Aardman creates new look for kids fansite “The 99,” which launches this week on 2.4 billion screens around the world.
Bristol, UK -- After a worldwide search, THE 99 has partnered with Aardman Animations to design and create an exciting new kids fansite for their hit animated series, which will serve the brand’s rapidly growing global audience.
THE 99 is a comic book brand and animated TV show created with the intention of providing new role models for young people all over the world. The superheroes are based on Middle Eastern principles and Islamic archetypes that possess values that are shared worldwide.
Aardman Digital, the digital arm of Aardman, has been commissioned to devise and develop a multinational, inclusive digital home for THE 99. The exciting new website will eventually be a bilingual brand site that includes sophisticated and cleverly designed mechanics which allow children from across the world to work together, no matter what language they speak, to play and socialize within the world of THE 99.
“The animation successes and unique understanding of a child’s imagination made Aardman the standout creative choice to help shape the digital future of THE 99 Kids. And boy, did we make the right choice!” says Dr. Naif Al-Mutawa, CEO, Teshkeel Media Group.
The new fansite contains videos, single and multi-player games, a character guide with in-depth profiles, and tons of free ‘downloadables’ along with never-before-seen features appropriate to THE 99 Kids viewing audience. THE 99 Kids site will be added to monthly with new features, games and fun things to do.
Jemma Kamara, Digital Producer at Aardman adds, “I met Dr. Naif Al-Mutawa at a conference last year after hearing about THE 99 comic books. I was immediately intrigued by the brand because of its values and objectives, and the engaging way it has created new role models for youngsters all over the world. For us, the challenge was how to create a truly multinational experience where language and cultural differences didn't get in the way of playing together. We came up with an idea that allows kids from all over the world to play collaboratively together by working towards common goals, all of which is underpinned by the values of the brand. We have lots of exciting content in development that we will be releasing over the next few months. We really can't wait to see how the fans react to the new site.
The site offers good, safe fun to be had on a computer screen, tablet and smart phone, enabling fans all over the world to interact with the brand on-the-go.
THE 99 has also recently launched on Cartoon Network’s Toonami, the broadcaster’s premier satellite channel for kids, in 24 countries around the world. The Cartoon Network broadcast territories include India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Maldives, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Brunei, Burma, Cambodia, China, Fiji, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Laos, Macau, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Singapore, Tahiti, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam. Initially, they will broadcast in English, Thai and Mandarin with other languages to follow. In 2011, THE 99 partnered with DC Comics’ Justice League of America and stood cape-to-shoulder with Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman in a six-part comic book series that was praised by US President Barack Obama. In an address in Washington DC, the President referred to THE 99 as a remarkable example of social entrepreneurship and “the most innovative response” to his Cairo speech. THE 99 has been recognized with major awards from the World Economic Forum, and the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations. It has received accolades from Forbes for being “One of the Top 20 Trends Sweeping the Globe.” Kuwaiti psychologist, Dr. Naif Al-Mutawa, creator of THE 99, was nominated by The Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre in Jordan to their 2009-2012 lists of “The 500 most Influential Muslims in the World.” He has also been awarded “The Intersector of Religion” Award by Intersections International, The World Halal Forum Award, the ‘Arab Business Leader of the Year’ Award and the Eliot-Pearson Award for Excellence in Children’s Media for his creation of THE 99.
Source: Aardman Animations
Jennifer Wolfe is Director of News & Content at Animation World Network.