Corus Entertainment’s Nelvana Re-Launches Popular Brand With New Infant Licensing Program

  • New Infant Line
  • Three New Books by Abrams Publishing
  • Traveling Art Show

Embraced by fans for over 70 years, Nelvana Limited today announced plans to return the king of the elephants, Babar, to his throne with a new licensing program. This “heritage” brand is being re-launched with an infant layette program from Children’s Apparel Network and will develop into a full compliment of products including home décor and toys, insuring Babar’s kingdom will continue to reign for the next generation of children to enjoy.

“The licensing of Babar’s infant program is consistent with Nelvana’s business strategy and is the first step in a multi-year brand plan,” said Doug Murphy, Executive Vice President, Business Development for Nelvana. “For licensees, Babar is a true classic that appeals to grandparents, parents and children. With our continued commitment to our new productions, consumer products and promotions, the opportunities are limitless for this beloved brand.”

A long-standing literary classic, the popular elephant was created in 1931 by renowned author and illustrator Jean de Brunhoff. Today, de Brunhoff’s son, Laurent, maintains and continues the tradition with the introduction of many more popular books. In support of the new licensing program, Laurent de Brunhoff will be making a special appearance at the 2003 Licensing Show. Millions of copies of Babar books have sold worldwide with over 30,000 different publications, including the recent New York Times bestseller Babar’s Yoga for Elephants. Hachette Jeunesse in France has published over 1,000 books based on Babar.

In the United States, Harry Abrams will publish three new titles in the fall of 2003, including Babar’s Museum of Art, which has inspired a traveling art show that will tour at the prestigious New York Public Library and the renowned Art Institute of Chicago in fall 2003/winter 2004. A new infant line that was specifically designed to enable parents and grandparents to pass on their love of Babar to the next generation is set to launch in fall 2004.

Featuring an all-new style guide, the line will be anchored by an infant layette program created by Children’s Apparel Network. Other categories include a complete nursery décor program with bedding, mobiles, lamps, picture frames, paint, wallpaper and borders as well as a line of infant plush, rattles, bibs and infant feeding and care items. The infant program launches the multi-tiered brand strategy, which reinforces Babar as an aspirational brand with both style and nostalgic appeal.

With over 100 licensees worldwide, Babar continues to charm legions of international fans – particularly in Japan and France. The character is a major sensation in Japan with 12 dedicated Babar stores, a full line of licensed products and the Summer 2003 Okinawa Travel Program featuring a full complement of Babar designed rooms, promotions and events. In addition, a new infant line called Babar Mon Trésor will launch in Japan in 2004. In France, the heritage of the Babar portfolio has been proven by the brand’s longevity in the market.

Babar has seen unparalleled success as one of the top two most-recognized brands among children under age three. An unprecedented education program from Hachette, which currently reaches more than 75,000 classrooms, continues to expand, along with the growth of a fully developed licensing program. In addition, the Babar TV series is currently distributed internationally in 150 countries, creating a solid foundation for the brand’s global growth. Some of the company’s major licensees in other product categories include HBO and Alliance Atlantis (video and DVD), Kodansha (master toy licensee in Japan), Mattel (school bags), Crocodile Creek (plush toys), Peaceable Kingdom Press (greeting cards), Les Chocolates Vadeboncoeur (confectionary), and Ralph Chapek (cookies), among many others. The Babar merchandising program is jointly licensed by Nelvana Limited and The Clifford Ross Company, Ltd. Nelvana Limited is one of the world’s leading international producers and distributors of children’s programming and products.

Nelvana is owned by Corus Entertainment, a Canadian-based media and entertainment company. Corus is a market leader in both specialty TV and Radio. The company’s other interests include music, television broadcasting and advertising services. A publicly traded company, Corus is listed on the Toronto (CJR.B) and New York (CJR) Exchanges. Corus’ Web site can be found at www.corusentertainment.com.

The Clifford Ross Company was formed in 1985 by New York artist Clifford Ross to enable him to explore entertainment and media projects separate from his own artistic endeavors. In the late 1980’s, he optioned the worldwide rights to a number of properties besides Babar, including Tom Swift and Edward Gorey. His own work is represented in numerous public and private collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Guggenheim Museum, and the Whitney Museum of American Art. He is the co-author of “The World of Edward Gorey” (Abrams).

Note to Editors: Color art available upon request or at www.nelvana.com/publicity

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CONTACT:
Corus Entertainment/Nelvana
Sally Tindal
(416) 530-5121

Bender/Helper Impact
Brenda Ciccone
(310) 473-4147


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