Cartoon Network snares first Chinese toon

'Legend of a Rabbit' acquired for Oz, NZ, India, Taiwan

Mainland Chinese shingle Tianjin North Film Studio has signed a landmark deal with Cartoon Network for the TV rights to the stereoscopic 3D chopsocky toon “Legend of a Rabbit” for Australia, New Zealand, India and Taiwan.

The $12-million “Rabbit” is scheduled to have a day-and-date release in all major Asian markets in late July and will air on Cartoon Network six to eight months after its theatrical release.

“I believe this is the first time that Cartoon Network has acquired a Chinese animated film and it’s the perfect platform for our film,” said Elliot Tong, Tianjin’s head of international distribution.

Animation is experiencing renewed vigor in China, with toons such as “Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf” and “McDull” doing boffo B.O.

Pic is helmed by Sun Lijun, head of the animation school at Beijing Film Academy, which co-produced along with Beijing Century Butterfly.

“We hope having ‘Legend of a Rabbit’ on Cartoon Network will be a springboard for the life of ‘Rabbit’ on TV,” Tong said.

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