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Canadian Animation Shop Guru Studio Makes Moves in China

Guru Studio, an award-winning Toronto-based studio, is keen to get a slice of China’s animation market, which has been growing quickly.

“China has the single biggest TV audience in the world and is the second big economy. It’s a natural move for us to build a brand in China,” said Louise Jones, Guru VP of finance and business affairs, at a FilMart panel discussion on animation on Tuesday.

A day earlier, 20 episodes of Guru Studio’s flagship preschool series, “True and the Rainbow Kingdom,” were released on QQ Player, a multimedia player developed by Tencent. Guru’s previous foray into China was with its show “Justin Time,” which played on iQiyi and Tencent Video.

For “True,” Guru Studio formed partnership with Chinese entertainment firm Hengxin Shambala Kids (Guangzhou) Cultural Industry Development, which serves as an agent helping it with everything from streaming to merchandising to publishing. “True” is financed by Netflix and Canada’s national public broadcaster CBC. It is one of the top preschool shows on CBC. So far it has attracted millions of clicks by Chinese viewers. The exact figure is to be confirmed.

Guru Studio is currently looking for Chinese partners to stream two other animation series: preschool show “Pikwik” and “Big Blue,” an underwater comedy adventure series.

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