Indian toon leader rolls out international co-prods

ANNECY — DQ Entertainment, India’s most internationally-skewed and prolific animation house, has signed up Germany’s ZDF Group and Italy’s DeA Kids, to co-produce two of DQE’s flagship 3D TV toon series: “Robin Hood: Mischiefs in Sherwood” and “The New Adventures of Peter Pan.”

DeA Kids is the DeAgostini Group’s new three-channel kids TV pay/DTT operation.

France’s TF1 and indie producer Method Animation and Turkey’s Minika TV, an ATV-owned kids’ channel, are already partnering on “Robin Hood,” a 26-seg, half-hour series focusing on the outlaw’s early years.

DQE took a 20% stake in Method in 2006. The Paris-based shingle is also producing “Peter Pan,” along with Gallic pubcaster France Televisions.

“Robin Hood” and “Peter Pan” underscore DQE’s strategy of basing its series around prime properties, working with strong broadcast co-production partners — ZDF has already boarded “Lassie and Friends,” for example — splitting animation work, and selling territories beyond partners’ countries.

On “Robin Hood,” Method is handling the creative pre-production and scripting in collaboration with DQ, plus storyboard, animatics, music and English and French voicing, including post-production.

Then DQ, employing a team of 300 artists for 17 months, puts together the 3D characters, background, animation lighting, rendering, compositing and final delivery, DQE chairman-CEO Tapaas Chakravarti said at Annecy.

“Robin Hood” has now sold 20 territories. The “Jungle Book” TV series has closed 160 countries. Disney XD will launch the first season of “Jungle Book” in the U.S. on June 11.

According to Chakravarti, DQE is now entering big-ticket 3D animated feature production. This includes development of “Jungle Book,” “The Phoenix and the Flying Carpet” and “Treasure Island.”

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