Report: Hollywood Aggressively Targeting Preschoolers, Aims to Hook Them for Life on Franchise Characters

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    by David Ng, Breitbart:

    Hollywood is coming for your preschoolers, with the aim to hook them for life on a never-ending stream of superhero franchise characters.

    Major studios are aggressively targeting kids ages two to five in unprecedented ways in the hopes of turning them into lifelong consumers of their content, according to a report in The Wrap. Studios engaged in the long game include The Walt Disney Co. and Warner Bros. Discovery, the latter of which recently launched  the preschool-focused Cartoonito block of programming on the Cartoon Network.

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    One of the studios’ main strategies is introducing toddler-friendly versions of adult superheros, like Batman.

    This year, Warner Bros. released The Batman, its three-hour installment in the caped crusader franchise that was aimed at teenagers and adults. Just a few months later, the studio launched Batwheels on Cartoonito — an animated show seemingly inspired by Pixar’s Cars that features anthropomorphized vehicles populating Gotham City.

    Meanwhile, Disney is hoping to get preschoolers hooked on Star Wars with a new animated series set during the High Republic era called Young Jedi Adventures. The show is set to debut on Disney+ and Disney Junior next year.

    As kids and teens gravitate increasingly toward smartphones, preschoolers are still TV-centric when it comes to media consumption.

    “Television still remains the media of choice among young children, with kids younger than 8-years-old spending 45 minutes watching TV each day,” a recent Statista report found.

    As a result, studios are investing big in series aimed at the youngest of kids. Other recently launched preschool-focused shows include the SpongeBob SquarePants spin-off Kamp Koral on Paramount+ and Bugs Bunny Builders on Cartoonito.

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