Planeta Junior’s Paula Taborda dos Guaranys

Paula Taborda dos Guaranys, Planeta Junior’s director of content, talks to TV Kids about what’s driving her current focus at the company.

After having spent many years as the creative and business mind behind the Globo Group children’s channels, Paula Taborda dos Guaranys joined Planeta Junior last year as director of content. She has been leading the creation of a strong content portfolio through co-productions, original series and acquisitions.

***Viacom***TV KIDS: What is guiding the current content strategy for Planeta Junior?
TABORDA DOS GUARANYS: At Planeta Junior, we are distributors, licensing agents, content producers and now we’re also running our own AVOD channels, so we’re really looking everywhere. With so much brilliant content being produced, we have the luxury of investing in our own and supporting projects from other producers.

With consumer habits changing from local to global media channels, we’re considering our portfolio through an international lens. Spain is our local territory, but what about the Spanish culture is true for kids worldwide? What are the subjects that engage children, independent of their background? We’re looking for those particular shows that are meaningful, entertaining and able to speak to a broad audience.

TV KIDS: How does being part of the wider Grupo Planeta/De Agostini umbrella support and enhance Planeta Junior as a whole?
TABORDA DOS GUARANYS: Being a part of this business umbrella can only strengthen us. Grupo Planeta and De Agostini have a long history in publishing, which allows us a first look into book titles and IP that we can spin into original series. It has also allowed us to strengthen ties with Atresmedia, with whom we’ve recently launched Kidz, an AVOD channel.

TV KIDS: Tell me about Planeta Junior’s approach to collaborations and co-productions.
TABORDA DOS GUARANYS: Planeta Junior has been in the market as a distributor and licensing agent for 20 years, so we’re used to working in partnerships. With content production, it is no different. We are firm believers that collaboration leads to better results, especially when it comes to audiovisual content. Planeta Junior has partnered with the U.K.’s Fourth Wall Animation on two animated series, Milo and Superpigs. They are incredibly talented content creators that complement our commercial expertise. Producing with people from Italy, Brazil or the U.K., we are in contact with those with different backgrounds and life experiences, which leads to distinct ideas. It only enriches the projects.

TV KIDS: What are some of the new projects being developed?
TABORDA DOS GUARANYS: We’re working on a broad slate, targeting audiences from 3 to 9. We have Milo (52×11 minutes), the cutest animation series produced with the U.K.’s Fourth Wall for preschoolers. The series follows a curious cat, Milo, and his friends, as they experiment with different outfits and experience different vocations for a day. The series gives children a glimpse into adults’ world and celebrates each and every career, from doctors to taxi drivers and astronauts.

Then we have Spectacular Bella (52×11 minutes), for a slightly upper-preschool audience. It’s an ode to the importance of role-playing in children’s understanding of the world. Our lead character Bella is a 5-year-old with a very active imagination. When she puts on her glasses, the world is suddenly magnified, and Bella and her friends get to explore Ancient Greece or meet Leonardo da Vinci, without ever leaving their daycare center.

For a bridge audience, we have our first original, Tilly, The Power Within(52×11 minutes), which provides children with the tools to explore the world and be confident in environments where they may feel foreign. The story follows stepsiblings Gem and Joe after Gem moves with her dad from rural Santavera to a big metropolis called Nova City. Joe is excited to show his city to Gem and learn from her. The show celebrates diversity through inclusive storytelling that embraces building new habits while celebrating customs and traditions. In the center of it all is Tilly, their plush toy that comes alive to help them find the inner confidence to achieve their goals. The story was developed in partnership with Lina Foti, who was involved in the Academy Award-winning animated short film Hair Love.

Last, but certainly not least, is Superpigs (26×22 minutes), a fast-paced and humorous series for 6- to 9-year-olds that is attractive for the whole family. It spins off the classic tales of Little Red Riding Hood and The Three Little Pigsas they battle to outwit the Big Bad Wolf and defend their city—a big metropolis with a diverse population of humans, animals and fairy-tale characters all living modern-day lives.

TV KIDS: What is the balance of originals and third-party titles in the company’s catalog?
TABORDA DOS GUARANYS: Since our business spans many facets of the industry, we want to keep a healthy balance between originals and third-party titles. While we love developing our own stories, it is undeniable that there are wonderful stories out there, and we want to be a part of those too. We’re always on the lookout for shows that speak to the essence of what it is like to be a kid, providing them with relief, entertainment and comfort. Since we premiered our AVOD channels in Spain, and soon to launch in France and Italy, we’re also looking for successful properties that perhaps haven’t found a way into these countries yet.

TV KIDS: What are the future plans for the content team you lead?
TABORDA DOS GUARANYS: Since I started at Planeta Junior, our content team has been growing—but it’s still small. In one way, I like it, because it’s very personal. We all read each script, evaluate each project. But as we expect to grow our number of productions, we hope to grow our team while maintaining this personalization and this mission to create stories that children want to hear.

TV KIDS: How has your experience at Globo helped prepare you for your role at Planeta Junior?
TABORDA DOS GUARANYS: Globo is the leading media group in Brazil. Working for them has put me in contact with markets, buyers and plenty of international co-productions creating content for our channels. With Globosat, I was also programming director and started several pay-TV channels, including the kids-centric Gloob. At Planeta Junior, I get to use that expertise to produce at a global level.