventures, thwarting Fire Nation troops and evading the fire lord’s son, Zuko, who has a Captain Ahab-esque obsession with defeating the Avatar. Meanwhile, secondary characters reappear throughout the series to help Aang and his friends prepare for a final war against the Fire Nation, to bring harmony back to the four nations.

The world of the show is expansive and fanciful — with rocky terrains, formidable canyons full of oversized insects, dense Amazonian forests, upside-down temples carved into the sides of cliffs, a vast desert hiding a Borgesian library of limitless knowledge, and even a mystical island on the back of an ancient beast. Though the creators were inspired by Anglocentric world-building franchises like “Lord of the Rings,” “Star Wars” and “Harry Potter,” the cultures, philosophies and aesthetics of “Avatar” were influenced almost exclusively by Asian traditions.

In order to master the elements, Aang draws from lessons based on the principle of yin and yang and the workings of chakras, and his values are borrowed from Eastern belief systems like Buddhism. (Aang promotes peace, a respect for all life, and is a reincarnation of previous avatars.) The fashions and music were inspired by Chinese and Japanese styles, and many of the grand vistas and architectural models in the series, like the impenetrable city of Ba Sing Se, were inspired by real-world sites like China’s Great Wall and Forbidden City.

Aang, Katara and Sokka attempt to defeat the megalomaniacal fire lord.

But it’s the magical “bending,” so named to describe how its wielders manipulate, tease and strong-arm their element into submission, that is the most entrancing adaptation of Eastern cultural traditions. Each bending style is inspired by a classic Chinese martial art, which the show’s creators developed under the direction of a martial arts consultant. The flighty, variable and evasive air-bending of Aang resembles Baguazhang; the soft, fluid water-bending takes cues from tai chi; earth-bending, with its stability and immovable stances, is grounded in hung gar; and the fierce, aggressive fire-bending style is adapted from Northern Shaolin kung fu.

Aang is corrected by his masters as he learns: He must deepen his stance or turn his arm just so; he must clear his mind and direct the energy through him. Movement is key; the citizens of each nation move differently, so movement is linked to culture, a national disposition, a history within the narrative and a larger, real-life context, of the cultures and traditions that inform these fictional styles.

DiMartino and Konietzko’s admiration for Eastern culture surfaces throughout the series, a loving pastiche of allusions and inspirations: anime, Kung Fu flicks, world mythologies, Native tribes, Studio Ghibli films. In one episode, when Aang is plagued by a series of nightmares about his imminent face-off with the fire lord, the animation playfully morphs to mimic that of other famous anime series, like “Dragon Ball Z.”

“Avatar” managed to embrace all of the above while also conscientiously navigating the tricky minefield of cultural appropriation. The writers were mindful of any inadvertent links the show might make between one of the fictional nations and real Asian countries. Designs and artwork more explicitly based on those of actual countries were reworked so as to avoid any negative inferences that could come with the association. The show also brought in Edwin Zane, the former vice president of the Media Action Network for Asian-Americans, as a consultant to make sure questions of cultural sensitivity would be addressed.

After all, “Avatar” is unique in its approach to world-building. The show could have easily placed its world in proximity to whiteness by having the four nations be just one part of a larger landscape still occupied by white people, so that even if the story starred Asian characters, whiteness would still be a prominent feature. Instead, the show built a world with its own history and culture outside of that, where the characters seem, by default, Asian and view life through an Eastern lens rather than a white Western one.

The coronavirus, which first spread through China, has invited racist associations of Asianness with disease and spurred a surge in anti-Asian rhetoric and abuses. The pandemic has also exacerbated the divide between the white majority and the nonwhite minority: Already disadvantaged demographics have been hit especially hard by Covid-19 infections, job losses and business struggles, and, most troubling, harassment and death at the hands of the police. The so-called land of opportunity lately has become better known as a land of opportunities for hatred and violence. What “Avatar” provides is a world untethered from any definition or perspective that values whiteness above all else.

Despite its meticulous care and sensitivity, “Avatar” still bears Western characteristics. The animation, though inspired by Japanese anime (the creators cited the bewitchingly loony cult favorite “Fooly Cooly” in particular), with its exaggerated features, outsized reactions and dynamic action scenes, nevertheless sports the glossy American style of other Nickelodeon cartoons. (DiMartino and Konietzko originally aimed to do a coproduction with a Japanese studio but said that they found the studios unresponsive. They eventually teamed up with the small Korean studio Tin House for the pilot, and many of the studio’s artists continued working on the series throughout its run.)

Most egregious, the voice actors are mostly white, a glaring misstep for a production that was otherwise conscientious about cultural representation. (The limp 2010 live-action movie adaptation by M. Night Shyamalan was even more whitewashed, sparking a controversy over its casting.) The show’s dialogue is also rife with American idioms, and allusions to U.S. regionalism abound, as in one episode featuring a tribe of swamp-based water-benders who sound like they’ve been transplanted from the Deep South.

But whatever the instances of assimilation and translation, they never come across as a result of a Western superiority complex. Rather, as the United States continues to navigate a querulous relationship with China — not to mention a bloody history of war and forceful intervention with other countries in the East — and contend with its inequalities here, perhaps it’s more accurate to think of “Avatar” as delivering something that never sought to adapt or transcribe East to West, but respectfully marry and unify the two.

Its return to television offers a timely reminder: The story doesn’t always have to be of the same white America. There’s a whole wide world of narratives and traditions that resonate because of, not despite, the alternative view they present.


More Nick: Netflix to Host Open Casting Call for Live-Action 'Avatar: The Last Airbender' Series!
Follow NickALive! on Twitter, Tumblr, Reddit, via RSS, on Instagram, and/or Facebook for the latest Nickelodeon, NickRewind, Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra News and Highlights!

'Avatar: The Last Airbender' Is Currently the Most Popular Thing on Netflix

Fans of Avatar: The Last Airbender, of which there are many, have been waiting for Nickelodeon's acclaimed animated series to return to Netflix for some time, especially since it was revealed that the streaming service was working on a live-action adaptation of the property. That reality finally came to be last week, as all three seasons of Avatar began streaming on Netflix once again. Based on the conversation surrounding the show before its Netflix return, it should come as no surprise that people have flocking towards it.

Just a couple of days after arriving on Netflix, Avatar: The Last Airbender has become the most popular title on the entire service. This includes both movies and TV shows. On Tuesday's edition of the Netflix Top 10, Avatar appears at the very top of the list, beating out popular CW series and new Netflix originals.

The entire Avatar franchise has been a big hit on Netflix throughout 2020. M. Night Shyamalan's much maligned film adaptation, simply called The Last Airbender, debuted on the streaming service earlier this year. Despite its failure upon release 10 years ago, and it's continued bashing at the hands of both critics and fans, The Last Airbender was a staple of the Netflix Top 10 for weeks after its arrival.

