WASHINGTON (Sept. 1, 2005)–National Geographic will launch “Marvi Hammer,” a DVD series for kids, for international home video and DVD clients at this year’s MIPCOM (Oct. 17-21 in Cannes, France).
“We’re looking to capitalize on the incredible opportunities in the kids’ DVD market across Europe with the introduction of this amazing new property,” said Julie Bellonte, senior vice president of International Home Entertainment at National Geographic Television & Film. “‘Marvi Hammer’ has already been acquired in Germany, Turkey and Thailand, with an anticipated home video market launch in these territories in early 2006.”
“Marvi Hammer” is a unique, factual series designed specifically for 5- to 11-year-olds. Combining 3-D and 2-D animation with specially edited segments culled from National Geographic’s high-quality, blue-chip features, the series provides hours of enjoyable entertainment and educational experiences employing an immersive learning concept to developing language skills.
Packaged as two 30-minute episodes per DVD, an initial 10 DVD packages are available immediately, with an additional 16 DVDs (32 episodes) anticipated for 2006.
“Marvi Hammer” is hosted by Marvi, a lovable, energetic, sometimes crafty and sometimes clumsy 3-D animated rat. He secretly takes over a TV studio in an effort to share his love of the natural world with children everywhere. Helping him spread the word are world reporters Roberto, Jacee and Mingh, depicted in colorful 2-D animation. Each episode focuses on a specific theme and takes viewers on a fascinating journey of discovery, imparting fun scientific facts about the world and its inhabitants as part of the exciting and ongoing adventure.
The versatile DVD series also can provide bilingual elements, utilizing the world reporters to help teach a secondary language, and can be packaged with an accompanying National Geographic children’s magazine, linking elements of the show with items in the magazine as a way of honing reading skills.
The idea for the character and the series was developed by Germany’s YOUA Edutainment and was brought to National Geographic through German publishing and DVD partner Gruner+Jahr. Television broadcast distribution of “Marvi Hammer” will be handled by YOUA.
Building on its global reputation for remarkable visuals and compelling stories, National Geographic Television & Film (NGT&F) augments its award-winning documentary productions (124 Emmy Awards and more than 800 other industry awards) with feature films, giant-screen films, kids’ programming and long-form television drama programming. Worldwide, National Geographic’s television programming can be seen on the National Geographic Channel, home video and DVD, and through international broadcast syndication.