Lions Gate nabs aardvark

'Arthur' pic will bow on DVD in 2006

Lions Gate has partnered with Marc Brown Studios and WGBH Boston to co-produce a feature-length animated film based on the PBS series “Arthur.”

The movie from Lions Gate’s Family Home Entertainment unit will premiere exclusively on DVD in 2006.

Under FHE president Glenn Ross, Lions Gate has been increasing acquisitions and now co-productions of original movies based on popular kids programming and toys. These have included the Barbie animated DVD premiere movie series — the company recently signed with Mattel to distribute the fourth movie in the series this fall — as well as movies based on Hot Wheels, “Rescue Heroes” and “Popeye.” FHE also distributes DVDs of other kid properties including Care Bears and Clifford the Big Red Dog.

“Arthur,” starring the aardvark title character, will be enhanced with CGI animation.

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