Unlike the movie, the Avatar series still holds up for fans, and remains one of the most celebrated animated adventures of our time. It makes total sense that everyone is heading to Netflix to binge it all over again.

To hype Avatar: The Last Airbender returning to Netflix, Nickelodeon and Netflix turned to social media. Nickelodeon launched a dedicated Avatar: The Last Airbender YouTube channel, whilst Nick and Netflix partnered with Sprice Machines to create a domino tribute to the series.

Created by Michael DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko and airing between 2005 and 2008, the critically-acclaimed Avatar: The Last Airbender is set in world people can manipulate the elements of Earth, Water, Fire, and Air, and they lived peacefully in different regions until one of the nations started a world war. One master who can manipulate all four elements, dubbed the "Avatar," had been able to prevent this war, but disappeared soon after. 100 years later, a new Avatar named Aang awakens and sets out on a journey to master all the elements in order to bring peace to the land once more by defeating Fire Lord Ozai and ending the destructive war with the Fire Nation.

The series managed to be such a hit with fans by combining amazing animated action set pieces with three dimensional interesting characters set in this magical fantasy world.

The animated series originally aired for 61 episodes over three seasons ("Books") originally on Nickelodeon, where it began in February 2005 and concluded in July 2008. The series was nominated for—and won—Annie Awards, Genesis Awards, a Primetime Emmy Award, and a Peabody Award.

Its success led to the creation of adjacent consumer products, including video games, and a follow-up series, The Legend of Korra, that returned to the world of Avatar years after Aang’s death to follow Korra, his successor as Avatar. That series ran between 2012-2014. In 2010, the series got its first feature-length film, The Last Airbender.

The stories of both Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra have since continued on in graphic novel series.

Netflix will be putting out an Avatar: The Last Airbender live-action series from original creators DiMartino and Konietzko sometime in the future, with filming set to begin this year. The streaming giant has said that it plans to stay true to the location and “background heritage” of the animated series after the 2010 film failed to do so.

Paramount Home Entertainment and Nickelodeon Home Entertainment released the Avatar: The Last Airbender – The Complete Series 15th Anniversary Limited Edition Steelbook Collection in February 2020.

Original source: ComicBook.

From IndieWire:

Netflix Fights ‘Korra’ Backlash After ‘Avatar: The Last Airbender’ Begins Streaming

When all three seasons of "Avatar: The Last Airbender" debuted on Netflix this month, it reignited a heated debate among fans over the sequel series.

Fans of the Nickelodeon animated series “Avatar: The Last Airbender” rejoiced this month when all three seasons of the show made their Netflix debut May 15, but it didn’t take long for backlash to stir on social media. The Netflix debut of “Avatar” has reignited a heated debate among fans over the sequel series, “The Legend of Korra.” Backlash against “Korra” became so widespread on Twitter that Netflix got involved and defended the show through its @NXOnNetflix account, which is the streamer’s official “home of all things geek.”

The original “Avatar” series ran for three seasons between 2005 and 2008 and garnered widespread critical acclaim. The show won various industry prizes each season, including the Annie Award for Best Animated Television Production for Children with its third and final run of episodes. Four years after the series finale, creators Michael DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko revisited the franchise with the “Korra” sequel series. “Korra” ran for four seasons from 2012 to 2014 and was also a critical favorite, although the change in story direction irked some fans of the original series.

“Korra” is set 70 years after the events of “Avatar,” so the shows greatly differ in protagonists and settings. “Avatar” follows the adventures of a 12-year-old boy named Aang who is the last survivor of the Air Nomads. “Korra” picks up seven decades later to follow the adventures of Aang’s eponymous successor, a headstrong 17-year-old girl. That the “Avatar” creators decided not to continue Aang’s story in the sequel and instead chose to follow a new character has often been the center of fan backlash, as has “Korra’s” increased focus on inclusive storytelling. The “Korra” finale is infamous for the controversy it earned over the romantic pairing of Korra and Asami, two women of color. Den of Geek writer Michael Mammano did an excellent job in 2014 analyzing the homophobic undertones present within the “Korra” backlash.

As mentioned above, “Korra” backlash started ramping up on social media in the aftermath of “Avatar’s” Netflix debut, so much so that new essays were published over the last week defending “Korra” and urging viewers to give it a second chance. Netflix first got involved in the social media debate by responding to one fan who posted artwork of the original “Avatar” characters grown up. The fan caption read: “Imagine an alternate universe where four seasons of this dropped instead of ‘Korra.’ Yeah, I’d wanna live there.” The post leaned into backlash claiming the sequel series should’ve continued Aang’s story and not focused on a new character.

Netflix issued a response to the fan, writing: “Korra’s story was important. Aang’s story had been told.” The reply has generated over 45,000 likes and counting. The streamer didn’t stop there and continued to respond to fans expressing negative opinions about “Korra.” Netflix told one fan, “Both [series] were important and essential to the ‘Avatar’ universe. No two avatars have the same perspective or growth.”

One “Avatar” fan mentioned that Netflix is developing a live-action “Avatar” series, implying that’s proof the streamer values the original series more than it does “Korra.” Netflix shut the assumption down by responding, “Korra’s story being important doesn’t mean that Aang’s isn’t.”

Netflix announced in September 2018 it’s producing a live-action “Avatar” series with original creators DiMartino and Konietzko serving as showrunners and executive producers.

“We can’t wait to realize Aang’s world as cinematically as we always imagined it to be, and with a culturally appropriate, non-whitewashed cast,” the creators said in a statement at the time — M. Night Shyamalan’s 2010 film adaptation had been whitewashed. “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime chance to build upon everyone’s great work on the original animated series and go even deeper into the characters, story, action, and world-building. Netflix is wholly dedicated to manifesting our vision for this retelling, and we’re incredibly grateful to be partnering with them.”

Netflix has not announced a release date for its live-action “Avatar” series, but all three seasons of the original animated series are now streaming.


From Forbes:

‘Avatar: The Last Airbender,’ A 15 Year-Old Cartoon, Is Now Netflix’s Most Popular Show

Netflix did not seem to be celebrating the arrival of Avatar: The Last Airbender with all that much fanfare when it arrived on the service this past weekend. Despite it being one of my favorite shows of all time, it was not recommended to me on my homepage, and did not show up in trending or new releases. Though when I went to manually search for it, there it was, under “most popular searches.”

And it seems I’m not alone.

As it stands right now, Avatar: The Last Airbender is the most popular series on Netflix in the US, beating out the likes of Riverdale, Dead to Me and Outer Banks, all huge series on the service. A new show appearing in the Most Popular Top 10 list is not all that unusual, and yet this is not a new show, this is a 15 year-old Nickelodeon cartoon that is so ancient it’s still in the 4:3 ratio format instead of widescreen.

