‘Beano Studios is based on the U.K.’s longest surviving comic, “The Beano,” which in its 1950s heyday sold 2 million copies. The studio was launch in 2016 — but the inspiration behind the venture is venerable.
A 52-part animated series, “Dennis and Gnasher Unleashed,” is a hit for U.K. kids’ channel CBBC. The show has been sold across Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Australasia and a sale in the U.S. is being targeted.
Owned and published by the same Scottish family, D.C. Thomson, since launching in 1938.“The Beano” has undergone a digital makeover. Some veteran characters have been tweaked to make them more inclusive. Dennis the Menace still exists, but in his 21st-century digital reboot he is a bit of a rascal but not as naughty as he once was. In his American incarnation, to be unveiled later this year, he will even have an American accent.
They’ve stressed that the revamped Beano is a broad digital entertainment platform and has hired digital specialists from a range of backgrounds. They include British pubcasters Channel 4 and BBC News as well as YouTube and Twitter.
Beano.com bowed in fall 2016 and will be given a U.S. launch in the next few months. The site features online games (“Spot ‘The Beano’ characters from their jumpers,” Scott says), videos (“How to draw a pug in 20 seconds”) and listicles (“Explanations for the Bermuda Triangle”) — all fashioned to tempt today’s choice-saturated 6- to 12-year-olds.
Driven by Beano.com, remarkably, the comic’s print sales (around 35,000 a week) have recently grown by 10% in the U.K.’