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Mediapro Enters Animation With Rokyn and ‘Mudanza Dimensional’

MADRID — Mediapro, one of the biggest independent companies in Europe, is entering animation, partnering with Rokyn Animation, for animated feature “Mudanza Dimensional.”

To be presented at next March’s Cartoon Movie in Bordeaux, the principal European animated feature co-production forum, “Mudanza Dimensional” is written by popular Spanish comedian and actor Joaquín Reyes (“La hora chanante,” “Muchachada Bui”) and Miguel Esteban, creator of the Intl. Emmy-nominated “The End of Comedy.”

Reyes and Esteban will direct with Manuel Sicilia, who was nominated for an Oscar for his short, “The Lady and the Reaper,” and directed and produced two animated features:“The Missing Lynx” and “Justin and the Knights of Valor.”

“Mudanza Dimensional” is produced by Mediapro and Rokyn Animation, founded in 2016, and run by Sicilia and Francesca Nicoll. Their production credits also take in animated omnibus feature ”Extraordinary Tales” and stop-motion TV series “Clay Kids.”

In development, “Mudanza Dimensional” taps into an adventure vibe, turning on nine-year-old “Lali,” a young girl of large imagination with a great sense of humor whose life is made impossible at school by Andus.

So she’s happy enough when she’s told her family is moving and she’ll change school. What she doesn’t imagine is that the move will take her family to another dimension, X-222, where Monster, her imaginary friend and emotional support, can’t fit in.

Further characters in the movie are Robot, who oversees the house move, and Mr. Chot, a hamster who suffers from aerophagia, Mediapro said in a press statement Friday.

Launched in 1994, Mediapro made its reputation as a company which has always moved on a global scale, whether producing films by Woody Allen, such as “Midnight in Paris,” or moving waves late May when it outbid Vivendi subsidy Canal Plus, Europe’s second biggest pay TV player, to rights to France’s Ligue 1 soccer matches over 2020-24.

Operating 53 countries in 23 countries, it has moved forcefully into high-end drama series production, partnering with Netflix (“Edha”), Amazon Prime Video (“Six Dreams”), HBO (“The Young Pope”), Fox Networks Group (“Vis a Vis”), DirecTV Latin America (“Todo por el juego”) and Turner Latin America (a strategic alliance), just to name a few U.S. companies.

“Mudanza Dimensional” sees Mediapro moving into an industry sector of ever larger appeal where Spain, having suffered hugely during economic recession, is rebuilding as one of Europe’s emerging animation powers, bulwarked by the presence of a rich mix of studios and auteurs, producing both arthouse and family fare from Ilion’s “Wonder Park,” produced for Paramount Animation, Sergio Pablos’ “Klaus,” acquired by Netflix, and “Dragonkeeper,” backed by Movistar + and Atresmedia, to Salvador Simó’s “Buñuel in the Labyrinth of Turtles,” just acquired by Gkids.

Spanish animation’s bugbear, however, has traditionally been a comparative lack of domestic funding. In such a context, Mediapro’s move into animation becomes all the more important.

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