Nelvana, Sumitomo announce Geki Drive

Corus Entertainment’s Toronto-based Nelvana animation studio has announced the first tile from its collaboration with Sumitomo Corporation: Geki Drive. Inspired by a line of customizable racing car building kits from Bandai Spirits, a 52×11-minute 2D/3D hybrid animated series is now in development. The toys, which launched in Japan in January 2016, target boys six to eight, bringing them into a “world where drivers build, customize and compete in epic races to become the ultimate Geki racing team.”

Nelvana describes the plot to the series as:

Geki Drive is the story of the Pod Squad — a team of young racers that bursts onto the scene to take the Geki Circuit by storm. But the higher the Squad climbs, the more daunting challenges they face. If they hope to reach the top of the Geki leader board, the Squad must rely on their instincts, their unique skills and, most of all, each other. Geki Drive combines high tech racing, teamwork, and out-of-the-box thinking to create an action-packed thrill ride of a lifetime!

The show’s production staff includes Shigeki Fujiwara (Beyblade, B-Daman, Aikatsu), Al Schwartz (The Hollow, PAW Patrol, Hot Wheels Battle Force 5, Max Steel) as head writer, and Mike McDougal (Mysticons, D.N. Ace) as director. Former Cartoon Network president and chief operating officer, Stuart Snyder, serves as an advisor on the project.

“There is significant opportunity in the market for a fast-paced, vehicle-driven series and brand like Geki Drive,” says Nelvana President, Scott Dyer. “With this new series and partnership with Sumitomo, we’re off to the races on delivering a truly unique property.”

“We are excited to co-develop world-class anime and exceptional children’s content together with Nelvana,” says Mr. Iehisa “IKE” Nakamura, Executive Officer, General Manager of Media Division in Sumitomo Corporation. “Our aim is to provide a new, unique, exciting and entertaining experience to children across the globe.”

Prior to the brand’s debut, Bandai produced an animated promotional video for Geki Drive in 2015:

In addition to its multi-year partnership with Sumitomo to create anime series aimed at children, Nelvana recently launched Bakugan Battle Planet in conjunction with Spin Master Entertainment and Japan’s TMS Entertainment. The company is also producing D.N. Ace, a domestically animated series made with assistance from Japanese ad agency Dentsu and animation studio OLM.

Back in 2013, Nelvana partnered up with Dentsu Entertainment USA and Fuel Entertainment to create an animated series based on the diecast vehicle brand Chub City. That series looks to have ultimately been shelved.

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