Akatsuki Inc. (Akatsuki) today announced that they are bringing the beloved french koala, Penelope to India. As part of their plans to foray into the Indian animation space, Akatsuki has acquired the Indian distribution rights of Penelope, a 3-years-old little Koala girl character.
As kids remain out of playgrounds and preschools owing to the global pandemic, their dependence on animation to acquire social skills, confidence, and learning about the sheer joy of making mistakes as a kid is higher than ever.
Akatsuki strives to make animation more interactive with the power of storytelling to convey meaningful messages to Indian kids’ audiences under the age of 5 years.
Penelope already enjoys huge popularity in Japan with loyal fandom both for the animation as well as the merchandise. Akatsuki is looking to replicate the same success in India.
Penelope is a three-year-old small blue koala, with both her qualities and defects highlighted in the story arc making her an endearing character and allowing kids to identify with her. Through each episode, Penelope experiences the pleasures and discoveries of childhood and its many landmarks, involving its kid viewers through every stage.
To make the series gender-neutral, the clothes, games, and toys of Penelope are chosen to ensure both young girls and boys can relate to the character. To inculcate social values in kids at an early age, Penelope’s character is shown as mischievous yet open and generous, never missing an opportunity to share with others. To instill confidence in its young audience, Penelope displays self-assurance and willingness to take on initiatives. At age 3, the talkative Penelope enjoys spending time with her family & friends, encouraging kids to also express themselves freely.
Speaking on the launch, Yuki Kawamura, Head of Business Development and Partnerships, Akatsuki Inc. said, “The past 18 months have been extremely challenging for everyone and more so for our young ones. Kids under the age of 5 years have had to skip the phase of discovering the world through playdates and outdoor activities. The significance thus of the content they consume is higher than ever, as that remains the only source of edutainment for them. Akatsuki wants to tap into that space and bring relatable and meaningful animation characters and stories that kids learn from and families enjoy together.”
“What makes Penelope up to the task is the central character’s realistic optimism that doesn’t sell perfectionism rather instills the idea of celebrating small wins like being able to wear your own socks, even if they are mismatched. The character is loved in Japan, especially by mothers because of the values of empathy, independence, and family it communicates to its young audience in a relatable way. We are excited to bring the hope, joy, and magic of Penelope’s world to India,” he added.
Penelope was conceived by Anne Gutman and Georg Hallensleben as an extremely popular French Book Series which has sold 3M+ copies so far. It has then been licensed by Nippon Animation, Japan to launch a full-fledged animation series across the world. Penelope has been published in 11 countries and the animation IP is broadcasted in 19 countries worldwide spanning 4 seasons/ 80 episodes.
(©️ NIPPON ANIMATION CO., LTD. / NHK ENTERPRISES, INC. / SHIROGUMI INC. Penelope by Anne Gutman and Georg Hallensleben ©️ Gallimard Jeunesse)