New Zealand’s Pukeko Pictures and Hengxin Shambala Kids in China are teaming up again to co-produce new CGI-animated preschool series Book Hungry Bears—but this time Canada’s Breakthrough Entertainment will also be involved. Co-commissioned by TVOKids and TFO, the animated series originally debuted at Asian Animation Summit in 2014.
The three-way partnership comes on the heels of Pukeko and Hengxin Shambala Kids signing a deal to co-produce Kiddets, the first kids TV co-pro between New Zealand and China since the two countries established treaty guidelines in 2014.
Book Hungry Bears (52 x 11 minutes) is created by Martin Baynton, co-owner and CCO of Pukeko Pictures, and follows four young bears that go on adventures through the books they read. Breakthrough signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for the project during a cultural industries trade mission to China in April 2018. The greenlight comes nine months after Breakthrough sold its entire kids and family library to 9 Story Media Group.
The project is structured as a China-New Zealand and New Zealand-Canada treaty co-production. Book Hungry Bears will be produced with participation by Canada Media Fund and Shaw Rocket Fund, and in association with BC’s Knowledge Kids.