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Atomic’s New Book-Based Series to Empower Girls


Thunderbird’s Atomic Cartoons has optioned the rights to adapt the book series Princesses Wear Pants as an animated TV show, with Drew Barrymore and Flower Films executive producing.

Princesses Wear Pants aims to empower young females by encouraging them to be brave, strong and ambitious. The best-selling book series is penned by Savannah Guthrie and Allison Oppenheim, who will serve as creators as well as executive producers alongside Thunderbird’s Jennifer McCarron and Matthew Berkowitz.

In announcing the news this week on NBC’s Today Show, Guthrie said: “One of the things that I’m hoping we can exemplify is that women working together can accomplish great things. I love the idea of girls helping girls, girls cooperating [and] not competing. Nothing is just a little kid book anymore…these are important conversations about ‘What is womanhood?’ and ‘What does it mean to be a strong young woman?’”

She continued: “It’s really fun to try to develop [this] young lady. In some ways it’s like the girl I’m trying to raise is the girl I’m trying to portray with Penelope, [who] is good-hearted, kind, moral, wholesome [and] strong.”

“We fell in love with the books, especially the inspirational character of Princess Penelope, and then we fell even deeper in love with the idea of working with Savannah, Allison and Drew—it’s a dream project,” added McCarron, the CEO of Atomic Cartoons and Thunderbird. “Personally, as a mother, I am proud that Atomic has the opportunity to produce this series to further share Penelope’s empowering message—that you can be pink and sparkly, but also a strong leader who gets things done.”

About Joanna Padovano Tong

Joanna Padovano Tong is the managing editor of World Screen. She can be reached at


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