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Toonz set to make global splash

March 23, 2006 13:10 IST

The Technopark-based Toonz Animation India is all set to make a splash globally with a bouquet of its productions that promises to brighten up television screens and cinema halls around the world.

The entertainment majors that the company is currently working with include Hallmark Entertainment, Paramount Pictures, Marvel Studios, BBC and a French production company.

In three months' time, the animation major's first 3D project - titled Finley, The Fire Truck - would be telecast by Hallmark as a 78-episode serial. The project content is owned by Hallmark, while Toonz is an equity partner in the project.

"While Hallmark has pumped in $11 million into the project, an amount of $ 4 million is Toonz's contribution," said P Jayakumar, CEO of the company.

In an exclusive chat with Business Standard, Jayakumar said Toonz Animation India also has lined up another 3D production for a French company and the work would be completed in May this year.

This 39-episode animation series, titled Panshell, is a $1 million project. Among the most significant of Toonz productions, which would be rolled out soon is a full-length animation feature film.

"This production for the famed Paramount Pictures is based on a branded property. Of the total $9 million cost, Toonz's investment for the project is $3 million," Jayakumar added.

The other significant project that the animation firm has lined up is a production for Marvel Studios (of the Spiderman movies fame). "This would be a project in partnership with Vijay Amritraj. The $36 million venture will have 37.5 per cent of the investment by Toonz, an equal amount by Vijay Amritraj and the remaining 25 per cent would be pumped in by the UK Film Fund," said Jayakumar.

The 104-episode television series would revolve around a character called Wolverine. These apart, Toonz Animation India is also in the process of making a 40-episode serial for BBC. Jayakumar added that the company is also planning another major venture in association with a mega production house in the country.

The modalities are being worked out, he said and a formal announcement on this would be made only after a concrete agreement is finalised, he added.

Making it clear that Toonz Animation would be more into feature film production in a matter of three years from now, Jayakumar said the company has moved from entering into just service contracts and making animation productions for other firms to making its own series.

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Sanjeev Ramachandran in Chennai
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