Popeye’s Island Adventures

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KING FEATURES produces new animation in celebration of popeye’s 90th anniversary

New Series on the Popeye and Friends Official YouTube Channel

Will Introduce the Classic Character to Younger Audiences

Anniversary Includes Return of “Popeye’s Cartoon Club”

  

NEW YORK, December 3, 2018 -  To kick off Popeye’s 90th anniversary celebration in 2019, King Features Syndicate, a part of Hearst Entertainment, announces the debut of “Popeye’s Island Adventures.” The original animated short series will introduce comic icon Popeye and his friends to today’s digitally native children on the Popeye and Friends Official YouTube Channel. The series launch was announced by Hearst President and CEO Steven R. Swartz, Hearst Entertainment & Syndication President Neeraj Khemlani and President of King Features Syndicate C.J. Kettler.

Originally appearing in 1929, E.C. Segar’s Popeye character first debuted in “The Thimble Theatre” comic strip in the New York Journal-American, which was at that time owned by Hearst Founder William Randolph Hearst. The much-loved character developed alongside his cast of friends before making his film debut in 1933 and television debut in 1960. For nearly 90 years, the Popeye character has resonated in print and on screen for audiences of all ages.

Developed with children in mind, “Popeye’s Island Adventures” introduces the spinach-loving sailor man to the younger generation by combining the original squash and stretch animation style with a fresh update on the original characters and storyline. The new Popeye has a youthful appearance and more eco-friendly position, growing spinach on the roof of his dieselpunk style houseboat and collecting rain water in barrels. Olive Oyl, the original damsel in distress, is now a shining example of feministic ideals that fans new and old will want to emulate. No longer sitting on the sidelines, Olive is now a strong, independent, and resourceful woman who is at the center of every adventure. Bluto remains the series’ antagonist, but his motives have changed as he pursues Popeye’s spinach in a quest for strength. The new Popeye project will complement the sailor man’s growing online presence; the character currently has close to 10 million followers on Facebook.

“We are thrilled to be bringing Popeye to YouTube and a new generation of kids,” Swartz said.

“It is fitting that Popeye, one of King Features’ original animated characters, is the first of our brands to be reintroduced through short form video content created specifically for the YouTube audience,” Khemlani said. “King Features has a deep library of IP - from Flash Gordon, Mandrake and The Phantom to partner properties like Blondie, Hagar the Horrible and Beetle Bailey -  and Popeye is taking the lead with development of new entertainment, merchandising and e-commerce to serve a new generation of fans.”

The debut of “Popeye’s Island Adventures” will kick off an anniversary celebration that includes the return of “Popeye’s Cartoon Club” as an homage to the fan art that E.C. Segar often shared at the end of “The Thimble Theatre” comic strip. The campaign invites top cartoonists from around the world to contribute their own Popeye comics. King is also ready to unveil merchandise from more than a dozen new partners from around the world to elevate the iconic sailor at retail in the coming months.

“Popeye is an iconic pop culture character and the responsibility to serve his fanbase while introducing him to a new audience of multiple generations is enormous,” Kettler said. “The Popeye 90th Anniversary celebration will include not only the short form animation on YouTube but a relaunch of E.C. Segar’s Popeye Cartoon Club in print, digital and social media featuring some of the most notable talent in cartooning and illustration as well as key partnerships for streetwear apparel and trend setting collaborations. We look forward to further developing Popeye with additional retail partners, licensees, and longer form storytelling in the future.”

WildBrain was contracted for worldwide management of the Popeye and Friends Official YouTube Channel in May and has since produced new compilations of cartoon favorites including “Classic Popeye,” “Popeye and Son” and “The Continuing Adventures of Popeye” as part of an ongoing strategy to grow the sailor man’s global audience across the platform.

Fans can start watching “Popeye’s Island Adventures” today at the Popeye and Friends Official YouTube Channeland can check out the recently launched website for the latest updates on Popeye’s 90th Anniversary Celebration. Popeye.com also features an interactive timeline charting his history and a photo filter feature that allows fans to brand and share their Popeye-inspired strong to the finish moments.

About King Features

King Features Syndicate is a unit of Hearst–a leading global, diversified media, information and services company with more than 360 businesses–and part of Hearst Entertainment and Syndication Group, which includes cable network partnerships, television programming activities, and newspaper syndication and merchandise licensing operations. King Features is one of the most experienced organizations in licensing and entertainment. It is also the world’s premier distributor of comics, columns, editorial cartoons, puzzles and games to newspapers, magazines, web portals, mobile outlets and news organizations worldwide. King represents some of the most recognizable global brands, includingBetty Boop™, Popeye®,Cuphead,Flash Gordon™, The Phantom™, Hägar the Horrible, Prince Valiant ® and Mandrake the Magician. For more information, please visit www.kingfeatures.com.

About Popeye
Sailor. Tough guy. Hero. Legend. That's Popeye. An underdog with bulging forearms, a mean uppercut and a love of canned spinach. Unassuming, unsophisticated and undeterred by a challenge, from the minute he walked into the comic strip, “The Thimble Theatre,” and muttered his famous “Ja think I’m a cowboy?” line, Popeye the Sailor Man captured the hearts of millions of fans around the globe. As the star of his own comics strips and animated content on the big screen and small, Popeye became quickly ingrained in American culture, and today remains one of the most recognizable pop-culture icons in the world. Popeye celebrates his 90th Anniversary in 2019! www.popeye.com

About WildBrain

WildBrain is an industry leader in the management and creation of preschool and children’s entertainment content on platforms such as YouTube, Amazon Video Direct and others. WildBrain’s branded YouTube network is one of the largest of its kind, featuring more than 110,000 videos for over 600 kids’ brands in up to 22 languages. The WildBrain network, which has over 50 million subscribers, generated over 129 billion minutes of watch time across 25 billion views, from July 2017 through June 2018. Connecting kids’ content owners with advertisers in the Advertising Video-on-Demand (AVOD) space, the WildBrain network features popular third-party brands such as Fireman Sam, Curious George, Shopkins and Ben 10, as well as much of DHX Media’s world-renowned library of 13,000 half-hours of kids’ and family content, including “Peanuts,” “Teletubbies,” “Strawberry Shortcake,” “Caillou,” “Inspector Gadget,” “Degrassi,” “Yo Gabba Gabba!” and many others. WildBrain Studios also specializes in the creation of new, original content for its network, such as animated and live-action shorts; toy-play and stop-motion videos; preschool counting and alphabet videos; nursery rhymes and more. WildBrain is a wholly owned subsidiary of DHX Media (TSX: DHX; NASDAQ: DHXM).

 

Media Contacts

Brian Reinert, DKC on behalf of King Features, Brian_Reinert@dkcnews.com, 212-981-5198

Paul Luthringer, Hearst, Paul@Hearst.com, 212-649-2540

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