I have already extolled the virtues of this series in other articles, but the point is that no one should be turned off by the fact that it’s A) old, B) animated or C) on Nickelodeon originally which implies it’s for kids. It isn’t (though yes, your kids can watch it), and is a great series that blends elements of fantasy and the superhero genre for one of the best-told stories in TV history.

As of right now, Netflix does not have the sequel series, The Legend of Korra, which I believe is on CBS All Access right now. However, a while ago it was announced that Netflix would be making a live-action adaptation of the original show with the founding creators returning for it. This would of course be the second attempt at a live action adaptation of the series, as M. Night Shyamalan famously made a blockbuster film version that was universally derided as horrific, and most Avatar fans have attempted to scrub it from their memories.

Avatar showing up as number one on the service right now is indicative of a lot of people like me rewatching it (I think the last time I saw this show in its entirety, I had downloaded it through Pirate Bay torrents), or it could be newcomers discovering it for the first time. Whatever the case, Netflix is likely feeling pretty comfortable with their decision to draw upon the series for a live-action version, though obviously plenty could go wrong if it’s not handled correctly.

As I’ve said before, I cannot recommend the series enough. It’s around 60, 20 minute episodes in total, and a breeze to get through. I watched ten in a row yesterday without even blinking. It’s a fantastic series everyone should experience, and don’t let it being old or animated chase you away. Give it a shot.


From Vulture:

Avatar: The Last Airbender premiered on Nickelodeon just as George W. Bush was starting his second term and ended its run before Barack Obama was elected president. It’s also shaping up to be one of this summer’s breakout Netflix hits.

While quantifying success for streaming shows isn’t an exact science due to the lack of an industry-ratings standing for the medium, the publicly available data that does exist suggests The Last Airbender is doing spectacularly well. The animated series, which tells the story of a boy fated to restore balance to his war-torn world, arrived on Netflix on May 15 and almost immediately seemed to catch the attention of American audiences:

• The Last Airbender landed on Netflix’s daily top-ten series list within a day of its debut, climbing to the No. 1 spot in the U.S. on May 19 and ranking as the most popular TV show or movie on the service for the full week of May 14-21.

• It slipped from the top spot by May 24, but it’s been among the top ten shows on the service ever since. That’s more than a month, outlasting other high-profile hits released around the same time, including season four of Queer Eye, The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt interactive movie, and new original drama Sweet Magnolias.

• Research firm Parrot Analytics — which tracks interest in TV shows as measured by search engines, critic and fan ratings sites, blogs, and social media, among other sources — says The Last Airbender has exploded in popularity since entering the Netflix library. It says U.S. audience demand for the show jumped 206 percent last month vs. May 2019, and has ranked the show among the ten biggest TV shows on any U.S. platform in its two most recent demand reports. Indeed, Parrot says interest in the show has grown over its five-week run on Netflix: During the week of June 7-13, The Last Airbender was 71.2 times more in demand than the typical U.S. TV title, up from 59.8 times more popular two weeks sooner.

• And in a related sign of how popular the Avatar: The Last Airbender franchise remains, sequel series The Legend of Korra (which ran on Nick from 2012 until 2014) has been a big hit for rival streamer CBS All Access. A rep for the platform says the show has been the No. 1 kids title on the service since the show premiered in January.

The usual caveats to all of the above apply: Netflix’s self-reported popularity rankings aren’t comparable to Nielsen ratings, both because they’re not independently verified and because they don’t measure average audience for a show. (Netflix ranks shows according to how many people select a title and then spend at least two minutes watching it, which is a fair gauge of how much interest there is in a show but doesn’t measure overall time spent watching a show or whether members who check out a show or movie stick with it til the end.) And because streamers don’t generally report specific average audience numbers, there’s no way of knowing for sure whether 25 million or 2.5 million Americans have binged The Last Airbender in the past month.

Still, the fact that reruns of a 15-year-old animated series are doing so well is pretty incredible, particularly given the lack of any major coordinated marketing push for the show. This speaks to something Netflix execs have long pointed to as a key strength of the platform: The ability to use the vaunted algorithm to connect subscribers to the right content. There’s no need to spend $20 million on TV ads for a library title like The Last Airbender when Netflix can simply put the title on the homepage for millions of members whose past viewing habits indicate they’d be into it.

And the fact that Parrot’s data suggests interest in The Last Airbender has grown over time may be a sign of just how smart it was for Netflix to begin showing members a content row listing the top 10 titles on the service for any given day. Tell people that other people are into something, and a significant number of folks are going to want to see what all the fuss is about. And yes, those of us in the media who write about Netflix’s top-ten lists are part of the platform’s marketing ecosystem.

There’s another reason the seeming success of The Last Airbender is good news for the platform: A live-action series adaptation has been in the works at the streamer since 2018, with original creators Michael DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko supervising production. Though no doubt many of the people watching the animated series on Netflix now are likely millennials reliving their youth and catching up on what’s become a beloved classic, the continuing success of the show these past five weeks hints at the possibility of new fans being created. In essence, these reruns are serving as a very effective marketing campaign for the coming live-action series (as well as a palate cleanser for any damage done to the franchise by 2010’s live-action feature-film adaptation, a critical and box-office disaster overseen by director M. Night Shyamalan).

So what’s the status of the new Airbender series? Reps for Netflix and Nickelodeon both declined comment on where things stand with the project, though sources confirm it’s still in development at the platform. Still, there are signs things are progressing — though fans hoping to stream the series this year will almost certainly disappointed.

Konietzko’s Instagram, and at the time, he said plans to begin casting via an open casting call sometime in 2019 were still on hold. “Obviously we have not reached that stage yet or else you would have heard about it from me, Netflix, etc.,” he wrote. “We’re working on some awesome stuff, but we’re still in development/pre production.” Noting that the coronavirus pandemic had brought global TV production to a halt, he indicated remote work on the project was continuing. “At the moment, we are lucky that our small team on the adaptation is still moving things forward as best we can, obviously all working remotely,” Konietzko explained, promising that when there is “news we *can* share, we will share it … Just be patient.”

Without knowing how far along in the script process the show’s writers are, it’s hard to know when the live-action The Last Airbender series might land on screens. Even if all episodes have been written, if casting hasn’t started, that process could take several months once coronavirus restrictions ease to the point that casting calls could take place. (An open call with thousands of actors seems unlikely anytime soon, though producers could change course and opt for a more limited casting process.) It’s likely Netflix’s adaptation of The Last Airbender will be relatively epic in scope, too, something which would require a longer shoot and extensive special-effects work. So unless Netflix and the show’s producers have been operating under extreme secrecy, and a cast is actually quietly waiting to start filming, it’s hard to see the live-action Avatar: The Last Airbender debuting any earlier than late 2021.

