Montreal-based prodco Cinar will co-develop a new animation series with China International Television (CITVC), China Central Television’s production subsidiary. Cinar and CCTV are currently producing the US$3.3-million, 26 x half-hour toon Journey to the West: The Legends of the Monkey King, which Cinar president and co-CEO Ron Weinberg says will show a profit for both partners, an outcome that triggered the committment to the new series. Cinar will also distribute the new series internationally, however, unlike the Monkey King, this latest show concept may not necessarily originate in China.
Cinar has also sold 52 half hours of Arthur to CCTV. The series is slated for daily broadcast on terrestrial network CCTV-1, which has over 900 million viewers. According to Weinberg, as little as 1% or 2% of CCTV’s program schedule is foreign. On the home-grown front for CCTV, its new cartoon series Little God and Little Fairy launched at MIP Asia. The 52 x 12-minute series involves the comic antics of the trickster God Chi-Chi and a little fairy who can shape-change into a number of fantastic creatures.
In State-side news, Cinar has purchased Salt Lake City-based Bonneville International’s Wonderworks library. The deal gives Cinar all copyright and distribution rights to 57 family features, including 55 live-action movies and two animated films. The library includes Ron Howard’s The Lone Star Kid, as well as two Henry Winkler-produced, animated Molly and the Skywalkerz films. Earlier this year, Cinar acquired the 12-title Leucadia Film library, also based in Salt Lake City, Utah. This latest library pick-up brings Cinar’s film roster up to 76.
Also last month, Cinar officially opened Fandango Studios, a new digital dubbing facility in Mexico City.