SOURCE: Genius Brands International, Inc.

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July 31, 2015 08:30 ET

Genius Brands International Appoints NCircle Entertainment as the U.S. Home Entertainment Partner for New Animated Series, Llama Llama

NCircle to Distribute All-New Animated Content for "Llama Llama" Across Multiple Platforms

BEVERLY HILLS, CA--(Marketwired - July 31, 2015) - Following the appointment of Genius Brands International, Inc. "GBI" (OTCQB: GNUS) as the exclusive entertainment and consumer products partner for the bestselling Llama Llama book series, NCircle Entertainment has been named by GBI as the exclusive home video partner for the new animated series. The announcement was made today by GBIl's SVP of Global Content Sales, Andrew Berman.

"GBI is excited to bring the beloved Llama Llama family to life in animation for the very first time, and we couldn't think of a better home entertainment partner to work with than NCircle to make it readily available to kids in all formats," said Berman in making the announcement.

"Being very much aware of the adorable Llama Llama books and characters, we're thrilled to partner with Genius Brands in bringing their new animation series to retail," added NCircle's Vice President, Sales, Content and Acquisitions, Mary Flynn. "Author Anna Dewdney and Penguin Young Readers publishing have done a stellar job in developing the readership for the Llama Llama brand, and we're honored to collaborate with Genius Brands on expanding the fan base to home entertainment consumers throughout the U.S."

NCircle will distribute Llama Llama animated content, currently in development at GBI, digitally (VOD, SVOD, EST, DTO) and on DVD. The animated series is slated for debut in 2016.

GBI, who has partnered with Llama Llama author Anna Dewdney and publisher Penguin Young Readers to develop animated content based on the bestselling books, is also developing a comprehensive line of Llama Llama licensed products, including toys, games, apparel, accessories, bedding, and healthy snacks and meals are planned to be available beginning in 2016.

As recently announced, GBI signed Kids Preferred, LLC as the toy licensing partner for Llama Llama, who announced the development for a line of Llama Llama plush toys, puppets, and jack-in-the-boxes launching at retail in 2016.

With 9.4 million units in print, Anna Dewdney's Llama Llama books have all been New York Times bestsellers, with several titles claiming the #1 spot. Her work has been translated into eight languages. Praised as a "geographer extraordinaire of the emotional terrain of preschoolers and their mothers" (Chicago Tribune), Dewdney's soothing tales are synonymous with calming early childhood anxiety. Llama Llama Red Pajama was chosen as Jumpstart's Read for the Record book in 2011, setting the world record for the most reads of a particular book on one day. Dewdney is an outspoken advocate for literacy and many states and non-profits use her books for literacy campaigns and programs, including the Library of Congress.

Recognized for its emotive content, the award-winning Llama Llama series signature characters, family relationships, and content attuned to the issues of young children includes Llama Llama Red Pajama, Llama Lama and the Bully Goat, Llama Lama Time to Share, Llama Llama Misses Mama, Llama Llama Holiday Drama, Llama Llama Mad at Mama, as well as the upcoming Llama Llama Gram and Grandpa.

About Genius Brands International

Headquartered in Beverly Hills, California, Genius Brands International "GBI" (OTCQB: GNUS) is a publicly traded global brand management company that creates and licenses multimedia content for toddlers to tweens. Led by award-winning creators and producers CEO Andy Heyward and President Amy Moynihan Heyward, GBI creates "content with a purpose," meaning content that is as entertaining as it is enriching. GBI's growing library of content includes the award-winning Baby Genius, Warren Buffett's Secret Millionaires Club, Thomas Edison's Secret Lab, Llama Llama, from the NY Times bestselling children's book franchise, and Stan Lee's Mighty 7, the first project from Stan Lee Comics, a joint venture with legend Stan Lee's POW! Entertainment.

A Squared Entertainment, a wholly owned subsidiary of Genius Brands International, is a brand management and licensing company that represents third-party properties across a broad range of categories in territories around the world. The company currently represents Psycho Bunny, a luxury apparel line, From Frank, a humor greeting card and product line, and Celessence Technologies, the world's leading microencapsulation company.

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About NCircle Entertainment NCircle Entertainment specializes in the sales, marketing, and distribution of children and family entertainment, and is a trusted brand for high-quality, age-appropriate content. As the largest independent studio for children's non-theatrical DVDs, NCircle's portfolio includes many of the most loved and best-selling children's brands. Key brands currently in NCircle's vast library include Disney Jr.'s Octonauts, PBS's The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That! and Sid the Science Kid, Nick Jr.'s Mike the Knight and Pocoyo, as well as the Academy Award nominated short films The Gruffalo and Room on the Broom. For more, please visit NCircle is a subsidiary of Alliance Entertainment.

About Penguin Young Readers

Penguin Young Readers is one of the leading children's book publishers in the United States. The company owns a wide range of imprints and trademarks including Dial Books, Dutton, Grosset & Dunlap, Philomel, Puffin, Speak, Firebird, G. P. Putnam's Sons, Viking, Razorbill, and Frederick Warne. These imprints are home to such award-winning, New York Times- bestselling authors as Laurie Halse Anderson, Jay Asher, Judy Blume, Jan Brett, Eric Carle, Ally Condie, Roald Dahl, Tomie dePaola, Sarah Dessen, Anna Dewdney, John Flanagan, Gayle Forman John Green, Oliver Jeffers, Mike Lupica, Richelle Mead, B.J. Novak, Richard Peck, Judy Schachner, Jacqueline Woodson and dozens of other popular authors. Penguin Young Readers Group is also the proud publisher of perennial brand franchises such as The Little Engine That Could, the Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys series, Peter Rabbit, Spot, the Classic Winnie the Pooh, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Strega Nona, Madeline, Mad Libs, Alex Rider, the Rangers Apprentice, Skippyjon Jones, Flower Fairies, and Pippi Longstocking, among many others. Penguin Young Readers Group is a division of Penguin Group LLC, a Penguin Random House company.

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 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.

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