BURBANK, Calif. -- July 14, 2003 -- The hugely popular and highly successful Warner Bros. Animation series "¡Mucha Lucha!" on Kids' WB! will expand its horizons to a multitude of platforms, including a feature film, made-for-video releases, comic books, console games, consumer products and online and interactive experiences. Utilizing the resources and expertise of Warner Bros. Animation, Kids' WB!, Warner Bros. Pictures, Warner Home Video, DC Comics, Warner Bros. Consumer Products and Warner Bros. Online, the initiative also will tap key AOL Time Warner sister companies, including AOL, Warner Music Group and Cartoon Network.
"¡Mucha Lucha!," the first-ever, all-Flash-animated television series, is a wildly inventive comedy-adventure about honor, family, tradition and...donuts, drawing its inspiration from Latin culture and exploring the Mexican phenomenon known as "Lucha Libre." The half-hour series, which is produced by Warner Bros. Animation and returns to Kids' WB! in the fall, has received a second-season, 26-episode pick-up from the number one broadcast network for kids, bringing the total commitment to 39 episodes. Simulcast in Spanish via Second Audio Programming (SAP), "¡Mucha Lucha!" debuted in the 2002-2003 television season and finished the season among the top 10 broadcast and cable programs for Saturday mornings among Kids 6-11, Boys 6-11, Tweens 9-14 and Male Tweens 9-14, as well as among the top seven broadcast programs in Kids 2-11.
"We've loved '¡Mucha Lucha!' since we first presented it to Kids' WB!, and always believed that it had the potential to grow into a valuable property," said Sander Schwartz, President, Warner Bros. Animation. "We're excited and honored that the Studio has agreed to commit all of its resources and select sister companies across our organization to give '¡Mucha Lucha!' the 'brand treatment' to create an all-new, long-term franchise for Warner Bros. Entertainment."
"We are thrilled the entire company has identified '¡Mucha Lucha!' as a potential hit franchise. This unprecedented support led to our commitment for additional episodes to ensure that this property was poised to become our next breakout hit," said John Hardman, Senior Vice President, Kids' WB! Programming. "This over-the-top comedy has enough hysterical characters and outrageous situations to fill an entire lucha stadium. We are delighted with the additional support of our sister divisions at the Studio, which will extend the brand beyond the television series and turn '¡Mucha Lucha!' into a true 'way of life.'"
In addition to their current television series, the stars of "¡Mucha Lucha!," three mascaritas -- Rikochet, Buena Girl and The Flea -- who study and live the "Code of Masked Wrestling," will appear in a mini-DVD this fall in a consumer/retail promotion from Warner Bros. Consumer Products and Warner Home Video, as well as "Heart of Lucha," a special episodic-compilation video release. The mascaritas also will headline an original feature-length, made-for-video adventure from Warner Home Video and then catapult onto the big screen with their own feature film from Warner Bros. Pictures.
To extend the entertainment experience, Warner Bros. Consumer Products will roll out a wide-ranging array of licensed creative products and national brand promotions from across the entire spectrum, including key product categories such as apparel, toys, publishing, party goods, stationery, accessories and interactive games, all set to reach retail shelves beginning spring 2004.
Already a hotly anticipated property by gamers, Warner Bros. Consumer Products Interactive Entertainment will offer ¡Mucha Lucha! aficionados the opportunity to wrestle their way through wacky adventures in a quest to recover the all-important "Code of Masked Wrestling," on GameBoy Advance this winter and PlayStation 2 in 2004.
As part of the comprehensive licensing program supporting this property, DC Comics has entered the arena with a line of limited series of "¡Mucha Lucha!" comic books following the exploits of the pint-sized wrestlers. In July Harper Collins Publishing will release the first in a series of "chapter books," chronicling the over-the-top comedy and bringing to life the world of colorful masks and costumes in every story.
Fans can enter the ring by logging onto the popular interactive website for the series, accessible at www.muchalucha.com or www.kidswb.com. The immersive entertainment destination, designed and powered by Warner Bros. Online, will include "Lucha Mania," an upcoming multiple-player wrestling game that will allow fans to enter an online arena and pit their wrestlers against each other to compete for bragging rights as the number one mascarita. The highly popular website continues to click with fans, with traffic surging to more than 30 million pageviews since its launch last year.
Warner Bros. Studios' "¡Mucha Lucha!" initiative also extends to a number of AOL Time Warner sister companies, including AOL and Warner Music Latina, which released a first-season soundtrack CD featuring songs from a number of today's hottest Latino artists, as well as Cartoon Network, where the series' first-season episodes will air next year.