UTV Software Communications Ltd.s Animation division in India has signed up new deals worth $14 million, which includes a co-production with PorchLight on new animated feature film, as well as an animation services and a co-production agreement with Mike Young Prods. and Taffy Ent.
The co-production with PorchLight Ent., producer and distributor of the award-winning preschool series, JAY JAY THE JET PLANE, is to produce the first JAY JAY feature length animated movie, JAY JAYS RACE AROUND THE WORLD. The script is in the works while pre-production will begin in October at UTV in Mumbai and PorchLight Animation in Los Angeles. The movie is slated for release in the fourth quarter of 2007.
UTV will co-produce with Los Angeles-based MYPs, distribution arm Taffy Ent. and Method Film France the TV series, COSMIC QUANTUM RAY. There is also an animation services deal for 13 hours of a combination of direct to DVD titles and TV episodes in 3D animation. MYP had been producing 3D animation with a Mumbai-based studio for several years.
UTVs coo Ronald Dmello said, These deals signify an important step in the growth and development of UTV within the animation space. They mark a significant step toward the addition of some very high profile titles into UTVs animation portfolio and an entry into the elite animated, feature filmmakers club.
This is the next step in globally maximizing the Jay Jay brand, said Bruce Johnson, PorchLights ceo/exec producer of JAY JAY THE JET PLANE. We took the success of Jay Jay on PBS and grew it into a recognizable licensing brand. Now, having added new characters, new storylines and the PBS Sprout platform to the series, its logical to align ourselves with the talents of UTV and produce JAY JAY in a long form format.
Mike Young, co-ceo MYP& Taffy Ent. said, We are very excited about starting this new relationship. We expect to benefit hugely from the abilities and experience of UTVs animation studio and also their pedigree and depth as a media company.
Incorporated in 1990, UTV has today emerged as one of India's leading and most respected integrated media and entertainment companies. Listed on the Indian Stock Exchange, it has grown from a television production house, into an integrated media company with leadership position in television, motion pictures and broadcasting, through its Kids Network Hungama TV. UTV has established its presence with offices across Asia, the U.K. and USA as a source of creative an execution excellence.
PorchLight Ent. (www.porchlight.com) is a multi-faceted company focused on the production and distribution of family entertainment. Since its formation in 1995 by veteran entertainment execs Bruce D. Johnson and William T. Baumann, PorchLight has produced the Emmy award-winning animated series, TUTENSTEIN, for Discovery Kids and Jetix (formerly Fox Kids Europe), JAY JAY THE JET PLANE for PBS KIDS, the animated childrens series ADVENTURES FROM THE BOOK OF VIRTUES (PBS KIDS) and the animated long form movies THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS: A MOUSE TALE, THE HAUNTED PUMPKIN OF SLEEPY HOLLOW and CHRISTMAS DINOSAUR. PorchLight is producing FOUR EYES for France 3 and the Disney Channel U.K. and a series of direct-to-videos for Leapfrog, the leading electronic toy company, among other productions.
Based in Woodland Hills, California, MYP (www.mikeyoungproductions.com) represents the mind-meld of partners Mike Young, creator of the British Academy award-winning series SUPERTED; Liz Young, supervising producer of Scholastic Ent.'s Emmy-nominated CLIFFORD THE BIG RED DOG, and its spin-off, PUPPY DAYS, both on PBS KIDS; and two-time Emmy Award-winning Schultz, producer of THE SIMPSONS. MYP produces PET ALIEN and TODDWORLD, as well as the upcoming GROWING UP CREEPIE, I GOT A ROCKET and DIVE OLLY DIVE! Maintaining a 24/7 pipeline with its co-production partners throughout the world and its parent company MoonScoop in France, MYP is truly a global operation.
Taffy Ent. is a rights management and distribution company, which successfully distributes a number of MYPs series, including the multi Emmy, Hugo, Prix Jeunesse and Parents Choice Award-winning series JAKERS!, as well as TODDWORLD, HE-MAN AND THE MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE and PET ALIEN. The company distributes to leading broadcasters in 160 countries around the world and also operates a consumer products division.