Merchantwise Licensing has been named as the Australian and New Zealand licensing agent for preschool brand Kiri and Lou. 

The New Zealand-born preschool property invites children to learn about empathy and how to get along, through storylines which resonate with audiences of all ages.

The award-winning show is hand-crafted in paper and clay and created using traditional stop-motion animation from Antony El-worthy (Coraline, Corpse Bride, Isle of Dogs). 

Hitting the ground running with the brand, Merchantwise has already secured support from Scholastic Australia, with a selection of Kiri and Lou publishing titles scheduled for release mid this year in time for Australian Book Week.

"We are absolutely delighted to be representing Kiri and Lou across Australia and New Zealand," Merchantwise Licensing GM Kerryn McCormack said. 

"With an acclaimed creative team, truly creatively unique, Kiri and Lou has already seen great brand success internationally and we are certain it will perform equally as well in its hometown of New Zealand and across the Tasman in Australia.

"We can’t wait to roll-out publishing titles with Scholastic Australia and know both apparel and toy ranges will be popular with preschoolers," she said. 

Throughout the year, Kiri and Lou is set to extend its market presence in Australia with a further 26 episodes set to roll out on ABC Kids, adding to the catalogue of 52 episodes that are already available.

Kiri and Lou producer Fiona Copland welcomed the partnership with Merchantwise. 

"We are thrilled to embark on this next stage of the Kiri and Lou journey, and to work with Merchantwise Licensing to meet the needs of fans.

"It’s exciting to see it growing in a way that brings joy, which is what Kiri and Lou is all about," she said. 

Kiri and Lou is voiced by Jemaine Clement (Flight of the Conchords, Moana, Rio) and Olivia Tennet (Lord of the Rings) and is written and directed by feature film director Harry Sinclair.

It is produced by Copland for Stretchy and Heather Walker of Yowza Animation.

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