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World Screen Newsflash

March 8, 2021


DreamWorks Animation Packs Girl Power

Strong female characters are central to DreamWorks’ properties, and the series from DreamWorks Animation are delivering girl power in a big way. For younger audiences, Gabby’s Dollhouse features a young girl who takes viewers on fantastical adventures inside her magical dollhouse full of adorable cat characters. Cleopatra in Space, based on the award-winning graphic novels, is a sci-fi-fantasy retelling of a young teenage Cleopatra thrust into a time-traveling journey to save the universe. Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts features a lead character named Kipo who, despite the odds of survival being stacked against her, leads with kindness, empathy and optimism in a post-apocalyptic world. Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous expands the franchise with kids at the lead for the very first time, featuring three female characters in the core ensemble. There are also Lucky, Pru and Abigail in Spirit Riding Free; Poppy, Val and Holly in the new Trolls: TrollsTopia; Wenda in Where’s Waldo?; Leyla and Astrid in their respective Dragons series; a young Gloria in Madagascar: A Little Wild; and the female ensemble of She-Ra and the Princesses of Power with Adora and Glimmer in the lead.


“Across the board, we work to realize female characters that are multidimensional and have real agency,” says Kelly Kulchak, executive VP of current series at DreamWorks Animation. “We want our characters to be aspirational because they are authentic. In Spirit Riding Free, each of our lead characters has a unique personality as well as their own hopes and dreams. Their different styles and points of view complement each other and help manage any problems they face in surprising ways. Of course, they also have their own flaws but they are almost always working to build each other up. I love their friendship because it is never catty or callous, but centered on lifting each other up to be the best versions of themselves.”

Gabby’s Dollhouse embraces a growth mindset, Kulchak says, with Gabby demonstrating an eagerness to try new things and using creativity to solve problems. “We want to inspire kids to turn their missteps and mistakes into something creative and beautiful. True to Gabby’s signature phrase ‘we failed fantastically,’ every episode encourages flexible thinking and imaginative problem-solving through resilience and resourcefulness.”

Cleopatra in Space moves between ancient Egypt and a future galaxy where Cleo is sent to train and learn how to defeat the evil forces at hand. She is the prophesied savior of her world, which is a heavy shroud to carry when you’re also in high school and navigating the highs and lows of being a teen. “Cleo is on a journey to learn what it means to be a leader—trusting her team, supporting her friends and making sure everyone works together to get the job done,” Kulchak says.

Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts is an original show set 200 years into a post-apocalyptic world where mutated animals (or “mutes”) rule the surface and humans are forced underground. When Kipo is thrust onto the surface, it kickstarts an adventure where she sets off on a course to reunite with her dad. Her unwavering optimism and kindness turn out to be a superpower that brings together a ragtag crew of other teens on the surface. “We love Kipo because when you see the world through her eyes, anything is possible,” says Kulchak. 

Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous is an expansion of the franchise, this time with six teens at the center of the story. They must rely on the strength and support of each other to get themselves off the island. The core ensemble features three female leads: Brooklyn, Sammy and Yaz. These three very different women would have made unlikely friends but the extreme circumstances of survival forge a bond among them. Kulchak says, “While they still have their differences, we love seeing these strong, flawed, multidimensional women come into their own—not being defined by who they thought they were off the island, but who they have to be in order to help each other survive. They don’t always make the right choices, but they grow and learn to make decisions for the greater good, rather than their own self-interests.”

DreamWorks Animation doesn’t so much classify its shows as being only “for boys” or only “for girls,” Kulchak notes. “We build worlds and stories that have something for everyone. While Gabby’s Dollhouse might follow play patterns more traditionally associated with girls, there is a big world inside of the dollhouse filled with fun, eccentric characters that kids are falling in love with. DJ Catnip, CatRat and Pandy Paws are just a few of the many characters that deliver the comedy that will also keep boys engaged.”

Kulchak adds that empowering young women is of crucial importance in the kids’ programming business, and DreamWorks Animation is enthusiastically doing its part. “Kids’ television, and animation specifically, are the first places that kids are going to see themselves on-screen and begin to shape their worldview. We have a responsibility to make sure girls (and boys) see a world full of possibility, that what you have to say matters, that it’s okay to make mistakes, and so often, the things that make us feel different are the things that make us most special.”

See NBCUniversal Global Distribution Kids & Family’s Winter 2021 Showcase here.

More from NBCUniversal Global Distribution Kids & Family

Gabby’s Dollhouse

***Video***(Animation/live-action, 40x30 min.)
Welcome to Gabby's Dollhouse, the preschool show with a surprise inside! Join Gabby in her fantastical animated world full of adventure and adorable cat friends.
Watch now on WorldScreenings.com

Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous

***Video***(Animation/action/adventure, 49x30 min.)
Set against the events of Jurassic World, six teenagers’ once-in-a-lifetime camp experience on Isla Nublar is threatened as dinosaurs wreak havoc across the island.
Watch now on WorldScreenings.com

Cleopatra in Space

***Video***(Animation/comedy/adventure, 26x30 min.)
A teenage Cleopatra is transported 30,000 years to a futuristic Egyptian-themed planet ruled by talking cats, where she’s the prophesied savior of the future world.
Watch now on WorldScreenings.com

Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts

***Video***(Animation/adventure, 30x30 min.)
After spending her entire life living in an underground burrow, Kipo is thrust into an adventure on the surface of a fantastical post-apocalyptic Earth.
Watch now on WorldScreenings.com

Spirit Riding Free

***Video***(Animation/adventure, 72x30 min. & 1x60 min.)
Lucky befriends a wild mustang she names Spirit. Along with her two best friends Abigail and Pru, they explore a world filled with endless adventure.
Watch now on WorldScreenings.com


***Video***(Animation/music/comedy, 52x30 min.)
The next chapter in the hair-raising adventures of the trolls. Poppy invites all the new troll tribes to live together in harmony in TrollsTopia!
Watch now on WorldScreenings.com

Where’s Waldo?

***Video***(Animation, 40x30 min.)
Join Waldo and Wenda on their international adventures as they travel the world to earn their stripes and become wizard-level Wanderers.
Watch now on WorldScreenings.com

Dragons Rescue Riders Heroes of the Sky

***Video***(Animation/adventure, 24x30 min.)
Viking twins Dak and Leyla work alongside their dragon friends to defend and protect other dragons in exciting adventures around their home of Huttsgalor.
Watch now on WorldScreenings.com

She-Ra and the Princesses of Power

***Video***(Animation/adventure, 52x30 min.)
An orphan named Adora leaves behind her former life when she discovers a magic sword that transforms her into the mythical warrior princess She-Ra.
Watch now on WorldScreenings.com

Mighty Mustangs

***Video***(Live-action/comedy/sport, 39x30 min.)
United by their friendships and mutual love of the game, a group of girls set out to form the first all-female soccer team at their local club.
Watch now on WorldScreenings.com

Visit NBCUniversal Global Distribution’s Screening Room

NBCUniversal Global Distribution Contacts: Belinda Menendez, President & Chief Revenue Officer, Global Distribution and International; Don McGregor, Executive VP, Head, Worldwide Distribution, NBCUniversal; Chloe Van den Berg, SVP, Head, Kids & Family Entertainment.


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