Given how popular the reruns are doing right now, Netflix execs probably wouldn’t have minded having the new live action series premiere much earlier, ideally sometime later this year. But maybe there’s an upside to waiting: Netflix has even more time to recruit new audiences (young and old) into the Avatar: The Last Airbender universe.


More Nick: Netflix to Host Open Casting Call for Live-Action 'Avatar: The Last Airbender' Series!

Originally published: Wednesday, May 20, 2020 at 01:27 BST.
Follow NickALive! on Twitter, Tumblr, Reddit, via RSS, on Instagram, and/or Facebook for the latest Nickelodeon, NickRewind, Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra News and Highlights!

#NickSaysDance | Ft. Aadil Khan | Motu Patlu Ki Jodi | Nickelodeon India

#NickSaysDance | Ft. Aadil Khan | Motu Patlu Ki Jodi | Nickelodeon India

All set to Learn, Dance, Create, Repeat? #NickSaysDance

Aadil Khan is here to set the floor on fire with his super cool moves.

Check out the video now!

#Motu #Patlu #MotuPatlu #MotuPatluKiJodi #Aadil #Dancing #NickDanceSquad

Nickelodeon and Nick HD+ have launched new campaigns – ‘Nick Says Dance’ and ‘Loud Your Family Photo Competition’.

With Nickelodeon celebrating the 100th episode of comedy animated series, The Loud House very recently, the channel has initiated a Photo Competition, wherein kids can send their wackiest family photo and stand in a chance to win a hand painted cartoon portrait of it, besides being featured on TV.

On the other hand, ‘Nick Says Dance’ features social media star, Aadil Khan who’d make kids learn fun dance moves. The videos will help kids engaged during this lengthy summer holidays. The dance video also features Motu and Patlu and is available on Nick India’s officical Instagram page.

Both this campaigns come under Nickelodeon’s #HomeOkPlease initiative by bringing the playground home through engaging tentpoles on air, new episodes and made for television movies, celebrating special occasions and innovative DIY campaigns on social and digital platforms.

Earlier, commenting on #HomeOkPlease, Viacom18 Hindi Mass Entertainment and Kids TV Network head Nina Elavia Jaipuria said, “As a leading and responsible kids entertainment brand and category leader our primary objective is to ensure that kids who are at the centre of all our initiatives remain engaged and positive in current times. It is important that their spirits are kept high and we have curated an array of best of entertainment and engagement that is sure to keep them happy and motivated. We hope that this summer, kids and families together have a great time with Nickelodeon in the safety of their homes.”



Yoga Se Hi Hoga teaches kids to build stronger immunity

MUMBAI: Practicing Yoga amongst kids is as important as it is for adults. It enhances their immune system, sharpen their minds and also encourages their creativity to flow. It helps them overcome their fears, anger, and sadness and builds trust in their inner self; syncing their minds and hearts. Now with Unlock 1.0 where the kids are still restricted from any form of outdoor activities and are also struggling between their online classes, Nickelodeon takes the onus in urging kids to include Yoga into their daily life with their fun and educative campaign. Under the campaign name – Yoga Se Hi Hoga, the brand sets out in spreading the awareness about how it’s important to have a healthy lifestyle and a stronger immune system.

Yoga also helps in better body awareness, self-control, flexibility and coordination. The advantages of yoga are many, especially for children with hyperactive and attention deficit disorder. Music therapy combined with asanas is a good relaxation for the child. Let’s have a look at 5 easy Yoga poses which can be performed by kids.


Practicing this asana gives strength to your chest, ankles, hips, and legs. Natarajasana increases your metabolism and helps in weight loss and digestion.


Padmasana stretches the ankles and knees and also calms the brain. It keeps the spine straight and helps develop a good posture. It also eases menstrual discomfort and sciatica


Pincha Mayurasana makes the back, shoulders, and arms strong. It gives the neck, shoulders, chest, and belly a good stretch. It improves balance and concentration.


Dhanurasana gives maximum stretch on the abdomen and abdominal sides. Regular practice of this asana helps to shed and burn fat of various regions of the body. It also helps you tone your overall body shape


Vrksasana improves balance and stability in the legs. It helps in achieving a balance in other aspects of life.


More Nick: Nickelodeon India Brings the Playground Home for Kids with #HomeOkPlease Campaign!

Source: Animationxpress.

Originally published: Thursday, June 11, 2020.
Follow NickALive! on Twitter, Tumblr, Reddit, via RSS, on Instagram, and/or Facebook for the latest Nickelodeon India and The Loud House News and Highlights!

What Your First Krabby Patty Tastes Like 🍔 Most EPIC Food Video Ever | Nickelodeon

What Your First Krabby Patty Tastes Like 🍔 Most EPIC Food Video Ever | Nickelodeon

Ever wanted to reach into your TV and eat a Krabby Patty? Find out exactly what your first bite would taste like with these epic feels in the most EPIC food video EVER!

Watch SpongeBob SquarePants on Nickelodeon!

Listen to The SpongeBob Musical here!:

SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom - Rehydrated is released on PC, Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch on June 23, 2020!

CALLING ALL GOOFY GOOBERS! (ROCK!) Are ya ready for a deep dive into the world of SpongeBob SquarePants? The SpongeBob YouTube channel is THE PLACE for all fan-favorite SpongeBob moments! We’re serving up everything from legendary scenes to remixes of classic songs to deep dives into Bikini Bottom lore. Be sure to check back every week for Music Mondays, Wumbo Wednesdays, and Flashback Fridays! Subscribe now at!

The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run swims into theatres on Friday, Aug. 7!

Shop SpongeBob!: - SpongeBob face masks now available, with ALL proceeds going to charity!

More Nick: Nickelodeon Announces Voice Cast for 'Kamp Koral: SpongeBob’s Under Years', First-Ever 'SpongeBob SquarePants' Spinoff!
Follow NickALive! on Twitter, Tumblr, Reddit, via RSS, on Instagram, and/or Facebook for the latest Nickelodeon and SpongeBob SquarePants News and Highlights!

I'm Ugly and I'm PROUD! 🗣 "Something Smells" Episode in 5 Minutes! | SpongeBob

I'm Ugly and I'm PROUD! 🗣 "Something Smells" Episode in 5 Minutes! | SpongeBob

I'm ugly and I'm proud...I'm UGLY and I'm PROUD! After eating a sundae, SpongeBob gets some baaad breath. See what happens in the episode "Something Smells" in 5 minutes!

Watch SpongeBob SquarePants on Nickelodeon!

Listen to The SpongeBob Musical here!:

SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom - Rehydrated is released on PC, Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch on June 23, 2020!

