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Anchor Snags AOL Web Deal

6 May, 2005 By: Jessica Wolf

Anchor Bay Entertainment is bringing Web character “Princess Natasha” to DVD through a new partnership with America Online.

The “Princess Natasha” animated series also migrates to Cartoon Network and a book deal with Little Brown Books for Young Readers.

The series, about a little princess with a secret “save the world” identity, will hit DVD in two volumes, each featuring 10 short episodes that originally aired on the show's regular spot at AOL's Animation Collective for AOL's Kids Online service (KOL).

“It's a cute show, and it's something kids can identify with,” said Alisha Serold, VP of family acquisitions for Anchor Bay Entertainment. “It reads really well in that 6- to 12-year-old market.”

Each DVD also will include a never-before-seen episode and new set-top games.

The Webisodic cartoon is animated with flash animation, which made the transfer to DVD very smooth, Serold said.

The series will hit DVD with an already established core audience of very tech-savvy kids who use the Internet and handheld entertainment devices, she said. The extra exposure from the Cartoon Network airings and book deal only broadens the demographic, she said. “We think it has a lot of legs,” Serold said.

Anchor Bay is still formalizing its marketing strategy for “Princess Natasha,” she said. The company also has rights to future releases of the series.

AOL also has signed on licensing agency 360ep to develop more licensing opportunities for toys and apparel products for the series.

KOL, the original home of “Princess Natasha,” is the first version of AOL designed specifically to provide a safe and secure online environment for kids and was the winner of the 2004 National Parenting Seal of Approval.

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