Couturier to direct animated feature

MEXICO CITY — Toon factory Anima Studios will produce “Kung Fu Magoo” for Classic Media, in a major deal for the budding Mexican shingle.

“Magoo” is a co-production between Motion Toons, a new company established by Anima and Santo Domingo Films, and Classic Media. Motion Toons is financing most of the $2.6 million animated feature.

Anima heads Fernando de Fuentes and Jose Garcia de Letona are producing the film with Evan Baily, exec VP of production at Classic Media. Andres Couturier will direct.

“Magoo” will go straight to video worldwide, but it’s being produced in 35mm and Anima will likely engineer a theatrical release in Mexico via Videocine.

Couturier directed Anima’s third feature film “Agente 00P2,” about a rain forest parrot turned secret agent, set for release later this year. Anima is also finishing the second season of pan-regional hit series “El Chavo,” the toon version of Televisa’s classic kids show.

Anima, founded in 2002, has built up into Latin America’s biggest animation house, churning out some 60 minutes per month. It’s first two films, “Wizards & Giants” and “Imaginum” are sold by PorchLight Entertainment, for whom the studio is also producing a 40-minute “A Martin Christmas Carol.”

De Fuentes said the studio was developing its own original titles as well as looking to grab a bigger chunk of work from the U.S. market, recently launching special effects boutique “FX Shop,” with partners Lemon Films and Santo Domingo Films.

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