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PGS closes deals on ‘Prince’

RTBF, VRT, TV5 Monde take toon

PARIS – Gallic distrib PGS Ent. has closed further European sales on “The Little Prince,” the E18.6 million ($25.3 million) toon series produced by Aton Soumache’s Method Animation.

The 52 half-hours have been acquired by Belgium’s RTBF, Flemish-language pubcaster VRT and French-language cabler TV5 Monde.

Philippe Soutter, co-founder of PGS, said the company is in negotiations with U.S., Spanish, U.K. and Canadian buyers.

Based on Antoine de Saint Exupery’s 1943 novella, “The Little Prince” follows a boy traveling among planets looking for his home asteroid.

Developed by Alexandre de la Patelliere and Matthieu Delaporte in full CGI and stereoscopic 3D, “The Little Prince” skein is co-produced by Sony Pictures Home Ent., La Fabrique d’Images, India’s DQ Ent., German pubcaster ARD and Italy’s RAI Fiction. Olivier d’Agay, who runs the Saint Exupery-d’Agay estate, also collaborated with the producers.

Gallic pubcaster France Televisions, which pre-bought the show for $5.5 million, will roll out “The Little Prince” on Christmas Day with a 52-minute special episode broadcast on France 3. The series’ 3D version will be launched on the pubcaster in September 2011.

The producers will be hosting a premiere screening of the toon’s first episode for MIPJunior marketgoers in Cannes on Sunday.

The skein has already been sold to Germany (WDR), Italy (RAI), Denmark (TV2), Norway (TV2), Finland (MTV3), Australia (ABC), Switzerland (TSR) and Slovenia (RTV). Sony Pictures Home Ent. handles worldwide video rights, excluding North America.

Soumache, who’s been nicknamed the “Spielberg of French animation” by the Gallic press, also is creating “The Little Prince” vidgame and web platform with MK2 topper Nathanael Karmitz via their joint venture, MKO Games; and he’s developing a $60-million S3D toon movie makeover, with his producing partner Dimitri Rassam.

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