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CST: 24/06/2019 12:52:10   

Arnold Schwarzenegger to Star in and Executive Produce Genius Brands International’s New Animated Children’s Series, Superhero Kindergarten, Created by Legendary Stan Lee

26 Days ago

Stan Lee’s POW! Entertainment, Genius Brands International, and Schwarzenegger’s Oak Productions to Co-Produce the Action-Adventure Comedy Series

Deadpool’s Fabian Nicieza to Script the Series

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif., May 29, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) --  Genius Brands International “Genius Brands” (Nasdaq: GNUS) announced today the launch of an all-new comedy, action-adventure animated series for children, Stan Lee’s Superhero Kindergarten, starring the iconic star, Arnold Schwarzenegger (The Terminator franchise, Twins, Kindergarten Cop, Total Recall, Predator).

Created by the legendary Stan Lee as his last project, the series is a co-production between Genius Brands, Stan Lee’s POW! Entertainment, and Schwarzenegger’s Oak Productions. Schwarzenegger, who also serves as executive producer, lends his voice as the lead character in Stan Lee’s Superhero Kindergarten.  Co-creator of  DeadpoolFabian Nicieza, who has sold over 100M comics worldwide, is scripting the series. Genius Brands’ Chairman and CEO and multiple Emmy Award-winning producer of more than 5,000 episodes of children's programming, Andy Heyward, and President of POW! Entertainment Gil Champion serve as executive producers. Stan Lee’s Superhero Kindergarten targets preschool kids in a unique entrance to and sector of the superhero landscape.

“It is an honor and privilege to work with Genius Brands and POW! Entertainment on this new series and help carry on Stan's creative legacy by introducing this new group of superheroes to preschool children around the world,” commented Schwarzenegger.  “Not only does Stan Lee's Superhero Kindergarten feature comedy and action, but there are many valuable lessons to be learned along the way! Of particular pride to me is the fact that I am not only teaching kids to use their superpowers, but I am also imparting valuable lessons to kids worldwide about the importance of health, exercise, and nutrition.”

“Stan loved and admired Arnold as not just an actor, but a true hero in so many ways and always envisioned Arnold for this role,” said Heyward.  “From Spider-Man, Iron Man, X-Men, Black Panther, Incredible Hulk, Guardians of the Galaxy, Thor, Captain America, Captain Marvel, The Avengers and countless more, Stan was the greatest creator that Hollywood and pop culture has ever known.  We are honored to continue his legacy of creating a new superhero franchise for kids with another iconic hero, Arnold Schwarzenegger, in Stan Lee’s Superhero Kindergarten.”

Heyward added, "What will be particularly unique about this series is that there will be an animated cameo of Stan Lee appearing in every episode.  Just as his millions of fans look forward to seeing him appear in each Marvel film, they will look forward to his presence in each episode of this cartoon. The strong positive messaging of the series regarding health, exercise, and nutrition coming from the credibility of Arnold Schwarzenegger will make it a series that parents will enjoy alongside their children.”

Stated Champion, “Stan Lee’s Superhero Kindergarten was near and dear to his heart, working with one of his longtime collaborators Andy Heyward, as well as Arnold, and we look forward to continuing the partnership with Genius Brands to bring Stan’s vision for this new adventure series to life.”

Paul Wachter, CEO of Main Street Advisors, helped to broker the deal and will executive produce with Schwarzenegger, Heyward, and Champion.   Main Street Advisors represents some of the most prominent and celebrated names in sports, entertainment, and business.

About Superhero Kindergarten
Many years ago, Arnold Armstrong (Arnold Schwarzenegger) was just an average gym teacher who acquired incredible superpowers when the earth passed through the ionic dust left in the wake of a mysterious comet. As a result, Arnold transformed into Captain Courage,  one of the earth's greatest protectors!

For decades Captain Courage traveled the planet, stopping evil in the name of justice and fair play. But, five years ago, he faced his final battle against his arch-nemesis, Dr. Superior, and in defeating his foe, Captain Courage was forced to expend all his powers.  Arnold Armstrong was forced to end his career as Captain Courage until a massive explosion of super-energy particles came raining down, and rumors of super-powered children began surfacing. Now, Arnold must serve humanity once again by working "undercover" as a brand-new kindergarten teacher whose main task is to train this unique new generation of super-powered 5-year-olds secretly.

About Genius Brands International
Headquartered in Beverly Hills, Genius Brands International, Inc. (NASDAQ:GNUS) is a leading global kids media company developing, producing, marketing and licensing branded children’s entertainment properties and consumer products for media and retail distribution. The Company’s “content with a purpose” brand portfolio, which is led by award-winning creators and producers, includes preschool properties Rainbow Rangers for Nick Jr. and Llama Llama for Netflix; award-winning toddler brand, Baby Genius; adventure comedy STEM series, Thomas Edison's Secret Lab; and financial literacy and entrepreneurship series, Warren Buffett's Secret Millionaires Club. The Company's content catalog also includes the animated series, Stan Lee's Cosmic Crusaders, created with Stan Lee's Pow! Entertainment. Seeing the need to provide kids and parents with a safe viewing environment that offers premium enriching and engaging programming, Genius Brands launched the Genius Brands Network – comprised of Kid Genius Cartoon Channel and Baby Genius TV, as well as an exclusive Kid Genius Cartoons Plus subscription channel on Amazon Prime. The Network channels are available in approximately 80 million U.S. households via a variety of distribution platforms, such as OTT, set-top box, internet, and mobile. Through licensing agreements with category leading partners, characters from the Company's properties also appear on a wide range of consumer products for retail. For additional information, please visit www.gnusbrands.com. 

About Stan Lee’s POW! Entertainment
POW! Entertainment Inc. is a multimedia company founded in 2001 by the iconic comic book creator Stan Lee with his friend and business partner Gill Champion, who is the President today, to create and license intellectual properties for entertainment media, including: feature-length films, television, merchandising, branded content and other related ancillary markets as well as exclusively maintain and protect the ownership of his name, likeness, voice, trademarks and publicity rights throughout the world. POW! Entertainment was acquired by Hong Kong-based Camsing International Holding Limited, one of China's leading brand licensing, entertainment, marketing, and promotion companies, in 2017. Under new leadership, another original founder and industry veterans from Marvel and MGM, POW! is working with top writers, artists, animators, filmmakers, and actors to extend the legacy of the greatest storyteller of our time. 

Forward-Looking Statements:
Certain statements in this press release constitute "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the federal securities laws. Words such as "may," "might," "will," "should," "believe," "expect," "anticipate," "estimate," "continue," "predict," "forecast," "project," "plan," "intend" or similar expressions, or statements regarding intent, belief, or current expectations, are forward-looking statements. While the Company believes these forward-looking statements are reasonable, undue reliance should not be placed on any such forward-looking statements, which are based on information available to us on the date of this release. These forward-looking statements are based upon current estimates and assumptions and are subject to various risks and uncertainties, including without limitation those set forth in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC"), not limited to Risk Factors relating to its patent business contained therein. Thus, actual results could be materially different. The Company expressly disclaims any obligation to update or alter statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law.

MEDIA CONTACT:
Michelle Orsi
Three.Sixty Marketing & Communications
(310) 418-6430
michelle@360-comm.com

INVESTOR RELATIONS CONTACT:
Crescendo Communications, LLC 
Tel: 212-671-1020
GNUS@crescendo-ir.com

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/bfcb1ae6-91ea-48c9-8a75-45c3b43b256e

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