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Warners ramping up ‘Mucha’ pic, tie-ins

Comicbooks, toys, mini-DVD release part of co. push

Warner Bros. Studios has asked for mucho mas of toon skein “Mucha Lucha.”

Produced by Warner Bros. Animation for Kids WB, the homegrown Saturday ayem series will get the full synergistic push of AOL Time Warner with a feature film, homevideo specials, comicbooks and consumer products.

Series bowed in 2002 and follows a trio of Mexican masked wrestlers. Net has greenlit an additional 26 episodes for the second season, bringing total to 39. Flash-animated series consistently lands in the Saturday top 10 rankings in kids 6-11, boys 6-11 and tweens 9-14.

“We always believed that it had the potential to grow into a valuable property,” said Warner Bros. Animation prexy Sander Schwartz. “We’re excited and honored that the studio has agreed to commit all of its resources and select sister companies across our organization to give ‘Mucha Lucha’ the brand treatment to create an all-new long-term franchise for Warner Bros. Entertainment.”

Going to the mat

Series expansion will begin with a fall mini-DVD release from Warner’s consumer products and homevid divisions, before eventually heading to the bigscreen via Warner Bros. Pictures. Consumer products division will roll out apparel, toys and accessories in 2004.

On the publishing front, DC Comics will release a limited series of “Mucha Lucha” comicbooks, and Harper Collins (not an AOL TW division) will publish a series of books depicting the trio’s exploits.

Sibling net Cartoon Network will begin airing the first-season episodes next year.

Warner Music Latina has already released a soundtrack from that season.

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