MCB signs Aardman deal for Netflix film Robin Robin

MCB signs Aardman deal for Netflix film Robin Robin

Macmillan Children's Books has scooped a range of children's books associated with new Aardman stop-motion film “Robin Robin”.

The 30-minute festive special, directed by Dan Ojari and Mikey Please, is currently in production at the Aardman studios in Bristol, and is due to launch on Netflix in November 2021 with the voices of Gillian Anderson, Richard E Grant, Adeel Akhtar and Bronte Carmichael.

Stephanie Barton, publisher at Macmillan Children’s Books, bought world rights in all languages for a range of titles from Rob Goodchild, commercial director at Aardman. The range, which will launch in autumn 2021, will include a picture book, film tie-in picture book and range of activity and novelty books.

Barton said: “To be working with Aardman on 'Robin Robin' is a dream come true; their unique voice, attention to detail and the exuberance and joy with which they approach storytelling is perfect for the printed page, and we are excited to be working in partnership to create what are sure to be classics of the future.”

The first title, a picture book, written by Ojari and Please with illustrations by Briony May Smith, will be published by the Two Hoots imprint in October 2021. A film tie-in picture book featuring stills and lyrics to the songs will be published in November 2021, alongside the Netflix premiere. An audiobook will be available for digital download.

Belinda Ioni Rasmussen, publisher at Macmillan Children’s Books, commented: “We fell in love with 'Robin Robin' at first sight and quickly discovered that the values of Macmillan Children's Books and those of Aardman were aligned. To have the opportunity to publish both a classic illustrated picture book on our Two Hoots list, as well as the animated tie-ins on our Brands and Media list, plays to our strengths across MCB. 'Robin Robin' will be a focus among the other successful high-end media brands on our list, and is a very exciting acquisition for us.”

The film is the story of a robin who is adopted by a family of burglar mice when her egg fortuitously rolls into a rubbish dump. As she grows up, her differences become more apparent. She sets off on the heist to end all heists to prove to her family that she can be a really good mouse, but ends up discovering who she really is.

Please said: “We are utterly delighted to be partnering with Macmillan to bring the 'Robin Robin' books to life, and thrilled that we get to actually write one with wondrous pencil-wizard Briony May Smith. Briony worked with us early on in the development of 'Robin Robin', so it feels perfect that we get to team up again in creating the classic picture book. And in the hands of the fantastic Macmillan team, we know this picture book and the entire series are going to be things of beauty.”

Ojari added: “Collaborating with Two Hoots has so far been a real joy and particularly fruitful. It’s not simply been a case of translating the film onto paper, but adapting and restructuring the story for a whole new medium.”

Alongside the publishing, Aardman has appointed Aurora World as master toy partner, who will be developing the plush version of “Robin Robin” to be launched alongside the publishing and film premiere in autumn 2021.