Nickelodeon’s First Original Chinese Cartoon Receives Warm Reception Overseas



Deer Squad promotional materials Photo: Sina Weibo

deer squad

the first original Chinese cartoon released on Nickelodeon in the United States in January 2021, achieved great success and is now expected to make the leap to countries in Europe and Africa in March.

The cartoon, produced by China’s leading streaming platform iQIYI in cooperation with Nickelodeon for children aged 3 to 7, tells the story of four brave little deer taking risks and solving crises.

After premiering on iQIYI on July 15, 2020, deer squad began a world tour which saw it released on Nickelodeon in Asia, including Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines and Indonesia, in August 2020, followed by TV channels in the UK, Australia and Nova Scotia. Zeeland in October 2020.

According to Nickelodeon, deer squad received a warm welcome from overseas children. In the Philippines and Australia, the show ranked #1 in the channel’s ratings, surpassing some hit cartoons like Peppa Pig. It also charted at No. 1 on its UK debut, while the average rating during the airing period in that market exceeded 148% of the airing standard over the same period.

promotional material from deer squad Photo: Sina Weibo

Yang Xiaoxuan, vice president of iQIYI and responsible for original animation and investment, told the Global Times that Chinese children’s anime shows very rarely find an audience in the international market because they do not match the taste. young foreign viewers.

“Character design is the first step in the creation phase,” Qie Yiming, the cartoon’s producer, told the Global Times. She explained that after a lot of research, they found out that animal characters are the most popular among kids all over the world and they finally landed on deer as the choice to lead the show because the variety seen in the horns of the animal gave their artists. plenty of room to come up with creative designs.

According to Yang, Chinese children care more about whether a show is entertaining when watching cartoons, so studios focus more on fun action performances and interesting storylines, while overseas markets pay more attention. today more attention to the theme of “love” and also make sure to include educational content such as safety awareness.

“During the process of creating this show, both parties are committed to bridging the gap between Chinese and Western culture,” Yang said.

To meet the needs of both domestic and overseas markets, the key for the studio was to maintain a balance between entertainment and education when it came to presenting a story, in other words, telling a wonderful story while focusing on knowledge and emotional education.

She added that the success of deer squad comes down to this innovative cooperation model, high production standards and the successful integration of Chinese culture and foreign standards.

Old Chinese animation works are usually first produced by a Chinese studio and then released overseas, which makes it difficult to modify a work to suit the market and thus greatly limits the expansion of the distribution.

deer squad adopts “pre-sales plus creative supervision” cooperation model. We have entered into broadcast and distribution cooperation with overseas broadcast platforms from the early stages of creative supervision, and communicated with them and received feedback from them in a timely manner during production, which makes us helped improve efficiency, Yang explained.

Chinese animation has developed rapidly in recent years. In 2018, over 80 Chinese anime series were streamed online. In 2021, more than 200 domestic anime works are expected to be released on the country’s major video platforms, China News reported.

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