×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Russia’s Riki Unleashes ‘Kikoriki: Legend of the Golden Dragon’

3D toonpic budgeted in $7.5 million to $8 million range

Russia’s Riki Productions presented its latest stereoscopic 3D toon feature project, “Kikoriki: Legend of the Golden Dragon,” one of the most ambitious toon features currently coming out of Russia, to potential international partners at the Annecy Animated Film Festival this week, and unveiled further details of the project.

The family adventure comedy pic, which is directed by Denis Chernov, and is penned by Chernov and Dmitriy Yakovenko, will be budgeted in the $7.5 million to $8 million range, high by Russian standards. Delivery is set for autumn 2015. Ilya Popov and Anatoliy Prokhorov are the producers. The pic is being produced by Petersburg Computer Animation Studio.

Nadezhda Kuznetsova, head of production at Petersburg Animation Studio, and the studio’s technical director Oleg Muranov were in Annecy to introduce the project.

The Riki Group is funding the project itself, although it is likely to receive up to 10% in state funding. Presales will start once Riki has footage to show to broadcasters and distributors at the beginning of next year.

“This is an investment in the future of the property. It is a large investment, but one that we are able to make,” Kuznetsova said.

In terms of aesthetics, DreamWorks Animation’s pics are an inspiration, in particular “Kung Fu Panda,” Muranov said.

Petersburg is using Pixar’s RenderMan Pro Server 17 and Mantra as part of the production process.

Some scenes are already locked, including the opening sequence: In this the lead characters are running from a volcano, through a jungle, and reach a castle before the lava reaches them. It then cuts to the same characters playing a videogame, in which they are the heroes. This references the fact that these characters are well-known in Russia and across Eastern and Central Europe.

The pic is part of a major animation franchise in the region, comprising a hit TV series for 4 to 8 year olds, and a spinoff stereoscopic 3D movie, “Kikoriki: Team Invisible.”

The series and movies center on a group of animals — a rabbit, a pig, a ram, a hedgehog, and so on — each with distinctive character traits.

The series has been licensed across Eastern and Central Europe as well as in Germany and China. Nickelodeon picked up the series across Central Europe.

The series celebrated its 10th anniversary in May, and the Riki Group even received a happy birthday message from Russia’s President Vladimir Putin.

“Kikoriki: Team Invisible,” which was Russia’s first genuine stereoscopic 3D movie, opened in Russia and Ukraine in December 2011.

John Hopewell contributed to this story.

More Film

  • FX's 'Snowfall' Panel TCA Winter Press

    John Singleton Hospitalized After Suffering Stroke

    John Singleton, the two-time Oscar nominated director and writer of “Boyz N’ the Hood,” has suffered a stroke. Sources confirm to Variety that Singleton checked himself into the hospital earlier this week after experiencing pain in his leg. The stroke has been characterized by doctors as “mild.” According to TMZ, which first broke the news, [...]

  • 'Curse of La Llorona' Leads Slow

    'Curse of La Llorona' Leads Slow Easter Weekend at the Box Office

    New Line’s horror pic “The Curse of La Llorona” will summon a solid $25 million debut at the domestic box office, leading a quiet Easter weekend before Marvel’s “Avengers: Endgame” hits theaters on April 26. The James Wan-produced “La Llorona,” playing in 3,372 theaters, was a hit with hispanic audiences, who accounted for nearly 50% [...]

  • Jim Jarmusch in 'Carmine Street Guitars'

    Film Review: 'Carmine Street Guitars'

    “Carmine Street Guitars” is a one-of-a-kind documentary that exudes a gentle, homespun magic. It’s a no-fuss, 80-minute-long portrait of Rick Kelly, who builds and sells custom guitars out of a modest storefront on Carmine Street in New York’s Greenwich Village, and the film touches on obsessions that have been popping up, like fragrant weeds, in [...]

  • Missing Link Laika Studios

    ‘Missing Link’ Again Tops Studios’ TV Ad Spending

    In this week’s edition of the Variety Movie Commercial Tracker, powered by the TV ad measurement and attribution company iSpot.tv, Annapurna Pictures claims the top spot in spending for the second week in a row with “Missing Link.” Ads placed for the animated film had an estimated media value of $5.91 million through Sunday for [...]

  • Little Woods

    Film Review: 'Little Woods'

    So much of the recent political debate has focused on the United States’ southern border, and on the threat of illegal drugs and criminals filtering up through Mexico. But what of the north, where Americans traffic opiates and prescription pills from Canada across a border that runs nearly three times as long? “Little Woods” opens [...]

  • Beyonce's Netflix Deal Worth a Whopping

    Beyonce's Netflix Deal Worth a Whopping $60 Million (EXCLUSIVE)

    Netflix has become a destination for television visionaries like Shonda Rhimes and Ryan Murphy, with deals worth $100 million and $250 million, respectively, and top comedians like Chris Rock and Dave Chappelle ($40 million and $60 million, respectively). The streaming giant, which just announced it’s added nearly 10 million subscribers in Q1, is honing in [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content