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'Motown Magic' Animated Series Headed to Netflix

A new animated series is coming to Netflix. "Motown Magic" will premiere Tuesday, November 20 exclusively on Netflix. Inspired by the iconic music of Motown, the groundbreaking series features original characters and a fantastical world from the mind of Josh Wakely, creator of Netflix’s Emmy-winning kids’ series, "Beat Bugs." 

Motown music legend Smokey Robinson will serve as Executive Music Producer on the series, and a "Motown Magic" soundtrack will be released concurrently in November on Melodia/Motown Records through Capitol Music Group.

"Motown Magic" features 52 newly-recorded versions of songs made famous by Smokey Robinson, Marvin Gaye, The Jackson 5, Lionel Richie, The Supremes, The Temptations, Stevie Wonder, and many more. Each 11-minute episode incorporates a plotline inspired by the themes and characters of a classic Motown song, and an original version of that song covered by contemporary artists including Ne-Yo, Becky G, BJ The Chicago Kid, Skylar Grey, Calum Scott, and Trombone Shorty.

“It’s always time to introduce the music of Motown to a new generation, and Josh Wakely has the creativity and the vision to entertain families all over the world,” said Smokey Robinson. “It’s exciting to see these timeless classics reimagined through extraordinary animation and heartfelt stories while still honoring the roots of the music.”

Colorful and family-friendly, "Motown Magic" follows Ben, a wide-eyed eight-year-old with a big heart and an amazing imagination, who uses his magic paintbrush to bring the street-art decorating his city, Motown, to life. At the heart of this animated series is an upbeat and fun-filled story about music, magic and the power of imagination. 

The series is composed of a diverse cast and crew, including 11-year-old singing sensation Zacary James (of the Melisizwe Brothers), who covers the show’s theme song, “ABC,” and famed beatboxer HeaveN BeatBox.

Throughout its illustrious history, the Motown music label garnered dozens of worldwide hits, including “ABC,” “My Girl,” “Please Mr. Postman,” “Reach Out I’ll Be There,” “Superstition,” “Master Blaster,” “Don’t You Worry ‘Bout A Thing,” and “I Heard it Through the Grapevine,” all featured in "Motown Magic." 

For this series, Wakely secured rights to the Jobete Music Company and Stone Diamond publishing catalogs in an agreement with EMI Songs Australia Pty Limited. Wakely’s other project include "Beat Bugs," inspired by the music of the Beatles. Wakely co-owns Grace with "Beat Bugs" and "Motown Magic" Executive Producer, Trevor Roy.

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