CALLING ALL GOOFY GOOBERS! (ROCK!) Are ya ready for a deep dive into the world of SpongeBob SquarePants? The SpongeBob YouTube channel is THE PLACE for all fan-favorite SpongeBob moments! We’re serving up everything from legendary scenes to remixes of classic songs to deep dives into Bikini Bottom lore. Be sure to check back every week for Music Mondays, Wumbo Wednesdays, and Flashback Fridays! Subscribe now at!

The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run swims into theatres on Friday, Aug. 7!

Shop SpongeBob!: - SpongeBob face masks now available, with ALL proceeds going to charity!

More Nick: Nickelodeon Announces Voice Cast for 'Kamp Koral: SpongeBob’s Under Years', First-Ever 'SpongeBob SquarePants' Spinoff!
Follow NickALive! on Twitter, Tumblr, Reddit, via RSS, on Instagram, and/or Facebook for the latest Nickelodeon and SpongeBob SquarePants News and Highlights!

Top Dad Moments From Loud House & Casagrandes! | The Loud House

Top Dad Moments From Loud House & Casagrandes! | The Loud House

There are so many great father figures in The Loud House and The Casagrandes that they just had to be celebrated. Here are the top dad moments, like Pop-Pop tooting or Abuelo’s heart to heart conversations with Ronnie Anne.

Subscribe to the official The Loud House & The Casagrandes YouTube channel!:

More Nick: Nickelodeon Releases The Loud House “Really Loud Music” Digital Album!
Follow NickALive! on Twitter, Tumblr, Reddit, via RSS, on Instagram, and/or Facebook for the latest Father's Day on Nickelodeon, The Loud House and The Casagrandes News and Highlights!

SpongeBob SquarePants | The 'Ripped Pants' Song | Bottom Has Talent | Nickelodeon UK

SpongeBob SquarePants | The 'Ripped Pants' Song | Nickelodeon UK

Remember when SpongeBob lost his friends because he ripped his pants? Well you can relive the moment through the medium of song!

Catch Bikini Bottom Has Talent, only on Nicktoons UK & Ireland!

Watch SpongeBob SquarePants on Nick! Visit and the Nick Play app to find out more about SpongeBob SquarePants, watch sponge-tastic video clips, including super sneak peeks, play games and more!

More Nick: Nickelodeon UK Premieres 'It’s Pony'!
Follow NickALive! on Twitter, Tumblr, Reddit, via RSS, on Instagram, and/or Facebook for the latest Nickelodeon UK, Nicktoons UK and SpongeBob SquarePants News and Highlights!

Josh & Blue's Playdate # 7 Pajama Party! | Blue's Clues & You!

Josh & Blue's Playdate # 7 Pajama Party! | Blue's Clues & You!

Welcome to Josh and Blue's Pajama Party Playdate! In this playdate, Josh and Blue build a blanket fort, sing a bedtime song, and play with a super cool flashlight!

#BluesCluesAndYou #Playdates #PajamaParty #Blue

Kids can watch their favorite Nick Jr. shows weekdays on Nickelodeon and all week long on the Nick Jr. channel:

Subscribe to the official Blue’s Clues & You! YouTube channel! Subscribe today at!

More #KidsTogether Content!:

More Nick: Nickelodeon Launches #KidsTogether--A Global Prosocial Initiative to Help Kids and Families Stay Informed and Engaged With Activities; Noggin to be Offered Free to Kids in Need in Partnership with National Head Start Association and First Book
Follow NickALive! on Twitter, Tumblr, Reddit, via RSS, on Instagram, and/or Facebook for the latest Nick Jr., Nickelodeon Preschool and Blue's Clues & You! News and Highlights!

Abby Hatcher Photo Funday! - All About Abby Episode 5 + Abby Hatcher Toy Pretend Play Something Stinky in Chef Jeff’s Kitchen | PAW Patrol Official & Friends

Abby Hatcher Photo Funday! - All About Abby Episode 5 | PAW Patrol Official & Friends

It’s a picture-perfect day on All About Abby and Janie has a brainspark – a Photo Funday! Time for Fuzztastic Fuzzly shoots & a splizzacular Spot-The-Fuzzlies challenge!

Abby Hatcher Toy Pretend Play Something Stinky in Chef Jeff’s Kitchen PAW Patrol Official & Friends

Pee yew! Chef Jeff’s super old cheese has made the kitchen unbearably stinky! Can Abby come up with a BRAIN SPARK and make the kitchen smell squeaky clean?!

More Nick: 'Paw Patrol' Movie from Spin Master and Nickelodeon Movies, with Paramount Pictures Distributing, Set for August 2021 Release!
Follow NickALive! on Twitter, Tumblr, Reddit, via RSS, on Instagram, and/or Facebook for the latest Nick Jr., Nickelodeon Preschool and Abby Hatcher News and Highlights!

#NickSaysDance | Ft. Aadil Khan | Shiva | Nickelodeon India

#NickSaysDance | Ft. @Aadil Khan | Shiva | Nickelodeon India

Shiva and Aadil Khan join forces to showcase their fiery moves!

Just, Learn, Dance, Create, Repeat with #NickSaysDance
Check out the video now!

#Shiva #Aadil #Dancing #NickDanceSquad

More Nick: Nickelodeon India Brings the Playground Home for Kids with #HomeOkPlease Campaign!
Follow NickALive! on Twitter, Tumblr, Reddit, via RSS, on Instagram, and/or Facebook for the latest Nickelodeon India News and Highlights!

magazyn 44 Koty | Fajne Spoty

magazyn 44 Koty | Fajne Spoty

Nowość! Magazyn 44 Koty!
W prezencie: kociastyczny mikrofon i kolorowe naklejki.
Nie przegap konkursu wokalnego!
Do wygrania ARCYnagrody.
Więcej przygód w Kolekcji Filmowej
Publikacje w sprzedaży.

Więcej Nick: Rainbow's '44 Cats' Renewed for Season Two!
Follow NickALive! on Twitter, Tumblr, Reddit, via RSS, on Instagram, and/or Facebook for the latest Nick Jr., Nickelodeon Preschool and 44 Cats News and Highlights!



Ben jij een échte Nickelodeon-fan? Dan weet jij vast ook alles over Nickelodeon-host Nienke! Weet jij bijvoorbeeld wanneer Nienke begon bij Nickelodeon? En weet jij wat het allereerste tv-programma was dat Nienke presenteerde? Vergeet niet al je antwoorden te noteren, zodat je het geheime woord kan ontdekken!

Meer Nick: Nickelodeon Netherlands and Jantje Beton to Host Buitenspeeldag 2020 on Wednesday 10th June 2020!
Follow NickALive! on Twitter, Tumblr, Reddit, via RSS, on Instagram, and/or Facebook for the latest Nickelodeon Benelux News and Highlights!

