Wise Blue Studios’ “Hero Dad” picked up for global distribution by Wildbrain

by | Oct 23, 2019 | Animation, Announcements, Distribution, Film Markets, News, Shooting

Innovative new preschool series utilizes Unity’s cutting-edge game engine for streamlined real-time animation production.

Valencia, Spain – 23/10/2019 — Wise Blue Studios announces that season one (26 x 5’) of its new non-dialogue preschool series, Hero Dad, has been acquired for worldwide distribution by the global children’s content company, WildBrain. A comedic series about a single father and his curious little daughter, Hero Dad never loses sight of fun as it conveys positive messages for kids within the shifting paradigms of the modern family. Hero Dad is also one of the first animated series produced using Unity’s innovative game engine, allowing real-time 4K rendering in a highly streamlined production process. Recently featured by Unity at Siggraph 2019, Los Angeles, CA, and by WildBrain at MIPCOM, Cannes, Hero Dad is produced by Spain-based Wise Blue Studios in co-production with À Punt Mèdia and with the collaboration of the Institut Valencià de Cultura IVC.

“We’re delighted that WildBrain has picked up Hero Dad for worldwide distribution,” said Maxi Valero, Creative Director and Executive Producer, Wise Blue Studios. “Hero Dad is not only innovative from a technological point of view, but also in the very conception of its theme. We never lose sight of the fact that children, especially at preschool ages, learn best by having fun. We have based the series’ educational philosophy on Howard Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences, which is reflected in the daily trials and tribulations of this modern family and their comedic adventures.”

“We see technology as a tool in the service of storytelling,” said Nathalie Martinez, Co-director of the show and Producer at Wise Blue Studios. “For Hero Dad, technology helped us focus on our story about the life of a single-parent family, where the father takes care of the daughter as they work together to solve the daily challenges and learn the daily lessons that every little kid faces. By having the father be the primary caregiver, the series conveys a message of integration to children, reflecting from the very heart of the series both the family diversity of our current society and the evolution and equalization of male and female roles in contemporary families.”

“We’re pleased to add this wonderful new series from the talented team at Wise Blue Studios into our distribution roster,” said Richard Rowe, Director of International Acquisitions and Co-Productions, WildBrain. “Hero Dad conveys a positive message to kids about modern family role models while also taking a meaningful step forward with innovating the animation process. We look forward to sharing Hero Dad with broadcasters and streaming platforms around the world, and also through our own WildBrain Spark network on YouTube.”

Hero Dad, directed by Maxi Valero and Nathalie Martinez, is centered around a father who arrives home from work each day, changes into his superhero costume – rain boots, kitchen gloves, a tablecloth cape and a swimsuit over his trousers – and takes care of, teaches and plays with his curious 3-year-old daughter, Miao. The non-dialogue animated comedy, aimed at preschoolers 2 to 6, features the misadventures of this homemade superhero, who is kind of clumsy and ultimately always ends up being rescued by his clever little daughter, who learns the lesson of the day as the student becomes the teacher.

In the production of Hero Dad, Wise Blue Studios employed groundbreaking technology by utilizing Unity’s game engine. It is one of the first television series to ever employ this cutting-edge technology, which allows 4K rendering in real time, and as a result has created an innovative, stream-lined workflow for CGI animation. The technical and artistic team at Wise Blue Studios achieved one of the very first successful combinations of the technologies of television animation and video game production, providing a case study for streamlining workflow and advancing animation production toward a new standard.

The CGI animation series, whose first season consists of 26 x 5 minute episodes, is directed by Maxi Valero and Nathalie Martinez and is being produced by the Spanish Wise Blue Studios, in co-production with À Punt Mèdia and with the collaboration of the Institut Valencià de Cultura IVC.

In the production of Hero Dad, Wise Blue Studios is employing groundbreaking technology by utilizing Unity’s real-time rendering technology.  It is one of the first television series to ever employ this cutting edge technology, which allows 4K rendering in real time, and as a result has created a completely innovative, extremely stream-lined workflow for CGI animation. The technical and artistic team at Wise Blue Studios has invested considerable R&D efforts to implement this technology, which up to now has been used in the video game industry, into their production pipeline to take advantage of the best of both worlds.

