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Univergroup sets up S3D animation arm

Zagtoon Pictures' pipeline includes $50 million 'Lady Bug'

Paris– In the run-up to the Feb. 7-10 Kidscreen Summit in New York, Jeremy Zag’s French animation production company Univergroup is launching a film division, Zagtoon Pictures, and is partnering with leading Korean studio SamG.

Zagtoon Pictures will be dedicated to producing high-profile S3D animated features, budgeted above €20 million ($26.4 million), and aims at tapping European and Anglo-American scribes and helmers who have worked on Hollywood animated tentpoles, Zag said.

Zag’s development roster includes $50 million “Miraculous Lady Bug,” a Paris-set fantasy centering on a teenage girl with super powers, which is co-produced by Aton Soumache’s Method Animation; and $30 million “Kobushi,” a comedy a la “Tom and Jerry” turning on a family of sushi samurai.

Both “Lady Bug” and “Kobushi” are being developped as TV series via Zag Toon, Univergroup’s TV subsidiary.

Gallic animator and storyboard artist Thomas Astruc, who created the original concept of “Lady Bug,” will co-direct the TV skein and the toon feature. Zag, who plans on building a “Lady Bug” franchise, said he was finalizing a Master Toy deal.

Univergroup was founded in 2008 by young entrepreneur Zag and Jacqueline Tordjman, an animation vet who worked alongside Haim Saban for nearly 25 years and brought cult shows like “Goldorak” and “Gadget and the Gadgetini” to French TV.

Meanwhile, Zag Toon is expanding to Korea by merging with SamG, whose credits include French cartoons “Monk” and “7Cs,” a series and feature project developed with U.S. shingle Man of Action. Rebranded Sam Zag, the Seoul-based studio will work exclusively on Univergroup’s animated pics and TV skeins.

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