'Baby Shark' Series Reportedly Heading To Netflix

Because there is no such thing as a recognizable concept that cannot be mined by massive, multinational corporations to create children's entertainment, the "Baby Shark" song that preschoolers and young kids at summer camp sing relentlessly is going to be a TV show.

The ear-worm of a song, which doo-doo-doo-doos its way through a family of sharks of varying sizes, apparently belongs to a South Korean company, who will team with the streaming giant to bring it ito your living room in 2019.

"Baby Shark" started as a campfire song, where each member of a family of sharks is introduced with different hand motions. Different versions of the song have the sharks hunting fish, eating a sailor, or killing people who then go to heaven, but Pinkfong, the company working with Netflix to develop the...property? Is that right?...introduced their take on the song in late 2015.

Pinkfong was not even the first group to realize the viral potential of the song; a previous version, from German singer alemuel, gained viral popularity in 2007 and helped alemuel secure a record deal with EMI.

It is, however, basically impossible to ignore the impact that Pinkfong has had on the song's popularity. Since 2015, their version of the song has been viewed more than 2 billion times on YouTube, making it one of the platform's top 100 videos of all time. Its popularity has spawned dozens of imitators and expanded out of the internet memespace to popularlize the song in preschools to a much more significant degree than it was ever popular back when it was just a campfire song.

According to Bloomberg, Pinkfong is planning "to release short videos via Netflix Inc., a cartoon series and a musical in North America this year, one of the company’s founders said in an interview this week. The startup, which has recently signed various merchandising deals, may also develop games that work with Amazon.com Inc.’s Alexa and Alphabet Inc.’s Google Home voice assistants."

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Pinkfong is capitalizing on the success of their version of the song, but it really is akin to Disney capitalizing on their version of Beauty and the Beast; if the cartoon is a success, they could end up with imitators taking advantage of public domain protections for the original song.

Per a 2018 write-up on Quartzy, the song appears to be based loosely upon various traditional songs and chants from around the world, including the French children’s song “Bébé Requin,” with elements of Czech composer Antonín Leopold Dvořák’s Symphony No. 9 incorporated into it (the latter being where it gets the Jaws-sounding elements without, y'know, being sued into oblivion by John Williams or Universal Pictures).