VisDev supervisor, David Martinez, says “the biggest challenge has been to get the style of a traditional animation series for children, with degraded tones, soft shadows, diffuse lights, etc., and separate this type of image from what we are used to seeing on the screen of a video game.”  The team, also headed by art director Pablo Martín (Pablín Dibujín), feels very satisfied with both the creative result and the enhanced workflow efficiency, and that sentiment is echoed by production manager, Juan Calabuig, saying “we are very happy regarding both the efficiencies in production and the artistic results.”

This new production pipeline represents one of the very first successful combinings of the technologies of television animation and video game production, and is providing a successful case study for what is clearly the future of streamlined television animation workflow, and will set a new standard for the industry.

Maxi Valero and Nathalie Martinez, directors of the show.

“Hero Dad is an innovative series from a technological point of view that allows us a versatility and efficiency that did not previously exist. But it is also an innovative series in the very conception of the theme” says Valero, director and creator of the original story. Nathalie Martinez, co-director and producer of the series, adds that “in the end, technology is a vehicle that is at the service of storytelling, and in this series it helps us focus on our story of the life of a single-parent family, where the father takes care of the daughter as they work together to solve the daily challenges, and learn the daily lessons, that every little kid faces in their life.”

“The series is very solid in its philosophical approach but, above all, it is fun! We never lose sight of the fact that children, especially at these ages, learn best by having fun! We have based the series’ educational philosophy on Howard Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences, which is reflected in the daily trials and tribulations of this family and their comedic adventures” continues Maxi Valero. Additionally, Nathalie Martinez comments “by having the father be the primary care-taker parent, the series transmits an integrating message to children, reflecting, from the very heart of the series, both the family diversity of our current society, and the evolution and equalization of male and female roles in contemporary families.”

Part of the team working on “Hero Dad” at Wise Blue Studios.

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About Wise Blue Studios

Based in Spain and the US, the team at Wise Blue Studios works globally to attain a universal vision, for production services as well as developing proprietary IPs. WBS regularly partner with clients, investors, and vendors from around the world. As studio, its commitment to cohesion ensures fast and effective teamwork across any ocean or time zone. They stay current with the most cutting-edge technologies and innovation is at the core of the company, but what makes the studio exceptional is their team and creative environment. WBS promotes innovation and fosters a sense of personal ownership. People are the center of the studio universe.

Since the beginning of 2019, WBS is immersed in the development of its next animated film MiBots, which has already announced the participation of international figures on the project. In addition to this project, the company’s flagship, the studio recently wrapped the production of the television series La Fossa (TVC, À Punt Media, Bausan Films, Wise Blue Studios), and are finishing the production of the animated short film El Relojero (Maxi Valero) and the first two seasons of the children’s series Hero Dad for À Punt Media, while preparing its international release.

Find out more about WBS visiting their website at  www.wisebluestudios.com

About WildBrain

At WildBrain we make great content for kids and families. With over 13,000 half-hours of filmed entertainment in our library – one of the world’s most extensive – we are home to such brands as PeanutsTeletubbiesStrawberry ShortcakeCaillouInspector Gadget and Degrassi. Our shows are seen in more than 150 countries on over 500 telecasters and streaming platforms. Our AVOD business – WildBrain Spark – offers one of the largest networks of kids’ channels on YouTube, with over 109 million subscribers. We also license consumer products and location-based entertainment in every major territory for our own properties as well for our clients and content partners. Our television group owns and operates four family entertainment channels that are among the most-viewed in Canada. WildBrain is headquartered in Canada with offices worldwide and trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange (DHX) and the NASDAQ (DHXM). Visit us at www.wildbrain.com. (On September 23, 2019, DHX Media Ltd. announced it is rebranding as “WildBrain”.)

