4Kids Entertainment (NYSE: KDE) has reached agreement with FUNimation Entertainment and Toei Animation Co., Ltd., to license the U.S. broadcast television rights to the new animated television series “Dragon Ball Z Kai”.
Press Release from 4Kids Ent.
NEW YORK (April 26, 2010) – 4Kids Entertainment (NYSE: KDE) has reached agreement with FUNimation Entertainment and Toei Animation Co., Ltd., to license the U.S. broadcast television rights to the new animated television series “Dragon Ball Z Kai”.
Sneak peeks of “Dragon Ball Z Kai” will be seen this summer before the series premieres as a regularly scheduled program on TheCW4Kids Saturday morning block during the 2010-2011 broadcast season. 4Kids will also have “Dragon Ball Z Kai” episodes available for streaming on its popular www.4kids.tv and www.4kidstv.com websites.
Dragon Ball is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Akira Toriyama, originally serialized in Weekly Shonen Jump published by Shueisha Inc. from 1984 through 1995. Inspired by the Chinese folk novel Journey to the West, it follows the adventures of Son Goku from his childhood through adulthood as he trains in martial arts and explores the world in search of the seven mystical objects -- known as the Dragon Balls -- which can summon a wish-granting dragon.
As part of the series’ 20th anniversary celebration in 2009, in a project overseen by its creator, Akira Toriyama, Shueisha and Toei Animation remastered the “Dragon Ball Z” series for HDTV, re-edited the series, updated its opening and ending sequences, rerecorded the vocal tracks by most of the original cast, and launched the newly named “Dragon Ball Kai” on Japanese television in April 2009. The series currently rates among the top five animated programs on Japanese television.
“’Dragon Ball’ is one of the most popular manga series of the past 20 years, with more than 150 million copies of the book series sold in Japan and North America,” said Alfred R. Kahn, Chairman and CEO of 4Kids Entertainment. “We are looking forward to including ‘Dragon Ball Z Kai’as a mainstay in our TheCW4Kids 2010 – 2011 Saturday morning programming lineup and making this great series available on American broadcast television.”
“We are excited about working with 4Kids to expose this major title to a new generation with a completely updated version,” said Gen Fukunaga, President and CEO of FUNimation Entertainment.
About 4Kids Entertainment, Inc.With U.S. headquarters in New York City, regional offices for its trading card business in San Diego, California and international offices in London, 4Kids Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE: KDE) is a global organization devoted to the creation, development, production, broadcasting, distribution, licensing and manufacturing of children’s entertainment products.
Through its subsidiaries, 4Kids produces animated television series and films, distributes 4Kids’ produced or licensed animated television series for the domestic and international television and home video markets, licenses merchandising rights worldwide to 4Kids’ owned or represented properties, operates Web sites to support 4Kids’ owned or represented properties, and produces and markets collectible trading card games. Additionally, the Company programs and sells the national advertising time in “TheCW4Kids” five-hour Saturday morning block on The CW Television Network.
About Toei Animation Co., Ltd.Toei Animation Co., Ltd. (Jasdaq:4816) (http://www.toei-anim.co.jp or http://www.toei-anim.co.jp/english/index.html) is the largest animation production company in Japan since 1956, and have produced many celebrated TV series such as Dragon Ball, Sailor Moon, Zatch Bell!, Digimon Adventure, and One Piece. With headquarters in Tokyo and sales offices in Los Angeles, Hong Kong and Paris, Toei Animation ranks amongst the world’s most prolific animation production studios. Toei Animation’s operations include animation development and production, and worldwide marketing and program licensing. Since its founding in 1956, Toei Animation has produced more than 9,900 episodes of TV series (181 titles) and 192 long feature films.
About FUNimation EntertainmentFUNimation Entertainment, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Navarre Corporation, is the leading company for Japanese animation in the United States. FUNimation is known for acquiring top-rated anime series from Japan and for being the market share leader for home video sales of anime in the United States. The company has a proven formula for launching and advancing brands, and manages a full spectrum of rights for most of its brands including broadcasting, licensing, production, internet, and home video sales and distribution.