DIC Entertainment is joining forces with another Capital Cities/ABC production unit, France’s Hamster Prods., to create a Paris-based animation company.
The two companies have combined to form DIC France, which will produce animated programming aimed at the international TV market and draw on French production talent.
The first project under that banner will be “Tex Avery Theater,” featuring original cartoons patterned after the work of late Warner Bros, animator Tex Avery, whose credits include the early Bugs Bunny cartoons.
DIC has acquired rights to Avery’s name and likeness (which in animated form will host the episodes) through his estate. The plan is to make a package of 195 seven-minute cartoons in the Avery style available beginning in fall 1996.
The agreement underscores DIC’s desire to remain an active program supplier despite clouds hanging over the company’s future based on CapCities’ pending acquisition by the Walt Disney Co. Though DIC has served as a children’s programming arm for CapCities/ABC – including the new Saturday-morning programs “Madeline” and ‘What-a- Mess” – Disney has said it intends to rely principally on its own resources in programming the network’s Saturday ayem lineup.
DIC also produces programs for other outlets, including the Fox Children’s Network’s “Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego?” and various syndicated shows.
A division of CapCities/ABC, Hamster is one of the largest producers of dramatic TV programming in Europe.