Classic TV kids' hits get digital makeover

From the Power Rangers to Angelina Ballerina, Le Petit Prince and "Sesame Street's" Elmo, children's favourite television characters are getting a digital makeover around the world.

The re-looked kids' classics that are being adapted to today's digitally-savvy youngsters were attracting strong interest at the influential MIPCOM audiovisual entertainment industry show that opened here this week.

Driving the trend is the arrival of smartphones and portable computer "tablet" devices that can entertain children with downloaded games and Apps at home or on the move, particularly young pre-schoolers.

"Smartphones like the iPhone and the new computer tablets are a great interface for pre-school children because they are very intuitive (to use)," Sesame Workshop executive Terry Fitzpatrick told AFP.

A number of companies are also updating their popular television programmes and films, which until now have been produced in two-dimension computer graphics, into high-quality 3D.

HIT Entertainment's hugely popular "Angelina Ballerina" animated TV series has been given a bright new computer-generated 3D look, which allows the dancing mouse to perform like never before.

And the internationally-popular French children's book, Antoine de Saint-Exupery's "Le Petit Prince" (The Little Prince) is to be made into a 52-episode television series in top quality stereophonic 3D.

The Little Prince, who hops from planet to planet helping people solve their problems, will also inhabit a multi-platform galaxy offering books, online and musical formats.

"Apps" - programmes for portable devices such as smartphones - are the newest addition to the array of tools to help children learn and be entertained via downloaded games and books.

And they are catching on fast with both youngsters and parents.

Sesame Workshop has launched 12 Apps to date, priced at between two and five dollars each. Seven are children's books in electronic format while the other five are original games.

HIT Entertainment's new mobile Apps, which are in a similar price bracket, are also catching on fast.

"We've done very well with Apps, which are proving very popular," HIT's Alison Homewood told AFP.

The first "Thomas The Tank" iPhone games that launched at the beginning of this year have notched up 180,000 sales to date, she added.

Familiar old favourites such as Thomas are less risky in today's difficult economic climate, industry experts here said.

"The return of a known brand is an easier sell," the managing director of Cake Entertainment's distribution arm, Ed Galton, told MIPCOM News.

"Sesame Street" is launching a new version of its Emmy award-winning classic "The Electric Company" show, which was extremely popular in the 1970s and 1980s.

The show's goal is still to help six-to-nine-year-old youngsters struggling to learn to read. But it can now also offer viewers a variety of interactive games to help improve their vocabulary and will launch an App for mobile phones and computer tablets early next year, Fitzpatrick said.

"Power Rangers", another classic US brand that launched in the 1990s, was also out in force here to promote its return to the television screen with its cast of updated but still brightly spandex-clad and helmeted teenage superheroes.

"We're going back to the original format," Fernando Szew, chief executive of the show's distributor MarVista Entertainment, told AFP, adding that there would be lots of humour and spectacular special effects in the new series.

The new series of Power Rangers will air on the Nickelodeon channel early next year.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

Arts and Entertainment
Arts and Entertainment
Place Blanche, Paris, 1961, shot by Christer Strömholm
photographyHow the famous camera transformed photography for ever
Arts and Entertainment
The ‘Westmacott Athlete’
Arts and Entertainment
‘The Royals’ – a ‘twisted, soapy take on England’s first family’
tv Some of the characters appear to have clear real-life counterparts
Brooks is among a dozen show-business professionals ever to have achieved Egot status
Arts and Entertainment
A cut above: Sean Penn is outclassed by Mark Rylance in The Gunman
film review
Arts and Entertainment
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
James Franco and Zachary Quinto in I Am Michael

Film review Michael Glatze biopic isn't about a self-hating gay man gone straight

Arts and Entertainment
A scene from the movie 'Get Hard'
tvWill Ferrell’s new film Get Hard receives its first reviews
Arts and Entertainment
Left to right: David Cameron (Mark Dexter), Nick Clegg (Bertie Carvel) and Gordon Brown (Ian Grieve)
tvReview: Ian Grieve gets another chance to play Gordon Brown... this is the kinder version
Arts and Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman in the first look picture from next year's Sherlock special

Arts and Entertainment
Because it wouldn’t be Glastonbury without people kicking off about the headline acts, a petition has already been launched to stop Kanye West performing on the Saturday night

Arts and Entertainment
Molly Risker, Helen Monks, Caden-Ellis Wall, Rebekah Staton, Erin Freeman, Philip Jackson and Alexa Davies in ‘Raised by Wolves’

TV review
Arts and Entertainment

Arts and Entertainment
James May, Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond in the Top Gear Patagonia Special

Arts and Entertainment
Game of Thrones will run for ten years if HBO gets its way but showrunners have mentioned ending it after seven

Game of Thrones
Arts and Entertainment
Mans Zelmerlow will perform 'Heroes' for Sweden at the Eurovision Song Contest 2015

Arts and Entertainment
Elizabeth (Heida Reed) and Ross Poldark (Aiden Turner) in the BBC's remake of their 1975 original Poldark

Poldark review
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

    Promises, promises

    But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
    The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

    The death of a Gaza fisherman

    He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
    Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

    Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

    Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
    Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

    The only direction Zayn could go

    We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
    Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

    Spells like teen spirit

    A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
    Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

    If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

    British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
    Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

    Licence to offend in the land of the free

    Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
    From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

    From farm to fork in Cornwall

    One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
    Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

    Robert Parker interview

    The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
    Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

    Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

    We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor
    How to make your own Easter egg: Willie Harcourt-Cooze shares his chocolate recipes

    How to make your own Easter egg

    Willie Harcourt-Cooze talks about his love affair with 'cacao' - and creates an Easter egg especially for The Independent on Sunday
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef declares barbecue season open with his twist on a tradtional Easter Sunday lamb lunch

    Bill Granger's twist on Easter Sunday lunch

    Next weekend, our chef plans to return to his Aussie roots by firing up the barbecue
    Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

    Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

    The England prop relives the highs and lows of last Saturday's remarkable afternoon of Six Nations rugby
    Cricket World Cup 2015: Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?

    Cricket World Cup 2015

    Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?
    The Last Word: Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing