In 1981, the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) created a children’s animated Bible series for the Japanese TV market. Little did we realize what impact the series would have in Japan and around the world. The series was known as Animated Parent and Child Theater (アニメ 親子劇場, Anime Oyako Gekijō), produced by Tatsunoko Productions in Japan in conjunction with CBN in the United States. The English name for this series was Superbook.
Research performed during and after the outreach showed that this series was an unprecedented success. Over 8 million people a night watched Superbook on Japanese prime-time television, and the Bible became the nation's best-selling book.
By 1989, in the midst of economic and political turmoil, Superbook began broadcasting in the Soviet Union with astounding results. When Superbook aired during prime-time on the Soviet National Channel, CBN received over 6 million letters from children, introducing an entire generation to the Bible.
From Japan and Russia, the original Superbook series went on to air around the world. More than 500 million people watched the series, 52 episodes were translated in 43 languages and broadcast in 106 countries.
Today, CBN and a team of Emmy-winning artists and storytellers, whose credits include Mulan, The Lion King, and Beauty and the Beast, are collaborating to completely reimagine the classic series using the latest 3D CGI technology. Our goal is that the new Superbook will honor the legacy of the classic series and reintroduce it to a new generation.