“Girl Power” are major buzz words at present. The media is increasingly aiming to empower young girls to become strong women and so there has been an increase in female-driven movies and shows from “Frozen” to “Finding Dory.” Recently, YouTube launched an animated series titled “SpacePOP.” Aimed at tweens, the show heavily focuses on fashion and music. Established approximately four months ago, the “SpacePOP” channel currently boasts over eight million viewers and property licensing is currently in the works. The toys inspired by the line will include dolls from Madame Alexander, albums from SONY, a line of electronics from Kid Designs and much more. Yet the merchandising is secondary to the show which is fun, creative and amusing.
The series focuses on the adventures of five teenage princesses who disguise themselves as musicians in order to secretly form a band and plot to rebel against the evil Empress Geela. Each episode is approximately three minutes long and features a 90-second music video. Every week, two new installations are released. “SpacePOP” was developed by Emmy award winning CEO Andy Heyward who has produced over 4,000 half-hours animations over the course of his career—more than Walt Disney. The science fiction theme was selected to give the show a unique location but all the topics and themes are very relevant tween audiences. By empowering audiences through music, the show hopes to send the message that people can remain individuals even whilst working on a team. “We are also very focused on ensuring that there is a ‘no mean girls’ mentality and anti-bullying undertones,” said Stone Newman, the President of Global Consumer Products, Worldwide Content Sales & Marketing at Genius Brands International. “Being different is something that is great and you should be proud. The music and pop-culture elements make this a very cutting edge and contemporary show.”
Currently, 108 episodes are slated for production and the entire season was laid out from the onset once the show was green-lit. A team of ten writers worked hard to ensure that the project would remain interesting and fresh. “Every episode is a cliff hanger which we anticipated would keep coming girls back for more in season one,” Stone Newman explained. “Our goal in introducing in this ‘snack size’ length was to bring girls a content format that could be easily discoverable and ‘bingable.’ The story arch continues across the season, but within there are mini-story arcs across every six episodes. We have some of the biggest names in the industry, including Steve Banks an Emmy award winning former head writer of ‘SpongeBob Squarepants,’ working on this. The lyric writing was led by Ron Fair who is known for discovering, signing, producing, and launching the careers of Christina Aguilerra, Lady Gaga, Fergie, Mary J. Blige and countless others.”
The cast of characters featured in ‘SpacePOP’ are diverse and appeal to a broad scope of viewers. Each character has unique strengths and vulnerabilities; exactly like real people. “My favorite is probably Hera,” Stone Newman confessed. “I love her free spirit and her ‘spaciness’ and how she is also so sweet, kind and inclusive it is hard not to just love her. My favorite episode has to be the reveal of the real Captain Handsome in episode firty-two which is called ‘The Big Reveal’ fittingly enough!” Newman readily admits that collaborating with YouTube has proven to be rewarding especially since it gives them direct access to fans in a way that traditional television cannot. As long as the content remains strong with lots of humor, drama and all around engrossing stories, Newman hopes that the show will blossom into a classic that keeps kids singing along far into the future.