BEVERLY HILLS, Calif., Jan. 25, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Genius Brands International, Inc. “Genius Brands” (NASDAQ:GNUS) expands the North American consumer products’ program with new partners for its preschool brand, Llama Llama, for 2018, which follows the January 26 world premiere on Netflix of the animated series, featuring the voice talent of award-winning actress Jennifer Garner.

Genius Brands has finalized new licensing partner deals for Llama Llama, including Franco MFG, (bedding), Cuddle Barn (animatronic plush toys), Intimo (sleepwear), Prime Party (online party supplies) and Myself Designs/Myself Belts (belts). The company is also collaborating with Kids Preferred on the development of a line of Llama Llama plush. New product for the brand is anticipated to begin rolling out at retail later this year.

Llama Llama is an indelible property that has already demonstrated unprecedented appeal among consumers throughout the world and deserves only best-in-class partners to drive the global growth of this phenomenal property,” explained Lloyd Mintz, SVP, Global Consumer Products. “The massive fan base for Llama Llama demands an organic, authentic strategy that both protects and expands the consumer’s experience and engagement with the brand, and that’s exactly how we have devised this remarkable opportunity for licensees.”  

Based on the award-winning and New York Times bestselling book series by celebrated author and illustrator Anna Dewdney, Llama Llama debuts on Netflix worldwide with 15 x 30-minute episodes and produced in 20 different languages. The heart-warming series depicts first childhood experiences and adventures as well as the special connections between the lead character, Llama, his Mama and his grandparents.

Llama Llama tells uplifting tales of life in a safe, friendly town seen through the eyes of Llama as he interacts with the amazing world around him. The series was developed and produced by an all-star team of creators, including director Saul Blinkoff (Doc McStuffins, Barbie’s Dreamtopia, Winnie the Pooh), Emmy Award-winning writer Joe Purdy (Arthur, Hey Arnold!), legendary Disney art director Ruben Aquino (Frozen, The Lion King, Aladdin, Mulan) and Emmy® Award-winning producers Jane Startz (Ella Enchanted, Tuck Everlasting, The Indian In The Cupboard, The Magic School Bus series) and Andy Heyward (Inspector Gadget, The Real Ghostbusters, Strawberry Shortcake). Dewdney’s longtime partner, Reed Duncan, also serves as producer.  

With more than 20 million units in print worldwide, Dewdney’s Llama Llama books from Penguin Young Readers have all been New York Times bestsellers with several titles claiming the #1 spot, and her work has been translated into eight languages. Dewdney’s soothing tales are synonymous with calming early-childhood anxiety and she was praised by the Chicago Tribune as a “geographer extraordinaire of the emotional terrain of preschoolers and their mothers.” Books in her Llama Llama series include Llama Llama Red Pajama, Llama Llama Holiday Drama, Llama Llama Misses Mama, and Llama Llama Time to Share.

About Genius Brands International
Headquartered in Beverly Hills, California, Genius Brands International, Inc. (NASDAQ:GNUS) is a leading global media company developing, producing, marketing and licensing branded children’s entertainment properties and consumer products for media distribution and retail channels. Led by award-winning creators and producers, Genius Brands distributes its content worldwide in all formats, as well as a broad range of consumer products based on its characters. In the children's media sector, its portfolio of “content with a purpose” includes new preschool properties Rainbow Rangers for Nick Jr. and Llama Llama for Netflix; tween music-driven YouTube brand SpacePOP; award-winning toddler brand Baby Genius; adventure comedy series Thomas Edison's Secret Lab, and Warren Buffett's Secret Millionaires Club, created with and starring iconic investor Warren Buffett. The Company is also co-producing an all-new adult animated series, Stan Lee's Cosmic Crusaders, with Stan Lee's Pow! Entertainment and The Hollywood Reporter. Genius Brands’ Kid Genius Cartoon Channel is currently available in approximately 60 million households. For additional information please visit www.gnusbrands.com.

Forward Looking Statements:

Certain statements in this press release constitute "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the federal securities laws. Words such as "may," "might," "will," "should," "believe," "expect," "anticipate," "estimate," "continue," "predict," "forecast," "project," "plan," "intend" or similar expressions, or statements regarding intent, belief, or current expectations, are forward-looking statements. While the Company believes these forward-looking statements are reasonable, undue reliance should not be placed on any such forward-looking statements, which are based on information available to us on the date of this release. These forward looking statements are based upon current estimates and assumptions and are subject to various risks and uncertainties, including without limitation those set forth in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC"), not limited to Risk Factors relating to its patent business contained therein. Thus, actual results could be materially different. The Company expressly disclaims any obligation to update or alter statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law.

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/d45ac686-a6c4-4603-b5fa-ec79e5d23fd4

GENIUS BRANDS MEDIA CONTACT:
Michelle Orsi/Carol Holdsworth                                             
Three.Sixty Marketing & Communications
             
310-418-6430
michelle@360-comm.com    

FOR INVESTOR RELATIONS:
Michael Porter
PLR Investor Relations
212.564.4700
mike@plrinvest.com