MONTREAL: Cinar Films and Shanghai Animation Film Studio, a subsidiary of Shanghai Television, have signed the first official toon co-pro deal between China and Canada for a series created in China. The US$6.5-million animated series Rumble & Growl ‘is based on a Chinese comic strip adapted by the creative team at Shanghai Animation,’ says Ron Weinberg, Cinar president and co-CEO.
Rumble & Growl will be produced initially in English, French and Mandarin and will air on Shanghai TV in 1999. A major regional service, Shanghai TV is China’s second largest broadcaster with an audience in excess of 150 million. The 52 x 10-minute series for kids ages six to 11 relates the story of two ever-hungry friends who uncover unusual scientific wonders and amazing natural phenomena during their endless search for food. It will also be available in 30-minute blocks for those broadcasters that prefer traditional formats.
Weinberg says: ‘China is open for business. . . I have found that there are a lot of great ideas being developed there and there is a lot of support on the part of the [Chinese] broadcasters to help get these creative ideas produced.’
The deal is a 50/50 split in both financing and distribution terms. Cinar is managing international sales.