Move follows success of 'Scruff and the Christmas Tale'

MADRID — D’Ocon Films Productions, one of Spain’s best-known animation houses, is moving into the slate production of toon TV movies.

Move follows ratings success of D’Ocon’s first toon TV movie, the Charles Dickens riff “Scruff and the Christ-mas Tale.”

First up will be “Scruff in the Saint George Legend,” ready for delivery late April. Three more toon telepics will follow.

Starting in the ’80s, D’Ocon has traditionally turned out animated TV series, most famously animated fruit skein “The Fruittis” and young dolphin adventure “Delfy.” “Scruff,” about a mischievous farmyard mutt eager to learn about life, started out as a series.

Toon TV movies offer several production attractions. They can score high timeslot shares: aired by Catalan pubcaster channel TV3, “Scruff and the Christmas Tale” took 47% on its first run.

Spanish broadcasters are obliged to invest 5% of their annual turnover in Spanish or other-European-country films.

While neither toon series nor TV movies are eligible for state subsidies in Spain, TV movies count as European films.

The more commercially-minded TV stations do not want to throw good money after bad and are looking for films with audi-ence clout to comply with the quotas.

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