'King Of The Chair' | The Loud House Animated Short | Nickelodeon

Watch the original The Loud House animated short, "King Of The Chair"!

Subscribe to the official The Loud House & The Casagrandes YouTube channel!:

More Nick: Nickelodeon Releases The Loud House “Really Loud Music” Digital Album!
Follow NickALive! on Twitter, Tumblr, Reddit, via RSS, on Instagram, and/or Facebook for the latest Nickelodeon, The Loud House and The Casagrandes News and Highlights!

Luna Loud | Pride | Nickelodeon

Nickelodeon continues its celebration of Pride by throwing a spotlight on Luna Loud from The Loud House!

"Luna’s rocking out with Pride 🌈" Nickelodeon captioned a picture of Luna across their network of social media pages.

Aged 15 years old, Luna is the third oldest child of the Loud family, and the middle child of Lincoln's five older sisters. In the episodes "Study Muffin" and "L is for Love", it was revealed that she is bisexual, as she was shown to be romantically interested in both Lincoln's male tutor, Hugh, and a female classmate (and fellow rocker) of hers named Sam Sharp, respectively, with subsequent episodes depicting Luna as having entered a romantic relationship with Sam.

Luna is the third LGBTQ+ character to be introduced in the series, following Harold and Howard McBride, the dads of Lincoln's best friend, Clyde, who were introduced in the episode "Overnight Success".

Nickelodeon kicked off their Pride celebrations on Saturday, June 13 with a post honoring SpongeBob SquarePants, Schwoz Schwartz from Henry Danger, and Korra from Avatar: The Legend of Korra.

More Nick: Funko Unveils SpongeBob, Batman and Hello Kitty Pride 2020 Pop! Figures!
Follow NickALive! on Twitter, Tumblr, Reddit, via RSS, on Instagram, and/or Facebook for the latest Nickelodeon and The Loud House News and Highlights!

Danny Phantom/Fairly OddParents DELETED SCENES | Butch Hartman

Danny Phantom/Fairly OddParents DELETED SCENES | Butch Hartman

More Nick: Danny Phantom Cast Reunion! | TOONA | Butch Hartman!

Want a drawing from Butch?

Watch Butch's brand-new cartoon, HobbyKids Adventures, on!

Butch Hartman - Facebook | Instagram | Butch's Sketchpad On Instagram | Twitter | Snapchat: @realhartman | YouTube | Speech Bubble | Tumblr | Pinterest

The Noog Network - | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Snapchat: @noognetwork | Tumblr | Pinterest

More Nick: Netflix and Nickelodeon Form Multi-Year Output Deal to Produce Original Animated Films and Series!
Follow NickALive! on Twitter, Tumblr, Reddit, via RSS, on Instagram, and/or Facebook for the latest Nickelodeon, The Fairly OddParents and Danny Phantom News and Highlights!

What Did You Think of the New 'The Loud House' Short '10 Headed Beast'? | Nickelodeon Fan Poll

What did you think of the brand-new The Loud House short "10 Headed Beast"? Vote in the poll and sound off in the comments below!

Facundo Arana Reads 'PAW Patrol' Story Live for Nick Jr. Latin America's 'Hora de un Cuento' Initiative

Nickelodeon Latin America (Latinoamérica) has announced the PAWtastic news that Argentine actor and musician Facundo Arana will be the latest celebrity to take part in Nick Jr. Latinoamérica's Time for a Story (Hora de un cuento) imitative on Wednesday 17th June 2020! For Time for a Story, Arana will treat viewers to a live reading of a PAW Patrol story, which will stream live on the Argentine actor and musician's official Instagram page at 15h in México and at 17h in Argentina. Following the live broadcast, the video will roll out across Nick Jr. Latinoamérica's social media channels.

Time for a Story is part of #ChicosUnidos, Nickelodeon Latinoamérica's multiplatform prosocial initiative which aims to help kids and families stay informed and engaged with activities, as well as to educate, raise awareness and broadcast positive messages to all children around the region through entertainment during the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. #ChicosUnidos compliments Nickelodeon's global #KidsTogether multiplatform prosocial initiative.

From Clarín:

Facundo Arana leerá un cuento para chicos

El actor se dirigirá a los más pequeños con un relato sobre “Paw Patrol” este miércoles 17, a las 17, por el canal Nick Jr.

Por la pandemia del coronavirus, el canal infantil Nick Jr. vio la necesidad de modificar su contenido. En el marco de la campaña Chicos unidos, que busca transmitir un mensaje de esperanza en estos tiempos, Facundo Arana se suma al ciclo Hora de un cuento.

La iniciativa de Nickelodeon es multiplataforma. Intervienen los personajes más populares de la cadena para conectarse con niños y familias brindando consejos para mantenerse saludables e ideas para realizar actividades creativas mientras están en sus casas. El objetivo es educar y concientizar a través del entretenimiento.

Este miércoles a las 17, el encargado de divertir a los más chicos, es Facundo Arana. Desde su cuenta de Instagram, @facundoaranatagle, toda la familia podrá disfrutar de un relato sobre Paw Patrol. Luego, el video estará disponible en las redes sociales de Nick Jr. Latinoamérica, para que todos puedan verlo cuando quieran y las veces que deseen.

Facundo Arana usará su cuenta de Instagram para divertir a los más pequeños en tiempo de pandemia.

Arana leerá Imitando a los cachorros basado en la serie animada de aventura y comedia protagonizada por un grupo de ocho perros que son dirigidos por un chico experto en tecnología de 10 años, llamado Ryder. Con habilidades únicas para resolver problemas, los Paw Patrol trabajan en equipo para proteger a la comunidad de Bahía Aventura.

De este proyecto ya participaron varias figuras. Jesica Cirio, Milva Castellini, Ximena Capistro junto a su hijo Félix, Erica Fontana son algunos de los argentinos que ya se sumaron a la Hora de un cuento. Además, en las redes Nick Jr se pueden encontrar diferentes videos con actividades para hacer en casa. Como instrucciones para dibujar a los protagonistas de las series y también instructivos para hacer recetas fáciles y ricas de la mano de Rodrigo Cascon y Chantal Abad.

Nickelodeon Latinoamérica preparó una programación especial para disfrutar en familia, reforzando su contenido y agregando más episodios de los shows favoritos de los chicos, incluyendo maratones de Bob Esponja, The Loud House, Lego City Adventures y Henry Danger, entre otros.


From Clarín:

El unipersonal infantil de Facundo Arana: leyó un cuento para niños en plena cuarentena

El actor se sumó a la iniciativa de Nickelodeon Jr. y, desde su casa y a través de su Instagram, le prestó su voz los personajes de Paw Patrol. Combinó ternura e intriga en cinco minutos.

