ViacomCBS Intl. Studios (VIS), the fast expanding international content production arm of ViacomCBS, is driving for the first time into animation, partnering with Marc Anthony and Argentina’s Juan José Campanella, writer-director of the Academy Award winning “The Secret in Their Eyes.”
First up is a development deal on animated series “Gloria Wants to Know It All,” alongside Anthony’s Mangnus Studios, Campanella’s Mundoloco Animation Studios in Buenos Aires and Miami-based Laguna Media, co-founded by Carla Curiel and a family entertainment company committed to creating culturally relevant content promoting diversity.
Targeting pre-school children, “Gloria Wants to Know It All” turns on Gloria, an eight-year-old alpaca from the big city. Vacationing at her grandfather’s house in Pueblo Lanugo, described by VIS in a statement as “an incredible small town that is a vibrant example of the richness of Latin American culture,” Gloria discovers that there’s a huge amount to learn and, as the series title suggests, wants to know it all.
The series will feature the music of the U.S. singer, songwriter and actor Marc Anthony, a six-time Latin Grammy winner, who will executive produce the project as well as serve as the show’s executive musical producer. Campanella is also executive producing.
“Gloria Wants to Know It All” has been created by Curiel, Roberto Castro, producer-actor Felipe Pimiento (“Britney Spears Live: the Femme Fatale Tour”), who acts as an executive producer for Magnus Studios, and Mundoloco’s Gaston Gorali, the producer-co-writer of the Campanella-directed “Futbolín (“Underdogs”), the biggest animated feature to come out of Latin America.
Doreen Spicer (“Motown Magic”), María Escobedo (“Elena de Ávalor”) and Diego Labat, a writer on Mundoloco’s Discovery Kids TV series “Mini Beat Power Rockers,” are writing the series.
Animation will be produced by Mundoloco Animation Studios. The style of animation is being discussed as part of the development process, said Federico Cuervo, senior VP and head of ViacomCBS Intl. Studios.
“A new challenge for our studio, to produce an animated series, a new genre for us to explore,” Cuervo told Variety on Monday, “animation travels very well worldwide, because of its universal appeal to all kind of audiences.”
Beyond that, “In these uncertain times, it can be produced remotely, without any major concerns,” he added.
Catching the curve of a foreseeable build in animation projects – though Cuervo warns that it takes a longer time than live-action to move from concept to market – VIS’ involvement in “Gloria Wants to Know In All” comes just days after it announced a live-action series based on the life of Italian artist Artemisia Gentileschi, with “Pan’s Labyrinth” producer Frida Torresblanco and 66 Media’s Jill Offman on board to develop the project. Gentileschi was an admired but rare example of a female painter in the Italian Baroque period.
Highlighting the “splendor and diversity of our Latino culture for children everywhere,” as Anthony commented when “Gloria” was first announced in February, “Gloria” aims “to bring pride to all those who feel different, no matter where they come from,” Campanella added.
“Know your roots to understand your destiny,” VIS said, announcing it had boarded “Gloria Wants to Know In All.”
“Diversity and inclusion is an essential part of everything we do around all our contents, not just this project,” Cuervo said Monday.
He went on: “ViacomCBS as a whole is committed to D&I with different initiatives already announced and in VIS we are taking strong steps to fulfil that commitment in front and behind the camera.”