This year marks the 50th anniversary of the beloved “Berenstain Bears.”
Press release from Nelvana Enterprises:
Toronto, Canada – This year marks the 50th anniversary of the beloved Berenstain Bears. Since the publication of The Big Honey Hunt in 1962 by creators Jan and Stan Berenstain, under the editorship of the legendary Dr. Seuss, the Bears have touched millions of lives worldwide.
To date, more than 300 books have been written and over 250 million copies sold, making the Bears one of the biggest selling book series in history. Nelvana Enterprises is currently in discussions with potential licensing and retail partners on opportunities to celebrate this historic milestone.
Nelvana produced 40 episodes of an animated TV series featuring the Bear family -- Mama, Papa, Brother and Sister Bear. Set in the rolling hills of Bear Country, the series follows the Bears, whose love, loyalty and humour allow them to overcome any obstacles that come down their sunny dirt road.
“Families have turned to the Berenstain Bears for over a half a century now to learn about and reinforce important life lessons and values, all conveyed in a comforting, fun and engaging way,” said Andrew Kerr, Head of Consumer Products for The Americas and Australasia, Nelvana Enterprises. “There is no family quite like the Bears, who have become a true American ‘institution’, and we are excited at all of the possibilities that this milestone anniversary presents.”
Along with the TV series, the Bears have been featured in a children’s musical, amusement park rides, toys, ebooks, apps and even a video game. There is also a feature film in development.
Both Random House Children’s Books and HarperCollins Children’s Books continue to publish new books in the Berenstain Bears series, and are working together to mark the 50th anniversary. In July, Random House Children’s Books will re-issue a special anniversary edition of The Big Honey Hunt, the first Berenstain Bears book published, as well asThe Berenstain Bears: All in the Family, a bind-up of six titles. HarperCollins will publish 19 new titles this year, including Nothing Ever Happens at the South Pole, which will release in August, and The Berenstain Bears’ Old-Fashioned Christmas, which will release in September.
Jan Berenstain sadly passed away in February, 2012, following Stan Berenstain’s death in 2005. She is survived by her sons, Mike and Leo Berenstain, who continue to build upon the world created by their parents in all-new Berenstain Bears books.
Jennifer Wolfe is Director of News & Content at Animation World Network.