Para entretener a los más chicos durante la cuarentena impuesta por la pandemia, surgieron varias iniciativas y, entre ellas, la de Nickelodeon con la campaña #ChicosUnidos que convocó a distintas figuras de Latinoamérica para leer cuentos, inspirados en los personajes más populares de la señal.

Facundo Arana​ fue uno de los que se sumaron a la iniciativa Hora de un Cuento. Este miércoles a las 17, el actor realizó la lectura desde su cuenta de Instagram (@facundoaranatagle) compartido también por las redes de Nickelodeon y Nick Jr.( @nickjrla).

El actor eligió un relato sobre Paw Patrol, la serie animada que cuenta la historia de un grupo de seis perritos de rescate, dirigido por un chico experto en tecnología llamado Ryder. El grupo tiene muchas aventuras en su patrulla de cachorros, que buscan proteger a la comunidad de Bahía Aventura.

Junto al video con el relato del cuento, Arana escribió: "Nick Jr. me invitó a contar un cuento para todos los niños que están en casa y luego ese cuento estará́ disponible en el Instagram de @NICKJRLA. Estos especiales de Hora de un Cuento son parte de #ChicosUnidos, la campaña mundial de Nickelodeon que nos da las ideas más divertidas para que pasar este tiempo en casa sea entretenido y productivo".

Desde su casa, el actor leyó imitando las distintas voces de los cachorros y la de Ryder en una de sus aventuras, en este caso por la selva.

En el cuento, los personajes intentan construir una casa en lo alto de un árbol, con maderas. Pensando en el público más infantil que sigue a Paw Patrol, Arana le puso una cuota de intriga, algo de dramatismo y sobre todo mucha ternura a la breve lectura.

El rincón que eligió para contar la historia fue precisamente bajo techos de madera y lleno de colorido. En pocos minutos, el posteo recibió miles de likes por parte de sus seguidores.

El canal infantil Nick Jr. busca transmitir un mensaje de esperanza en esta época de encierro social, por eso en estos meses modificó parte de su contenido.

La iniciativa multiplataforma de Nickelodeon busca conectarse con los más chicos y sus familias para acercar consejos saludables y también ofrecer ideas creativas para hacer distintas actividades caseras, educando y concientizando a través del juego.

De este proyecto ya participaron, entre otros, Jesica Cirio, Milva Castellini, Ximena Capristo junto a su hijo Félix, y Erica Fontana, contando cuentos.


Más Nick: Nickelodeon Latin America Launches #ChicosUnidos, A Prosocial Initiative to Help Kids and Families Stay Informed and Engaged With Activities

Originally published: Wednesday, June 17, 2020 at 21:41 BST.
Follow NickALive! on Twitter, Tumblr, Reddit, via RSS, on Instagram, and/or Facebook for the latest Nick Jr. Americas, Nickelodeon Preschool and PAW Patrol News and Highlights!

Pam Kaufman, President, ViacomCBS Consumer Products to Deliver Keynote Address at Licensing Week Virtual

Driven by experiences, emotion and an active marketplace, the licensing industry, a $292.8 billion global business, is experiencing a temporary disruption as a result of the current COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. For the time being, consumption is shifting to digital platforms such as Instagram, gaming and streaming. In fact, the animation category of streaming alone increased by 22 percent during coronavirus, according to Reelgood.

Update (6/18) - To hear the full panel discussion, register for Licensing Week Virtual today.

Pam Kaufman, President, ViacomCBS Consumer Products to deliver keynote at Licensing Week Virtual

This industry, now, more than ever, is forced to adapt to the new normal by working together and pooling resources. The demand for connections has never been greater. In response, the Global Licensing Group has organized Licensing Week Virtual, a five-day, online-only program, in partnership with Licensing International, that aims to bring together the global licensing community at a time when physical networking and deal-making is unfeasible.

Backed by more than 30 sponsors including ViacomCBS, Brainbase, Beanstalk, Bioworld Merchandising, Easyriders, Jewel Branding & Licensing, NFLPA, OpSec, The Smurfs, Ubisoft and more, the digital event combines virtual keynotes at the start of each day, followed by educational and topical seminars, matchmaking, networking and a digital exhibition. Taking place June 15-19 2020, Licensing Week Virtual offers the best aspects of a Global Licensing Group event in a safe, remote manner.

Whilst the virtual event can never fully replicate the live event experience, Licensing Week Virtual will provide the two most important elements from the traditional Global Licensing Group events – connections and learning. From the popular Matchmaking Service, which allows attendees to search for, connect and secure meetings before the show begins, to an interactive and colorful expo floor featuring 30-plus exhibitors spanning entertainment, gaming, lifestyle brands and more, to the second annual Pitch the Brands contest, what makes this inaugural virtual event unique is its timeliness. Organizers have folded in support measures not historically seen at a live event – on-demand educational seminars and sessions dedicated to navigating the current pandemic, which attendees can view at a time that suits them.

As part of Licensing Week Virtual, Pam Kaufman, President, ViacomCBS Consumer Products will be delivering the keynote address on Day 2 of the event on Tuesday, June 16 at 09:00 PST / 17:00 BST. Day 2 will be devoted to "Character & Entertainment". With global retail sales exceeding 44 percent of all total sales of licensed merchandise, characters and entertainment account for $123 billion at market. Entertainment categories span everything from film and television to video games and now a myriad of streaming platforms, driving a global economy that beats to the drum of pop culture.

Kaufman's session will be titled "The Future of Consumer Products and Retail: Top Industry Execs Share Where We Go From Here" and will be sponsored by ViacomCBS.

For more information on Licensing Week Virtual and to register to attend, visit

Anna Knight, vice president, Global Licensing Group, had a chat with License Global to discuss the event and why it’s a must-attend for the licensing industry. Click here to read the interview.

Update (6/18) - From License Global:

What We Learned from ViacomCBS’ Keynote Panel at Licensing Week Virtual

ViacomCBS leads an expert panel to discuss retail, licensing and modern consumer products.

Tuesday’s Licensing Week Virtual keynote – hosted by Pam Kaufman, president, ViacomCBS Consumer Products – brought together a panel of experts from Penguin Random House, Just Play, Family Dollar and Kellogg’s to discuss innovation and leadership in today’s consumer products space.

The outbreak of the coronavirus continues to place the world in an almost-constant state of change. In particular, the consumer products space has had to innovate, evolve and respond to rapidly changing consumer trends. With lockdowns lifting in certain parts the world, the panel looked at how consumerism changed as life, as we knew it, was put on hold.

