Nelvana Brings a Rabbit & Defenders to MIPTV

Corus Ent. Inc.'s Nelvana Enterprises is bringing MY FRIEND RABBIT and DI-GATA DEFENDERS to MIPTV.

Based on Eric Rohmann's 2003 Caldecott Gold Medal-winning children's book, MY FRIEND RABBIT will be produced by Nelvana Studios and was commissioned by Treehouse, Corus' preschool broadcast service in Canada.

Aimed at kids 3-6, the 2D series brings to life the wide-eyed adventures of best friends Mouse and Rabbit. Their exploits lead to hilarious predicaments and inventive resolutions, opening children's eyes to the endless possibilities of the world around them. Nelvana will initially produce 26x30 (2x11 per half hour).

MY FRIEND RABBIT will make its debut this fall on qubo, the multi-platform television network launched last year by ION Media Networks, NBC Universal, Scholastic, Classic Media/Big Idea and Corus. In 2008, the series will launch on Treehouse in Canada and Nelvana Enterprises brings it to MIPTV to show to potential broadcasters for a 2008 launch around the globe.

"The qubo network is very proud to offer Nelvana's MY FRIEND RABBIT as its first original production," said Rick Rodriguez, president/gm, qubo. "The charming character designs, clever sense of humor and strong educational core make the series an ideal fit for our network."

"MY FRIEND RABBIT has found the perfect home on qubo," said Doug Murphy, president, Nelvana Enterprises. "It's an award-winning literary property that resonates with qubo's literacy and values-based positioning."

DI-GATA DEFENDERS has recently landed new broadcast sales, a toy launch by Spin Master LTD. and Upper Deck Europe BV in multiple markets, and a popular online virtual world of interactive games.

Aimed at kids aged 6-11, the series is a Nelvana Limited/LuxAnimation co-production and tells the story of four young heroes and their powerful Guardian companions who are on a quest to find four pure stones and recast the "spell of binding" to restore order to the realm of RaDos.

DI-GATA DEFENDERS airs on TELETOON in Canada and RTL2 in Germany. It has also been sold to broadcasters around the world including Jetix in the U.K., TF1 and Nickelodeon in France, RAISAT in Italy, TV Globo in Brazil, Televisa in Mexico, Cartoon Network in Australia, New Zealand, India, Latin and Central America, as well as to broadcasters in Southeast Asia and South Africa.

As the master toy licensee, Spin Master LTD. has developed a unique line of dice games replicating the battles from the TV series, as well as action figures, vehicles and accessories. Merchandise will launch in multiple markets throughout 2007 and 2008. Upper Deck Europe BV, the toy line's distributor in Germany, will launch the product line in mid-May 2007. In Canada, sales have been extremely strong with re-orders in place for immediate shipment.

The popular DI-GATA website (www.digata.com) features online games, a creator's blog, streaming video, music from the show and customized instant messaging avatars. In Canada, kids have access to a virtual Di-Gata world in an online game format that enables kids to battle with players from all over the country in a multi-player arena, while accumulating powers and trading gear in a virtual shop. The multi-player game was developed by Nelvana Enterprises through the Bell New Media Fund and was produced by Tribal Nova.

The interactive category will be further bolstered later in the year for the holiday season when The Game Factory plans to release its DI-GATA handheld game for the Nintendo DS. There are also plans for a PlayStation portable game to be available in early 2008.

"DI-GATA is poised to become a global hit," said Murphy. "With the strongest broadcast partners, an interactive web presence, outstanding product development from Spin Master, and a great storyline, we look forward to an exciting worldwide launch."

With a focus on delivering branded entertainment as well as providing distribution and merchandise licensing opportunities on multiple platforms, Nelvana Enterprises oversees new media partnerships, global broadcast, DVD and video-on-demand sales, and consumer products licensing internationally for animated properties from Nelvana Studios and select production partners. Nelvana Enterprises stable of award-winning and globally renowned brands include literary classics BABAR and FRANKLIN as well as new shows such as RUBY GLOOM. Nelvana Enterprises is owned by Corus Ent. Inc., a Canadian-based media and entertainment company. For more information, visit www.corusent.com.

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Rick DeMott
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