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'Morphle and the Magic Pets,' 'Om Nom Stories' 'Morphle and the Magic Pets,' 'Om Nom Stories'

Disney+ is getting more involved with internet-native animated IPs and will launch Moonbug Entertainment’s new series Morphle and the Magic Pets next month and has secured European streaming rights to Zeptolab’s Om Nom Stories.

It’s little wonder that a mostly kids and family-focused media company looking to bring profitability to its streaming platform would be interested in adding to its catalog animation made popular on free web-based platforms. A recent study showed that kids are spending more and more time on gaming platforms and free streaming apps like Youtube, so it makes sense that Disney would be keen to bring some of that platform’s popular content to Disney+.

There is also precedent for this kind of move paying off in a big way. Last year, Netflix shared viewership data from the first half of 2023, which showed that the platform’s most popular animated series was Cocomelon, another Moonbug property that started life as a web series.

Morphle and the Magic Pets

Morphle and the Magic Pets was co-developed by Mark Palmer and Jill Sanford and is being animated by Toronto’s Guru Studio. The show is based on the hit Youtube franchise created by Arthur van Merwijk in 2011. The Morphle TV Youtube channel, launched in December 2011, has 11.7 million subscribers, and its videos have been watched over 8 billion times.

Moonbug’s Morphle general manager Olivia Chausson said of the Disney deal:

We are very excited to expand Morphle’s fantastical world in close partnership with Disney. We have big aspirations for the franchise, fueled by Morphle’s transformational powers and the richness of the magic pet universe. This year, we are supercharging growth across new audience touchpoints and are delighted to share Morphle and the Magic Pets with families across the globe.

Disney Junior senior vp of development, series, and strategy Alyssa Sapire added:

At Disney Junior, we are always looking for new ways to connect with our young audience of preschoolers and their families. We knew Morphle was already a big hit on Youtube with our core audience of kids three to five and were thrilled to have the opportunity to work with the Moonbug team to build out the world and characters.

Morphle and the Magic Pets will debut on Disney Junior and Disney+ in the U.S. on Wednesday, March 20. International rollout will begin at a later date.

Om Nom Stories

Disney has picked up all 25 seasons of the Youtube hit series Om Nom Stories in Europe, produced by U.K. video game developer Zeptolab and animation studio Metaxilasis. The franchise’s main Youtube channel was launched in March 2011 and has 4.1 million subscribers. It hosts more than 2,000 videos which have been watched more than 3.5 billion times. The 250 episodes heading to Disney+ each run 3.5 minutes, and will be presented in a format that accommodates adaptation into 17 languages.

Previously, Netflix picked up three seasons of the series which also aired on China’s Tencent, Turner in Latin America, and Australia’s Nine Network.

Correction: An early version of this article said that Disney had acquired Morphle and The Magic Pets, but the series was commissioned by the company.