“The initial impact for retail, which we did not expect, was a surge in purchasing, for toys in particular, so, products we call ‘boredom busters,’ which consist of games, puzzles, building sets, outdoor, crafts and activities,” said Geoffrey Greenberg, co-president, Just Play. “In Q1 alone, the toy industry grew by 8 percent. Games and puzzles were up 55 percent, building sets 20 percent and outdoor sports 22 percent. Traditional toys started to immediately slow. I think parents were concerned about providing things that would have extended play periods for children, and instead, looked for ways for families to interact. In the early days, consumers were uneasy, and they sought comfort and security of trusted well-known brands, which was great for Nickelodeon, as we've seen huge growth in that area. The Top 10 licensed properties represented 20 percent of industry sales in Q1 alone, so we're seeing huge growth there as well.”

These major growth areas for global licensee Just Play are signifiers of an increase in family time and licensed product purchases, but from the viewpoint of retail, how did consumers in lockdown also cause a surge in educational shopping?

“We know over the last few months, things like toys, bikes, above-ground pools have really worked well within the industry,” says Andrew Tucker, vice president, general merchandise, seasonal business, Family Dollar. “Consumable goods have worked well within the industry, but also, we know mom is trying to make living very comfortable for her family and for her children at home. Educational items have worked well. So, books, writing instruments, those have been some strong segments that we've seen across the industry.”

As schools have closed due to the pandemic, many families are also turning to other educational items such as activity books and workbooks to ensure children learn during these unprecedented times. According to Felicia Frazier, senior vice president, children's sales, Penguin Random House, parents are also turning to books to shed light on issues such as diversity and racial equality.

“The industry is having a phenomenal year,” adds Frazier. “We are up 10 percent or almost 10 million units to the register, and that is, again, going back to what is happening in the family home and what is happening with school closings. The first surge that we saw in increase in sales and units came from things like workbooks and activity books, and then, as the family settled in, it migrated to, you know, classic titles and backlist and trusted brands, and I think we can see that across the board and say that Nickelodeon [is one of] those trusted brands that mom leads into. And now as the conversation is changing and parents and families have to find a way to talk about race and talk about diversity and acceptance, we're seeing a tremendous lift in our titles that help parents and kids and moms and families have that conversation through storytelling.”

While consumer products thrived, so, too, did consumables. Kellogg’s’ major challenges came from tackling the increasing demand, as consumers looked to core, traditional family brands to provide a semblance of comfort at home.

“Our biggest challenge is meeting demand,” says Zion Doran, senior director, integrated promotions and partnerships, Kellogg’s. “So, we took a lot of steps to meet the high consumption and high demand, but I will say, I'm very proud of how we responded and our ability to be agile with how we market and talk to our consumers pretty much overnight.”

This is what the expert panel saw amid the early days of the coronavirus outbreak. To gain in-depth insights into the future and learn how brands are innovating in the consumer products space – from plushes with facemasks that reduce children’s anxiety to providing comfort through brands and adapting to consumer feedback – watch the full session with ViacomCBS by registering for Licensing Week Virtual.


From Licensing Source:

“Innovation will continue, probably now more than ever”

Key execs from ViacomCBS, Penguin Random House, The Kellogg Company, Just Play and Family Dollar discuss the future of consumer products in Licensing Week Virtual keynote.

A host of key executives from companies across the licensing spectrum gathered to discuss what the future of consumer products could look like in the keynote address on the second day of Licensing Week Virtual.

Moderated by Pam Kaufman, president of ViacomCBS Consumer Products, the panel consisted of Felicia Frazer, svp children’s and educational sales at Penguin Random House; Zion Doran, senior director, integrated promotions and partnerships at The Kellogg Company; Geoffrey Greenberg, co-president at Just Play; and Andrew Tucker, vp and ggm seasonal, toys and gm at Family Dollar.

Speaking on the changes seen at retail since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Andrew explained that Family Dollar was fortunate that it played into the mass and value segment. “The customer base continues to find other channels for consumer goods; mass and value have been strong over the last few months and will continue to be so,” he commented. “Customers need us more now than at any other time – they are looking to mass and value chains to help lower this cost of living and we are making sure that we continue to deliver on that.”

PRH‘s Felicia said that the first surge in sales the company saw was for work and activity books, before migrating to classic titles and trusted brands. “Now, as the conversation is changing, families need to find a way to talk about race and diversity, so we are seeing a lift in those kind of titles,” she offered. “Parents are looking for resources to be able to teach at home and we have so many opportunities to help books shape those conversations.”

Just Play‘s Geoffrey sees a “tremendous” opportunity in the toy space, with categories such as outdoor sports and games and puzzles seeing strong growth at the beginning of lockdown across the US (22% and 55% respectively). “I think in the early days, customers were uneasy so they sought comfort in classic brands,” he said. “We’ve seen an acceleration of online purchasing, while ‘baby boomer’ purchases have been incredible for us. We’re excited as states are starting to re-open – there is a tremendous opportunity in the toy space and everyone is optismistic.”

Tuesday's keynote panel (from top left, clockwise): Andrew Tucker, Family Dollar; Felicia Frazer, Penguin Random House; Geoffrey Greenberg, Just Play; Zion Doran, The Kellogg Company; and (centre) Pam Kaufman, ViacomCBS.

When it comes to adapting their businesses to what consumers want right now, The Kellogg Company‘s Zion explained its biggest challenge has been meeting demand due to high consumption of its food products.

The company also needed to pivot quickly on its marketing strategy, she added: “Where we have been tested is in our ability to be agile in how we market and talk to customers, and that happened pretty much overnight. I would say don’t let the current situation stop long-term partnerships, but also be agile enough to pivot to meet the demands of today.

“We do a lot in the sports industry, for example, and I think even our contingencies have contingencies for that!”

Family Dollar’s Andrew pointed out that learning to make customers feel safe in stores is key: “We’re learning how to adjust to make mom and the family feel safe – being proactive with signs, perspex shields, etc – and we’re seeing that correlate to the products consumers are buying, such as facemasks.”

Just Play’s Geoffrey said that adding plush complete with facemasks has been one of the changes the toy company has made. “We’re seeing a lot of anxiety among children and they are anxious about wearing facemasks, so parents are using plush toys to put masks on so that children become comfortable. It’s simply things like that, adapting to what this new world is like.”

Innovation certainly won’t go away though, he stated: “Innovation will continue, probably now more than ever. During this period we’ve spent a lot of time really focusing with our licensing partners and brainstorming.”

Licensing Week Virtual runs until Friday June 19 and there is still time to register and access the content, virtual show floor, Matchmaking and more. Visit


More Nick: ViacomCBS Launches Global Reusable Face Masks Featuring Iconic Nickelodeon Characters!

Originally published: Saturday, June 06, 2020.
Follow NickALive! on Twitter, Tumblr, Reddit, via RSS, on Instagram, and/or Facebook for the latest Nickelodeon News and Highlights!