Motion International and 3-D puzzle-maker Wrebbit have announced a deal to develop and internationally market the Lovin’ Heart franchise, which consists of a line of stuffed space babies and a 52 x 12-minute animated TV series.
The property in the French-track market is known as Brin d’Amour. The two Montreal-based companies are investing US$10.1 million in the project, including US$7.1 million in the extended TV series, says Motion president and CEO Guy Crevier. The four mopped-topped Lovin’ Heart characters live in an orbiting space station. Each has a special power that they use to help kids in trouble.
Crevier says TF1 International is on-board to distribute in Europe, and its subsidiary Protecrea is also part of the start-up. In addition to the television series, the Lovin’ Heart concept will see the creation of dolls, an innovative Internet site and other spin-off products. Wrebbitt will distribute the doll line in Canada and the U.S. Talks are underway with Hasbro for international territories.
The international franchising and licensing operations will be run from Montreal. Crevier says the property meshes with Motion’s strategic orientation towards ‘a franchise-based system where we can keep the international television rights.’
Andre A. Belanger, president of Motion’s animation and youth division, will executive produce the TV series. Michele Tougas is responsible for script development and direction.
Motion International recently obtained about US$51 million of bank financing in the form of revolving credit facilities. Crevier says the credit facility will replace the one-off production financing formula. ‘From now on, we will have full control over the credit arrangements for our productions.’