One of the most annoying, yet lovable animated characters of all-time — Woody Woodpecker — is back with a new series airing on YouTube starting next month. The anthropomorphic bird, who made his debut in a 1940 short, Knock Knock, will be featured in 10 brand-new five-minute cartoons directed by Alex Zamm (A Christmas Prince).
The web series, from Universal Pictures International and Universal 1440 Entertainment, will be shown on the Brazilian Portuguese, Spanish, and English-language YouTube channels dedicated to Woody Woodpecker, according to Variety.
The three YouTube channels were first launched in 2017 to show classic Woody Woodpecker cartoons from the 1940s onward, including episodes from TheWoody Woodpecker Show, which aired on various TV networks from 1957 to 1997, and The New Woody Woodpecker Show, which aired on Fox Kids from 1999 to 2002.
Today, the Brazilian YouTube channel has more than 2 million subscribers, the Spanish channel has more than 750,000, and the U.S. channel is nearing 200,000.
Rob Bell, the executive vice president of International New Media for NBCUniversal Global Distribution, said that the channels’ immediate popularity with fans gave the company a “strategic opportunity” to “create original content” and “do more with this favorite, classic character.”
“Woody Woodpecker is my favorite impish trickster,” said director Zamm.
“It was an incredible honor to take a legacy character like this and create a whole new series of cartoons for him to star in. And it was also great to be able to include many of [creator] Walter Lantz’s other beloved characters.”
Some of the other characters that Lantz created that pop up in the new series include Chilly Willy, Wally Walrus, and Woody’s niece and nephew, Splinter and Knothead, and girlfriend, Winnie.
Deadline reported that two of the animated woodpecker’s adventures in the new series will take place in Brazil, a first for the character.
In addition to the series, a 13-minute documentary was created that delves into the history of Woody Woodpecker and shows behind-the-scenes footage of the making of the new cartoons. Bird Gone Wild: The Woody Woodpecker Story will premiere on the YouTube channels in December.
The colorful bird with the irritating laugh has been a pop culture presence for more than 75 years. Woody was featured as a giant balloon in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade from 1982 to 1996, and even has his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
The new Woody Woodpecker cartoons will begin airing on YouTube on Monday, December 3. Check out the trailer for the new series below.