***Spanish version of the article follows***

WILDBRAIN ADQUIERE LOS DERECHOS MUNDIALES DE LA SERIE ESPAÑOLA “HERO DAD”, PRODUCCIÓN DE ANIMACIÓN EN TIEMPO REAL PIONERA EN EL MUNDO.

Valencia, España – 23/10/2019 — WildBrain, nuevo nombre del gigante canadiense DHX Media, ha adquirido los derechos para la distribución mundial de la serie española Hero Dad, pionera en el mundo por estar producida en tiempo real con el motor de videojuegos Unity. Tras su presentación en julio de 2019 en Siggraph en Los Angeles, California, la mayor cita tecnológica internacional del sector, la serie estrena ahora su comercialización en MIPCOM, Cannes, con gran acogida entre los compradores de los distintos territorios.

Hero Dad, dirigida por Maxi Valero y Nathalie Martinez, nos acerca a la vida de un padre que, cuando llega a casa del trabajo, cuida de su hija de 3 años disfrazándose de superhéroe con un bañador, unos guantes de cocina y unas botas de agua. La serie de animación, concebida para preescolares de entre 2 y 6 años, cuenta desde la comedia las aventuras de este superhéroe casero, un tanto patoso, al que su hija siempre acaba rescatando, aprendiendo así por sí misma la moraleja de cada capítulo.

“Estamos encantados de que Wildbrain haya adquirido los derechos de Hero Dad, comenta Maxi Valero. “La serie es muy sólida en su planteamiento teórico, pero sobre todo es divertida. No perdemos de vista que los niños, especialmente a estas edades, aprenden divirtiéndose. Hemos basado la didáctica de la serie en la teoría de las inteligencias múltiples de Howard Gardner, que se reflejan en las tribulaciones diarias de esta familia desde la aventura y la comedia”, continúa Valero. Además, la serie, al normalizar la figura del padre como cuidador de su hija, explica Martínez, “transmite a los niños un mensaje integrador al reflejar, desde el propio corazón de la serie, tanto la diversidad familiar de nuestra sociedad actual, como la evolución y equiparación de los roles masculinos y femeninos en las familias contemporáneas”. “Al final, la tecnología es un vehículo que está al servicio de la historia”, continúa Nathalie Martínez, “y en esta serie nos sirve para centrarnos en la vida de una familia monoparental en la que el padre cuida de la hija y ambos trabajan conjuntamente para resolver los pequeños aprendizajes diarios que cada niño y niña viven en su día a día”

“Nos complace enormente agregar a nuestro portfolio de distribución esta maravillosa serie creada por el talentoso equipo de Wise Blue Studios”, comenta Richard Rowe, Director de Adquisiciones Internacionales y Co-Producciones en WildBrain. “Hero Dad transmite a los niños un mensaje muy positivo sobre los modelos familiares modernos a la vez que da un paso significativo hacia adelante innovando el proceso de animación. Estamos deseando compartir Hero Dad con las televisiones y plataformas de todo el mundo, y también a través de nuestra propia red en YouTube, WildBrain Spark”.

La serie de animación 3D, cuya primera temporada consta de 26 capítulos de 5 minutos, se produce íntegramente en Wise Blue Studios, Paterna, en coproducción con À Punt Mèdia y con la colaboración del Institut Valencià de Cultura IVC.

La producción, por su parte, supone un reto técnico al ser la primera serie comercial en el mundo que se produce enteramente con el motor de Unity, que permite renderizar en tiempo real, innovando completamente en el flujo de trabajo tradicional de la animación por ordenador. El equipo técnico y artístico de Wise Blue Studios consolida así, desde Valencia, el primer caso de éxito de la que, a todas luces, es la tendencia en un futuro inmediato hacia una confluencia y transversalidad aún mayores de los sectores de la animación y los videojuegos y sus respectivas tecnologías. Esta innovación aplicada a la producción de series de animación, fue destacada por la propia Unity con una conferencia de la productora Nathalie Martinez en el pasado Siggraph, celebrado en julio de 2019 en Los Angeles, California, una de las citas tecnológicas del sector con más prestigio del mundo.

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