The first joint project centers on an original production of “Arpo Robot Babysitter,” based on Moonbug’s YouTube show Arpo, and encompasses long-form specials. The Arpo original content is slated to premiere exclusively on Amazon Kids Plus in the fall of 2021. The companies are also developing a new Arpo mobile game.
Arpo — which stands for “Army Robot Prototype Omega” — is an animated, non-dialogue show based on slapstick humor for children 3-7 years old. Moonbug acquired the rights to Arpo, which originated in Korea, last year. Also last year, the company bought YouTube kid-content powerhouse Cocomelon and raised $120 million in funding.
“Our partnership with Amazon Kids Plus expands Arpo’s world and takes children on new adventures,” said Andy Yeatman, managing director of the Americas at Moonbug. Yeatman, who joined Moonbug two years ago from Netflix, described the Arpo character as “”Big Hero 6′ meets ‘Mrs. Doubtfire.’”
With no dialogue, Yeatman added, “this show appeals to kids all over the world without a language barrier. It’s funny and has heart.”
In the original production coming to Amazon Kids Plus, Arpo faces new challenges as the robot cares for his charge, Danny, as well as Danny’s adopted Korean baby sister Cookie — and has to adjust to a team of new robots built by Mom. On YouTube, Arpo the Robot has nearly 5 million subscribers and more than 1.7 billion lifetime views.
“The arrival of Arpo into the Amazon Kids Plus offering is a joyful example of our commitment to deliver content that kids and families will love,” said Veronica Pickett, head of Amazon Kids Plus original series. “The heart and humor at the core of Arpo creates so many LOL moments that are inspiring the world of entertainment we’re building with the new original series and game.”
Amazon Kids Plus, the ecommerce giant’s subscription service for parents and children (formerly called FreeTime Unlimited), costs $2.99/month for Prime members and $4.99/month for non-Prime customers.
Moonbug’s programming franchises include Cocomelon, Blippi, Little Baby Bum, My Magic Pet Morphle, Supa Strikas, Go Buster, Playtime With Twinkle, Gecko’s Garage and Arpo.
The company’s programming library comprises more than 550 hours of content, which is distributed across more than 100 platforms globally including YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV, NBCUniveral’s Peacock, Sky, Tencent and Roku.
Moonbug also has inked a deal with YouTube for “Supa Strikas: Rookie Season,” an original show about a pan-African soccer team. Last year it licensed “Mia’s Magic Playground,” aimed at kids 4-6, to HBO Max for the U.S. market.