Animaccord’s expansion plans for Masha’s world through 2025 include a feature film, podcasts, tech-driven content, and custom-made content for social media platforms.
Russian media and licensing company Animaccord is taking the plunge into long-form content. Best known for its hugely popular 3D animated series, Masha and The Bear, the company has unveiled its timeline of new content through to 2025. In addition to production of the core show’s new seasons, development is in the works on a feature film, as well as podcasts, tech-driven content, and custom-made content for social media platforms.
The popular animated series is now available in 43 languages and broadcast in almost every part of the world. According to Kidz Global research, it ranks as a TOP-3 favorite entertainment brand in Europe, Middle East, and Africa (April-May 2021); it also holds the Guinness World Record as the most watched animated video on YouTube for the episode “Recipe for Disaster,” which has recorded almost 4.5 billion views.
According to the Animaccord’s CEO Claus Tomming, the company’s vision is to build on the appeal of its popular IP and expand on the storytelling. He noted that successful franchises at some point “face the challenge of renewing and evolving in terms of your audience,” and that the development of so many new media platforms offered an opportunity for the brand.
Reflecting this mindset, the media company has recently confirmed that it is in development with the first-ever Masha and the Bear animated feature film, which will be released by 2025. It is currently seeking to partner with a global film distributor on the project.
The longer formats will allow the introduction of new characters and more complex storytelling. Expanding from the current seven-minute format will give the characters an opportunity to explore beyond the show’s traditional forest setting. Think, Masha Bear goes to the city.
Targeting family audiences, the creators are looking to expand from the property’s primarily preschool base, appealing to kids who grew up with Masha and are receptive to seeing the character in a new light. The show currently enjoys a high level of parental co-viewing, with show themes and situations relatable to everyday family life.
Animaccord is planning to launch a direct-to-consumer digital business and its first tech-driven content, including interactive, gaming, and creative play formats. With plans to venture into long-form content, the studio is also going shorter, with plans to release Masha and the Bear content of 1-2 minutes to promote the show on multiple social media platforms such as TikTok.
According the Tomming, the brand is committed to staying true to its “core values” and “core DNA” as established by the series creator, Oleg Kuzovkov, whose inspiration for Masha was a young girl he met.
Tomming explained, “He marveled at her… ‘boundless imagination.’”
The show is… “a mirror of the world of the child and how they perceive the world around them and the world of the adult,” he continued. “The bear sees things from a different perspective, and the comedy comes from those two perspectives of the world clashing.”