By Sahil Patel
DreamWorks Animation and YouTube teen network AwesomenessTV have officially debuted DreamWorksTV, a new channel focusing on family-friendly original content — some of which will feature characters from hit DreamWorks franchises like “Shrek” and “Kung Fu Panda.”
AwesomenessTV founder and CEO Brian Robbins is in charge of the effort, which was first announced by YouTube’s head of content Robert Kyncl at his company’s Brandcast event in May. Kyncl was instrumental in getting DreamWorks and AwesomenessTV to the table a year ago.
In a statement, DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg called the launch a “huge opportunity for the DreamWorks brand.” “We’re tapping into the invaluable knowledge that Brian has amassed from his success with AwesomenessTV to create a unique, short-form, laugh-out-loud mobile experience for families,” he said, echoing comments made last fall when asked why he purchased the MCN.
“We are combining the DreamWorks brand with lessons learned from AwesomenessTV to create content that will be embraced by families everywhere,” added Robbins.
The MCN founder and TV veteran will lead a team assembled to produce animated and live-action content for the channel.
Among the tentpole projects, the DreamWorksTV team will publish YouTube-style vlog videos hosted by the likes of Shrek and Puss in Boots from the “Shrek” movies and Po from “Kung Fu Panda.” Other animated programming includes “Gorillaville,” a slapstick comedy about three havoc-causing Gorillas from creator Ron Yavnieli.
On the live-action front, the channel has announced a scripted comedy starring the popular children’s comic-book character Richie Rich, as well as “Record Setter Kids,” a reality show hosted by AwesomenessTV star JennXPenn (real name: Jenn McAllister).
Beyond originals created specifically for DreamWorksTV, the channel will also offer “Watch This,” a curated collection of the top short-form clips on the web, as well as “RetroToons” from the Classic Media library.
The full launch slate is listed below. Additional shows will be rolled out on the channel, which is a rebrand of DreamWorks Animatino’s existing YouTube channel, throughout the summer.
“OMG” — A live-action sketch comedy series featuring up and coming kid comedians.
“Record Setter Kids” — Hosted by YouTube star JennXPenn, features kids from all over the country who come up with wacky records to break.
“Prank My Parents” — Kids get a chance to play tricks on their parents in this fun hidden-camera series where kids make all the rules.
“Jimmy Blue Shorts” — This animated sketch comedy created by Zach Aufdemberg and produced by Oddbot is hosted by talking jean shorts.
“Gorillaville” — This punny slapstick comedy by Ron Yavnieli centers around three gorillas who wreak havoc, perpetually disturbing the peace in their otherwise idyllic wildlife preserve.
“Report Card” — “Let’s get newsie” with a top flight anchor team of cardboard cut-ups in a stop-motion series created by Jimbo Matison.
“Public Pool” — Everything happens at the Puddleton Public Pool. Teenagers! Musclemen! Wimps! Inflatable Rafts! Bad Swimwear! It’s all fodder for fun in this irreverent ensemble comedy by David Fremont (Liquid TV).
“Fifi Cat Therapist” — Have a seat on the couch and tell all to Fifi, cat therapist extraordinaire. This sassy house-cat tells it like it is to neighborhood animals seeking advice in this animated comedy by Mike Blum (Lilo & Stitch).