Nickelodeon has won the rights to the beloved children’s comic strip by Dana Simpson, Phoebe and Her Unicorn, per Deadline. This announcement came after both Nickelodeon and Viacom studio were competitively trying to obtain the rights.
Initially a web comic on Universal Uclick’s GoComics that was published in 2012, the comic strip went on to be launched in 100 newspapers in 2015, including in the Miami Herald and the Boston Herald. Nickelodeon wants to turn it into a multi-platform franchise by first making it an animated TV series then producing subsequent movies.
Phoebe and Her Unicorn features 9-year old fourth grader Phoebe Howell and her unicorn friend, Marigold Heavenly Nostrils. They embark on childhood adventures that all children can enjoy and relate to, sometimes accompanied by Phoebe’s friend Max. Often, Phoebe comes into conflict with her archrival Dakota.
Phoebe and Marigold’s first encounter with each other can be read on GoComics. As Phoebe skips rocks across a pond, one hits Marigold. After Phoebe apologizes, Marigold forgives her, saying that Phoebe actually saved her because she was trapped looking at her own beautiful reflection in the pond. In exchange for freeing her from the trap, Marigold allows Phoebe one wish. Phoebe’s first wish is to have super powers, but Marigold explains to her that wishes need to be realistic, so Phoebe wishes for Marigold to be her best friend. Although Marigold is at first hesitant, she soon warms up to Phoebe and they truly become best friends.
Phoebe and Her Unicorn will be produced by Roy Lee and Miri Yoon of Vertigo Entertainment and Bridget McMeel of Andrews McMeel Entertainment. Andrews McMeel also produces Big Nate for Nickelodeon and is in the process of producing an animated feature production of Marmaduke.