Netflix is adding Pokemon to its arsenal of childrens’ programming designed to win young hearts and minds — and viewers. The Los Gatos video-on-demand service has signed an exclusive deal to show two seasons of the hugely popular Japanese animation franchise, as well as two Pokemon movies. A price was not announced.
2010’s 48-episode “Pokemon: Black and White,” the 82-episode “Pokemon: Indigo League” from 1997, and the movies “Pokémon the Movie: Black – Victini and Reshiram” and “Pokémon the Movie: White – Victini and Zekrom,” will start streaming March 1.
Netflix has made a huge investment in childrens’ programming in recent years, despite dropping “SpongeBob SquarePants” last year. In addition to Pokemon, Netflix has exclusive deals with Disney, Marvel Comics, DreamWorks, PBS and Scholastic.
After inking the DreamWorks deal in December, Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos said that each of its more than 30 exclusive kids series draw more than 2 million viewers. “Family viewing on Netflix platform is a gigantic part of the value, and driving continued customer growth for them,” DreamWorks Animation chief Jeffrey Katzenberg said at the time.