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POW Children's TV show 'Nori: Roller Coaster Boy' set for Lightbox 2018

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Kiwi kids will soon soon be able to watch Wellington-made animation series Nori: Roller Coaster Boy when it airs on Lightbox next year. POW Studios in Miramar produces the audio and post-production for the preschool adventure show, which already airs on Amazon in the United States and on KBS2 in South Korea.

The story follows Nori, a young rollercoaster, as he learns the value of friendship through his wild adventures along the rails. Korean animation series Nori: Roller Coaster Boy, which was mixed in Wellington at POW Studios, will be aired in New Zealand on Lightbox from March. At a Wellington showcase event in Seoul on Wednesday, POW founder and chief executive John McKay announced he had signed a deal for the 52-episode programme to become a Lightbox New Zealand original show in March 2018.

 Thomasin McKenzie as Nori

Thomasin McKenzie as Nori

The show, which was created by South Korean producer Xris Sohn, is a collaboration between POW, Sohn and Chinese animation studio Henan York. Peter Hambleton, who played Gloin in The Hobbit films, is one of the voices behind the animations. It also stars Erin Banks (Two Little Boys), Abby Damen (Chronesthesia) and Thomasin McKenzie (daughter of actress Miranda Harcourt) as the little hero rollercoaster Nori.

POW has a share of the non-toy licensing and as soon as the first episode airs on Lightbox, the company plans to sell items, such as clothing and stationery, in New Zealand stores. "The licensing part is where we will actually make some return. The key is not to be just a service provider – you have to get a slice of the IP and long-term revenue streams that come back into the country."

A second series of Nori is being made, along with a new show called Silvers, which will be aimed at 8 to 12-year-olds. POW will do all the animation and audio for Silvers, which has US backing. John McKay, a leading sound editor, founded POW to work between big film projects in Wellington.

The company is made up of sound experts who have worked on a series of international films, but who typically faced long periods of downtime when there were no major productions were in town. "The biggest problem in Wellington is boom or bust. If Peter [Jackson] is not doing anything, you go bust."

Collette Devlin travelled to South Korea with assistance from the Asia New Zealand Foundation.

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