Mainframe Entertainment has acquired international distribution rights for a new CG animated direct-to-video film based on the tremendously popular ARTHUR children's book series. Mainframe, Lions Gate Family Entertainment and RichCrest Animation have partnered to create the feature film, ARTHUR'S MISSING PAL, which will mark the first time that the beloved aardvark will come to life in 3D CG animation. IDT Entertainment Sales (IDTeS) will sell international distribution rights for the film on behalf of Mainframe.
RichCrest will produce the film with Mainframe, along with Marc Brown Studios and WGBH Boston. IDTeS will handle international distribution for Mainframe and will launch the property at MIPCOM. Lions Gate Family Ent. has U.S. distribution, with a scheduled delivery of spring 2006.
"Arthur fits right into the slate of classic characters we bring to life in 3D CG animation," said Rick Mischel, ceo of Mainframe. "For international broadcasters and video distributors looking for popular, branded children's properties with a built-in fan base, this exciting new Arthur feature will make an ideal addition to their lineup."
"Teaming up with Mainframe, IDTeS and Lions Gate for such an outstanding project is an opportunity we could not pass up," said Richard Rich of RichCrest. "This feature will give Arthur's fans a chance to see him in a whole new adventure with spectacular computer animation."
The ARTHUR series of books grew out of a bedtime story the author, Marc Brown, told his son about an aardvark named Arthur who hated his nose. That story became ARTHUR'S NOSE, the first in the series of books. There are more than 20 books in the series, as well an additional series of books based on Arthur's little sister D.W. Browns celebrated books have sold more than 52 million copies worldwide and there are more than 50 licensees producing toys, apparel, and other products based on ARTHUR.
Trained at the Cleveland Art Institute, Brown has created some 100 picture books for children in addition to his best-selling series.
Vancouver-based Mainframe Ent. Inc. (www.mainframe.ca) is one of the world's most prolific producers of computer generated (CG) animation for television and direct-to-video/DVD family entertainment. Mainframe has produced more than 250 half hours of CG animated television as well as six CG animated direct-to-video/DVD feature films and two one-hour CG animated television specials. Mainframe's CG animation expertise is also being used in the production of theatrical feature films, interactive games and commercials. Established in 1993, Mainframe continues to grow its library of proprietary productions, and has received many prestigious awards for its work on such international brands as Barbie, Hot Wheels, Spider-Man, Casper and Popeye, Mainframe clients include Sony, Mattel, Lions Gate Home Ent, Electronic Arts (Canada) and MTV. Mainframe's majority shareholder, IDT Corp., is a NYSE-listed multinational telecommunications and entertainment company.
Lions Gate Ent. (www.lgf.com) is a leading diversified independent producer and distributor of motion pictures, television programming, home entertainment, family entertainment and video-on-demand content, and its prestigious and prolific library of 8000+ titles is the largest in the indie world.
RichCrest, in Glendale, California, recently completed production on five direct-to-video productions for Nest Entertainment and is currently in CGI production on American Greetings The Get Along Gang. RichCrest is committed to theatrical releases and is in development on two CGI features, AUTOMATION and E-TROOPERS using the latest CGI technology.
IDTeS (www.idtes.com) is responsible for the worldwide distribution of content from IDT Ent. companies, as well as third-party producers. IDT Entertainment, a division of IDT Corp., is a vertically integrated entertainment concern that develops, produces and distributes proprietary and licensed entertainment content, with a particular focus on high-quality animation.
Marc Brown Studios in Boston is an Emmy and Peabody Award-winning children's multimedia company committed to educating children and families through entertainment for over 25 years. ARTHUR, the cornerstone of the MBS catalog, is enjoyed and respected by families in more than 60 countries throughout the world.
WGBH (www. wgbh.org) in Boston is America's preeminent public broadcasting producer, the source of fully one-third of PBS's primetime lineup, along with some of public television's best-known lifestyle shows and children's programs: Arthur (produced with Cookie Jar Entertainment Inc.), Between the Lions, Postcards from Buster, and ZOOM. the WGBH children's lineup is a leader the field in educational multimedia (including the Web, broadband and interactive television) and in technologies and services that make media accessible to people with disabilities.