Majid TV, owned by Abu Dhabi Media, has catalysed the start of an international animated production named Pablo Around the World, BroadcastPro ME can disclose. The TV channel also has big plans to launch two new programmes next year and aims to distribute its exclusive programmes on OTT and inflight entertainment platforms.
The plot revolves around a young autistic boy Pablo, who is smart and artistic. His imaginative drawings come to life and enables him to face the real world with confidence. It is the first children’s series to feature a central character with autism. Each story reflects the real life experiences of children with autism, co-written and voiced by a young autistic talent.
Majid TV secured the rights to Pablo from UK-based distributor Cake Entertainment earlier this year with the intention of localising it for its Arabic speaking audience. Yet, Majid went one step further and took localisation to a new level by choosing a voice that would be true to the autistic nature of the protagonist and regionalising the design and graphics in the production.
“Pablo is about an autistic child and we could have potentially just dubbed it with any Arabic voice,” Ahmed Abdelhamid, Head of Programming at Abu Dhabi Media told BroadcastPro.
“Instead, we scouted for an autistic child to dub Pablo’s dialogues so as to be as authentic to the role as possible. We also changed the design and graphics significantly to make them look like an Arab production rather than a remake. When we sent our version back to Cake Entertainment and the producer, they liked it so much that they created Pablo Around the World and started to compile regional versions from around the world to be part of this programme. That’s where we have made a difference.”
Majid TV, which is part of the Abu Dhabi Media bouquet, and the only kids’ channel from a state-backed broadcaster in the region, already has a large fan base among its young target audience in the three-to-nine age group.
The channel, which launched in September 2015, with some exclusive programming based on the regional comic series Majid, now has ties with several global entities including Disney, Fox, Planeta from Italy and more recently, ZDF Germany.
Majid also intends to introduce two new shows in 2019.
“We have an excellent in-house team and are now looking to identify the right production house for a co-production,” commented Abdelhamid.
“Thus far, we have been a linear channel. We are now in discussions with some regional pay platforms to make our content available online and for inflight entertainment. This is for programmes for which we own the intellectual property rights.”