FUNimation branches out into preschool
Taking a break from its boys action remit, Fort Worth, Texas-based FUNimation has opened up a home video distribution arm called Our Time Family Entertainment that will focus on preschool and children’s programming. The new unit has already signed up to handle North American distribution for an Arthur title (Cookie Jar), two Connie the Cow releases (Neptuno) and the Friendship Collection (comprised of Nelvana’s Timothy Goes to School, Elliot Moose and Marvin the Tap-Dancing Horse), all of which are slated for a September release.
Our Time is also getting into the co-production game, working on two new kids series that it will distribute in home entertainment channels, with an eye to finding broadcast homes for them as well down the road. The first project, in development with PBS affiliate WGBH, is called Time Warp Trio. The 26 x haf-hour 2-D animated series is based on the best-selling book series by John Scieszka, and the first videos will be released in January 2005.
French-Canadian prodcos pool their distribution interests
Three Canuck indie production outfits have partnered to set up a new distribution company that will work towards securing national and international financing for their developing projects. Serving Quebec market specialist Avanti Ciné Vidéo, kids software studio Kutoka Interactive and animation house Sardine Productions (all based in Montreal), S.K.A. Distribution will start off hunting for partners to help produce two projects: a CGI series for the six to 10 set based on Kutoka’s CD-ROM franchise Mia’s World; and Sardine’s 2-D toon My Goldfish is Evil.
Once financing has been secured, S.K.A. will work on selling the shows internationally. The company’s day-to-day operations will be overseen by VP Isabelle Marin, Ciné-Groupe’s former director of international presales.