Melissa Napolitano October 9th 2012Com 410 Assignment 4&5 Willy’s Wild WorldCONCEPT Willy’s Wild World is a Travel Channel original series that allows children to follow thehost, Willy, as he embarks on worldwide adventures; teaching his viewers about an array ofcultures, customs and traditions through his journeys.GENRE & FORMAT Willy’s Wild World is a non-fiction series that tactfully combines animation and liveaction forms of portrayal. The form is split fairly evenly between live action and animation overthe course of each episode. Each show opens with Willy as a cartoon figure of himself in hisquiet hometown of Narragansett, Rhode Island. As he contemplates his next destination, Willysits on the docks by the pier and enjoys the beautiful view of the ocean near his waterfront home.Willy’s mind often escapes him as he brainstorms ideas of new places to travel. Animatedthought bubbles surround his head, depicting the adventures he could have in places such as NewYork City, Mexico, Italy or Japan. This entire scene is in live action, it is not until he embarks oneach journey that the format changes and Willy becomes the animation form of himself. Alongthe way, there are montages that depict his journeys in greater detail; these clips are in animationto maintain the audience’s attention due to the fact that they are on the younger side of thespectrum. The integration of animation and live action scenes will give the series a uniquefeature and offer a fun, light hearted nature to the experiences that go along with seeing theworld through the eyes of a free spirited, young soul. The atmosphere I hope to create willenhance the minds of young viewers and offer them the opportunity to live vicariously through
the main character as new people, events and culturally stimulating experiences change his viewon the world.CONTENT: The premise behind the series is that the host, Willy, was unable to attend traditionalsummer camp with his friends due to the fact that his family decided to travel around the worldfor the summer for his mother’s new job. Willy was disappointed with the fate of his summerand envied his friends for having the opportunity to play outdoors and participate in all of theother fun filled activities camp RI had to offer its attendees. In hopes to make it up to her son,Willy’s mother proposed a plan to enroll Willy in the camp her office organized prior to hertransfer. The camp allowed employees’ children to travel with their parents but offered daytimesupervision and group outings at each destination. The children enrolled were destined toexperience culture, tradition, cuisine, language and more in a fun filled environment during thehours their parents were at work. Much like his parents, Willy shared a love for adventure and new experiences. He wasalways open to learning and could adjust to any environment he was thrown into. Willyaccepted his mother’s scheme and began to get excited about the summer ahead. The openingepisode of the series depicts Willy, daydreaming about the experiences he is going to have oncecamp begins. The series is basically a collection of daydreams that Willy has about his summerand the friends he imagines meeting along the way. This progression will continue throughoutthe first season of the series, it is not until season two that Willy actually enters the camp andtravels the globe alongside his family and new friends. Willy is just your average ten year old Rhode Island boy. He has an average build, and islight skinned with dark hair and eyes. Willy’s style is that of a typical native Rhode Islander.
He wears khakis, boat shoes and a navy blue tucked in polo. Those closest to him know that henever leaves the house without his signature worn out Red Sox baseball cap and his backpackfull of tricks. Our main character has a love for sports, animals and getting into troublewhenever an opportunity presents itself. His charismatic attitude towards life makes eachepisode intriguing and unpredictable as he meets new people and shares his knowledge with theaudience. Episode one opens with Willy’s mother informing him of the seemingly detrimental newspreviously described. Willy then ventures to the docks near his waterfront home, as it is hisfavorite place to think. As Willy contemplates the possibilities the next few months hold forhim, he slips off into a deep, vivid daydream about his scheduled visit to New York City, a placehe had only been once before. At this point, the format transitions from live action to animation.During this changeover, a dream sequence musical component is played in the background foreffect. Willy’s daydream depicts him in the big city right in front of Penn Station. He saysgoodbye to his mother and turns to the small group of other camp members who are all aroundhis age. The counselor is a young, blonde, bubbly eighteen year old girl from Pennsylvania. Sheintroduces herself to the group as Sally. It is then that Willy develops an innocent crush on thegroup leader; something he is too embarrassed to admit to both himself and his peers. As Willysurveys the group, he catches a glimpse of Bart, a disheveled red headed young boy with hugeglasses and untied sneakers. Willy finds himself gravitating towards him and eventuallyintroduces himself. Instantly the two become friends and make a pact to make the best of thesummer and stick together through thick and thin. The next scene is a montage of pictures of the NYC. The montage is a collection of stillpictures of the Empire State building, the Statue of Liberty, Times Square, and China town. As
the episode progresses, the group makes their way to each of those destinations and Sally teachesthe group about the history behind each stop in both normal conversation and occasionally insong. This factor will definitely capture the attention of the children viewing the programbecause the musical factor makes the show interactive and the lessons by Sally allow them toparticipate in the journey as they are encouraged by Willy to repeat certain phrases along theway. Taxis zoom by; the group learns the precautionary measures of taking publictransportation and the group gets the full effect of life in the busy city. After a long day of hotdogs, fun in central park and an educational tour of the Museum of Natural History, the groupretreats back to Penn Station to meet up with their parents. Willy is then reunited with hismother and begins rehashing the events of his first exciting day at camp as he slowly slips out ofhis daydream. The scene switches back to live action and Willy finds himself back at the docksand hears his mother calling in the distance. He smiles and runs towards home, turning aroundonly to encourage viewers to join him next time and to visit him online atwww.willyswildworld.com. The next few episodes progress in a repetitive manner. The only differences are thedestinations he finds himself dreaming about. Episode two will depict Willy and the group inItaly. There they will experience Italian cuisines such as pasta, pizza and gelato. They visit theVadican, the island of Capri and enjoy the gorgeous nostalgic atmosphere in Sorento. Episodethree Willy daydreams about travelling to the islands of Japan and his encounters with Samurais,Japanese cuisine and engages in a lesson on currency. Finally, in episode four, the team goes toMexico. There, they learn how to prepare traditional tacos by making tortillas from scratch, theylearn a few basic phrases in the native language and even attend a bull fight. The excitement
