More ‘Thomas & Friends’ Videos Coming to YouTube and YouTube Kids
On the same day that the long-awaited YouTube Kids app goes live, toy giant Mattel Inc. has announced plans to produce a lot more YouTube videos featuring Thomas the Tank Engine in the coming year.
Starting in March, fresh “Thomas & Friends” content will start rolling out on a weekly basis on its YouTube channel (which has more than 176,000 subscribers). Initially, the order is for 52 three-minute animated and live-action shorts, which will be developed and produced by Mattel’s global preschool content development division, HIT Entertainment.
Most of the content will be grouped into five different categories:
- “Thomas Around the World”: 2D, comic-strip-style animated clips of Thomas’s travels around the globe and to cities such as London, Paris, and New York.
- “Live-Action Playroom Shorts”: Live-action shorts in which Thomas comes to life as a toy in a child’s playroom.
- “Thomas Comedy Showtime”: Highlight packages that consist of popular moments and characters from Sodor, with each video featuring sports-style commentary.
- “Classic Songs”: Popular songs from the original live-action TV series, set to new CG animation.
- “Mr. Perkins’ Story Time”: Tales from the classic Railway Series storybooks narrated by the driver from “Thomas & Friends.”
In addition to the YouTube channel, all of this content will be available on the YouTube Kids app. In development for more than a year, the new mobile app (for iOS and Android) is focused on distributing age-appropriate content in an environment that’s controlled and safe.