Co. will have more than 2,400 half hours of animation

Four months after taking a 51% stake in L.A.-based animation studio Mike Young Prods. (MYP), French kidvid outfit MoonScoop is bringing together distribution and licensing under the Taffy Entertainment banner.

Taffy will have more than 2,400 half hours of animation, including MoonScoop’s upcoming “Fantastic Four” series and MYP’s “Pet Alien,” produced for Cartoon Network, making it one of the leading independent players in the global kids business.

“By 2007, we will be releasing eight new shows a year, which is huge for this market,” said Axel Dauchez, managing director of MoonScoop.

Taffy Entertainment will have offices in Europe and the U.S., with Lionel Marty and Marie Conge handling distribution of all MoonScoop programming, while Regis Brown will continue to head sales for MYP. Marketing and licensing MoonScoop properties will be managed by Dauchez, with Eric Stein handling MYP titles. Production will remain under the separate banners.

“There is a real need for strong independent players who can deliver high-quality shows and put the necessary marketing investment behind the shows,” said Dauchez. “On the key properties, we are now set up to handle all the marketing in every big territory, which is crucial for the broadcasters and the licensees.”

Other upcoming productions from MoonScoop include “Doctor Dog” and new episodes of long-running French hit “Code Lyoko,” which also airs on Cartoon Network in the U.S. New shows from MYP include “Dive Ollie Dive,” “Growing Up Creepie” and “I Got a Rocket.”

MoonScoop was set up in 2004 following the acquisition of France Animation by production house Antefilms.

Further expansion is in the cards. Targets include companies in the fast-growing interactive media space, as well as marketing and licensing businesses in the U.S. and Europe. Unlike many of its European rivals though, the company has no plans for a public listing.

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