RAINBOW BUTTERFLY UNICORN KITTY
(Nickelodeon, Nicktoons, January 28-December 1, 2019)
Rainbow Butterfly Unicorn Kitty (not to be confused with Unikity from The LEGO Movie franchise, although you’d be forgiven for doing so) is a product and media line from Funrise Toys. The animated show followed the adventures of Felicity (Allegra Clark), a sassy and fearless magical cat who was part rainbow, part butterfly and part unicorn (possessing rainbow coloring, butterfly wings and a horn as a result). She was able to tap into each aspect of herself by summoning three magical medallions by chanting her name and hitting one of them, transformer her fully into that aspect and enhancing those related abilities. For instance, hitting the butterfly one would elongate her body and grow her wings, giving her quick air speed.
Felicity lived in the city of Mythlandia which was, as the name implied, populated by mythological and fairytale creatures such as wizards, giants, dragons, and more. Her best friends included Miguel (Arturo Sandoval), a blue Anubis chihuahua who was down to earth and energetic; Athena (Katie Leigh), a book-smart owl who spoke in monotone; and Yana (originally Betti, voiced by Laila Berzins), a ditzy Yeti that lived in a giant snowglobe. Other characters included the Sun (Michael Sorich), who liked to comment on the goings on below him and could turn into the moon at night; Rudy (Chase Mitchell), a rat who pretended to be a rabbit and often caused trouble for Felicity and her friends; Timmy (Rich Magallanes), a Kraken who also liked to cause trouble; the Sand Crab Man (Doug Stone), a nightgown-wearing sand crab who put the citizens of Mythlandia to sleep every night; Moona (Sara Cravens), a cow who ran the Mythic Malts malt shop where Felicity and her friends liked to hang out; Chippy (Cristina Vee), a chipmunk-like creature; Andy (Kyle Hebert), a dragon; and more.
|Group hug! Yana squeezing Miguel, Felicity and Athena.|
Originally, Saban Brands was set to produce the animated series but those plans were abandoned when Saban sold off most of its properties to Hasbro in 2018. Funrise, who was tapped by Saban to handle the show’s merchandising, acquired the full rights through their newly-formed entertainment division. After being postponed from fall 2018, Rainbow Butterfly Unicorn Kitty aired a sneak peek January 27, 2019 on Nickelodeon before beginning its official run the next day on Nicktoons. It returned to Nickelodeon on February 10th where its title was shortened to RBUK and the intro cut until going back to Nicktoons on June 21st where it finished out its run with the original intro restored. Each episode was 11-minutes in length, with two combined to form a single half hour until the second Nicktoons run where each one aired individually. “Merry Mythmas” was the only full 22-minute episode of the series. Jetpack Animation acquired the international distribution rights and the show began appearing on Nickelodeon’s international channels and branded programming blocks later in 2019.
|Felicity summoning her transformative medallions.|
Rainbow Butterfly Unicorn Kitty was developed by Magallanes (who also heads Funrise’s entertainment division) with Mark Palmer. The series was primarily 2D animation with photorealistic elements and other mixed media thrown in; such as a picture of a real kitten hanging in Felicity’s house (which also represented her kitty powers at one point) and a live-action human face being used on The Sun. Bardel Entertainment handled the primary animation duties while additional animation was supplied by Inspidea. Ray DeLaurentis and Will Shifrin served as the story editors and primary writers, along with Magallanes, Palmer, Andrew Zuber, Gene Grillo, Lissa Kapstrom, David Grubstick, Greg Grabianski, Dani Michaeli, Jordan Gershowitz, Kris Marvin Hughes, Grant Levy and Dominik Rothbard. Nicolette Davenport and Daniella Selmi handled character designs. The show’s them was written, composed and performed by Naom Kaniel, with Magallanes contributing to the lyrics. The rest of the music was composed by Matt McGuire and Kaniel.
|Merchandising! Merchandising! Where the real money from the show is made!|
In February of 2019, Funrise announced their product line tying into the cartoon. Funrise debuted their line at that year’s New York Toy Fair, which included action figures, playsets, roleplay gear, plush toys and bobbleheads. In addition, they partnered with Freeze and Mad Engine for apparel; Berkshire Fashions for headwear, cold weather and hosier; HER Accessories for accessories; American Marketing Enterprises, Inc. and Briefly Stated, Inc. for sleepwear; Handcraft for underwear; Dreamwave for swimwear; Fast Forward for backpacks; Franco for bedding; Kittrich for stationary; Taste Beauty for cosmetics; Amscan for party supplies and costumes; Zak! Designs for plates and water bottles; and CSS Industries for seasonal items.
A second season for Rainbow Butterfly Unicorn Kitty had not been ordered despite the show doing well for Nickelodeon and Funrise, nor had it been officially cancelled. Funrise continues to oversee the production of new merchandise related to the character. While no home media has been released as yet, episodes were made available to view on the Nickelodeon app.