French and U.S.-based producer and distributor Cyber Group Studios has joined forces with one of Russia’s oldest animation studios, Soyuzmultfilm, to create a new animation outfit aimed at pre-school audiences.
The joint venture label, Cyber Soyuz Junior, will see both companies combine their resources to make 2D animations; and its launch comes with the announcement of two series.
Already in production is “Orange Moo Cow,” a 52-part short format comedy, which follows the exploits of an energetic six-year-old cow and her sensitive younger brother.
Also in development is the 78-episode “Squared Zebra,” aimed at kids between three and five, which follows the daily adventures of an empathetic Zebra and her other friends from the animal kingdom, as they learn to overcome their differences.
Both series have already been acquired by Russian broadcaster Channel 1, with Cyber Group Studios responsible for distribution outside Russia.
The “Taffy” and “Gigantosaurus” producer hopes the alliance with the state-owned animation outfit – which has been running for more than 80 years – will allow it to tap into the Russian kids market.
Pierre Sissmann, chairman-CEO of Cyber Group Studios, added that he was looking forward to fusing the styles and talent of both Russian and French animators to create content of international appeal.
The alliance with a Russian partner is the latest move by the fast-growing Cyber Group to expand its operations, following the opening of a subsidiary in L.A. and a new French studio in Tourcoing in addition to its Paris headquarters.
The French studio also launched an interactive division aimed at developing games and interactive experiences across all digital and traditional platforms.
Variety announced Friday that Cyber Group Studios and WarnerMedia’s Boomerang had renewed classic slapstick comedy “Taffy” for a second season.
Soyuzmultfilm has a catalogue of more than 1,500 film and TV animations for kids and families which include 2018 Stop Motion animation feature “Hoffmaniada” as well as TV series such as “Mr Theo, Cat and Dog”, “Captain Kraken and His Crew” and the 8-plus comedy “Pirate School”
The company’s chairman of the board of directors, Yuliana Slashcheva, added that the venture was a “strategically important milestone” and that the firm was looking forward to working on a slate of cartoon series and full-length features.