BBC Presents 'Charlie and Lola'14 Apr, 2006 By: Thomas K. Arnold
BBC Video is entering the lucrative preschool video market with Charlie and Lola Vol. One and Vol. Two, from the Disney Channel “Playhouse Disney” series based on the award-winning children's books by Lauren Child.The DVD will be released Aug. 15 at $14.98. The series uses 2D CelAction animation, paper cutouts, fabric design, photo montages and archival footage, along with music, sound effects and dialog voiced by real children. “Charlie and Lola” has been lauded by Animation Magazine for keeping “the charming feel of the creator's world.”
“While we have always been interested in the preschool market, we didn't want to enter the category unless the product really meshed with BBC's core brand values,” said Burton Cromer, VP of consumer products for BBC Worldwide. “Charlie and Lola shares these values in spades. It has a unique visual appeal, great storylines, humor, and family values.”
BBC has plotted a major marketing campaign in support of its first-ever preschool DVD, as well as several promotional partnerships. Greeting cards and stationary from Roger la Borde will hit specialty retailers this spring, while in July the Penguin Group will publish four new “Charlie and Lola” books. Backpacks, handbags and luggage from Worldwide Dreams LLC are due in the fall, and in the spring of 2007 Dan River will launch a line of bedding and bath products.
Also in the works: “‘Charlie and Lola' Celebrate Your Sibling Week,” six days of celebration beginning May 1 with a launch event in Los Angeles. A classroom activity kit will be mailed to 20,000 preschools and day-care centers nationwide.