factor of the series is maintained at all times, as the adventures are all unique and for mostchildren, depict places they have never travelled to themselves.AUDIENCE and DISTRIBUTION The demographic group I seek to reach is all children between the ages of 6-10. The show isversatile enough that it can appeal to both boys and girls in that age spectrum. Initially, the showwill be aired in the United States and my hope is to eventually branch out and expand to translatethe series into other languages. Children like to engage in interactive forms of media, especiallywhile watching television. With that being said, there will be musical breaks and opportunitiesfor viewers to repeat after Willy, making them feel like they are a part of the adventures. I wouldlike to integrate an online presence for the series, where children can enter sweepstakes, playgames involving the characters and challenge their minds with reviewing the lessons of eachepisode online. This factor is likely to appeal to the target audience and help to spread awarenessabout everything the show has to offer; hopefully resulting in a magnitude of viewers for thepremiere.COMPETITIVE ANALYSIS An example of a series similar to mine would be Kiddin’ Around USA (on our way tosee…IT ALL). This series follows the adventures of an American family that home schools theirthree children and travels around the United States. The series is aimed at an audience of boysand girls under the age of fourteen. Their goals are to show the importance of travel and todemonstrate the positive effects it can have on the relationship between parents and theirchildren. The second motive is to demonstrate that children who have the opportunity to travelare more likely to be well rounded, have open minds and are likely to be more successful in their
daily lives and interactions. There are a few reasons why my series is bound to be a greatersuccess in comparison to Kiddin’ Around USA. First and foremost, their show is strictly aired inthe United States. I want to take my mission worldwide and place a strong importance on culture,as opposed to focusing on what America has to offer as a whole. Secondly, Willy’s Wild Worldis much more interactive and has the capacity to hold the attention of the younger audiences dueto the dual usage of animation and live action, as well as, musical breaks and repetition of terms,ideas and lessons. Willy’s online presence is also much stronger and better developed incomparison to the competitor. Our website has interactive games as well as full access tocharacter descriptions and constant sweepstakes online. The sweepstakes I would like to createallow children to submit requests online for Willy to showcase their hometown or some aspect oftheir culture. To enter, all the children will have to do is write a short description of their town,culture, standpoint on diversity in the form of a video or essay. The details will be described atthe end of each episode.APPEAL Children in the target audience will love this series because it truly is one of a kind. Itincorporates fun and entertainment while teaching them real life lessons about acceptance,diversity, culture and language. The use of both animation and live action adds appeal because itallows for imagination to take over. When buying new dolls or action figures, children willalways pick one that looks similar to them physically. Willy’s split roles in the series stimulateimagination and allow children to ponder fantasies of the unknown and exciting world aroundthem. Another aspect that creates hype and appeal is the sweepstakes and online participationthat is encouraged at the end of each episode. Willy offers viewers to visitwww.willyswildworld.com to play online games and enter sweepstakes to win a guest
appearance on the show, (with parent consent of course). Children love competition and becausethe show is new, the odds of winning are very likely, especially if you enter to win directly aftereach episode. You can log in online or text your information to Willy to ensure greater chances.DISTRIBUTION My children’s media product will reach viewers mainly via television and internet.Commercials on the Travel channel will make both children and parents alike gain awarenessabout the series. I would also like to advertise online, because that is the most readily availableform of advertisement; especially when working with a budget. By creating pages on Facebook,Twitter and other social networking sites, hype about the show is bound to result. In using bothof the strategies, the target audience will definitely be reached.MARKETING/PROMOTION/LICENSING/MERCHANDISING Finding funding for the development of my children’s media product will be donethrough pitching the idea to various companies that gear their products toward the same targetaudience as my own. I would like to market to Travel Channel in hopes to gain funding andsupport from them, as well as, to have my show aired on their channel. Next, I plan to holdonline forums where people can make personal donations to the cause of spreading awarenessabout culture to younger generations. People will be able to click “like” on the page and forevery click, donate a dollar to the cause. Five percent of all donations will be donated to achildren’s charity to later be determined, and the remainder will go to the development andadvertisement committees for Willy’s Wild World productions. In terms of filming andanimating the series, I plan to hold interviews for volunteers with talents such as animation,editing and filming. This will significantly cut down labor costs. Eventually, the volunteers willbe compensated for their work, when and if the show is a success after the first season. College
students would be great candidates for these positions, as they will have the opportunity to add infield experience to their resumes and potentially earn internship credits towards their degrees.The remainder of budgeting will come from celebrities that wish to join the cause and spread theword about diversity to the youth of our nation. People like Oprah, Ellen Degeneres and othertalk show hosts will be featuring a segment on the premiere of Willy’s Wild World. This will notonly help our budget, but will also strengthen the previously implemented advertisementstrategies in place.