Russia's 'The Snow Queen 2' to Get U.K. Release Before Russian Debut

Snow Queen Poster

An international roll out will follow

British families will be the first audiences to see the sequel to Russia's popular Snow Queen cartoon when The Snow Queen 2: Magic of the Ice Mirror opens in the U.K. three weeks ahead of its Russian release.

The animated feature, based on the same Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale as Disney's Frozen, has a cast of characters unique to the film's producers Wizart Animation.

Backed by Russia's state film fund, Russian Cinema, and co-produced by Timur Bekmambetov's Moscow-based shingle Bazelevs, the film is being distributed by the U.K.'s Signature Entertainment at VUE cinemas and multiplexes across Britain.

The 79-minute movie was shortlisted for the best animated film category of the Golden Globes — the first time foreign-language films were considered for that award — but The Snow Queen 2 failed to land one of the final five nominations, announced Thursday.

After hitting theaters in the U.K., the film will roll out in Poland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Croatia, Montenegro, Serbia, Macedonia, Slovenia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, the Middle East and South Korea.

Further theatrical releases for the film and the first Snow Queen are planned next spring in Turkey, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and China,

In Russia, audiences will get to see The Snow Queen 2 from Jan. 1, 2015; it will be released under the title The Snow Queen 2: Perezamorozka, which means "re-frozen."

The first part of the franchise was released in early November in the U.K. and Australia on DVD, where it became one of the top five and top three best-sellers, respectively, in its first two weeks on sale, Wizart said.

DVD deals also have been announced for French and German speaking territories with Universal Pictures Video France, Elite Film AG.

The cartoon, which sold well at AFM, is credited with helping put Russian animation back on the world film industry map.

"We are proud that our feature was shortlisted for the Golden Globes," Wizart producer Yuri Moskvin told The Hollywood Reporter.

"It is a great accomplishment for us and Russian animation in general, which will make us work even harder in the future. We were thrilled to see our film among movies produced by major studios, which clearly shows that the quality of our animation has increased dramatically."

The release of the cartoon in Europe is our latest challenge," Moskvin added. "We shall see if it is interesting, funny and relevant for audiences there, although of course, its main test, the Russian premiere, is still ahead of us."

Alexandra Modestova, head of Russian Cinema, said: "We are really pleased that Russian cultural products are making headway in such a tough, competitive international market."

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