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Top News for July 20: All the World’s a Stage

Today we’re bursting with news about new feature films, television series, and stage shows—entertainment as you like it.

FremantleMedia Enterprises will launch the animated franchise Monsuno, targeting boys ages 6-11, on Nicktoons in the U.S. in Spring 2012. The show will be supported with a toy line from Jakks Pacific. Nickelodeon will launch the series on its channels in Latin America, the U.K., “key” European and Eastern European territories, Australia and New Zealand, India, Southeast Asia, Russia, and Africa. Darn near everywhere, basically.

This is just another salvo in the battle for boys ages 6-11 using animated programs, a battle the Wall Street Journal’s Amy Chozick covered quite well last week.

On the actual stage, Warner Bros. kicked off a four-year Batman Live! world tour in the UK with a performance in the Manchester Evening News Arena. Two and a half years in the making, and without the overblown drama of the Spider-Man musical, the show (which is not a musical) kicked off without a hitch. Batman Live! is the origin story of Robin, and how he becomes Batman’s crime-fighting partner.

The show will cross the UK and Ireland and then mainland Europe before landing in North America in 2012.

Anthony Van Laast, the show’s creative director, was happy the show went off without a hitch after its long journey from concept to reality. “I think the best moment was one child came up to me and said it was like watching a movie live in 3-D,” he told Sky News’s Jane Witherspoon.

In other stage show news, M!ke Licensing has been appointed as the exclusive licensee for StinkyKids to create StinkyKids The Musical.

The musical (which will not stink) is slated to launch in early 2012, and will be geared toward boys, girls, and families. M!KE Licensing is currently seeking licensees in categories including toys/games, coloring books, jewelry, stickers, keychains, puzzles, gift and novelty, party paper products, apparel and accessories.

Finally, there’s big screen news from Cartoon Network, which announced that it has hired Transformers producer Don Murphy to develop a live-action movie based on Captain Planet, the 1990s animated superhero/environmentalist.

—Bryan Joiner

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