DQ Ent. leads 'Lassie' 3D cartoon

TV series to be multinational co-production

HONG KONG -- Indian animation producer DQ Entertainment is to co-produce a 3D cartoon TV series based on Lassie, one of cinema's most famous dogs.

DQ is partnered in the venture by Lassie rights holder Classic Media, DQ's affiliate branches in the U.K., France and Ireland, French commercial broadcaster M6 and German public TV channel ZDF.

The series, to be a 26 x 26 min series, will be a U.K.-Ireland-France-Germany-India co-production.

"What we are announcing now is a co-development agreement. But it is very well understood that we will go ahead and co-produce this as a multi-million Euro series, with us as the lead producer," said Tapaas Chakravarti, DQ's CEO. "The script will primarily be written in Europe with the intention of delivering the series at the end of 2010 or early 2011."

DQ, which is listed on the London Stock Exchange, previously partnered Classic for the CGI "Casper's Scare School," based on the "Casper The Friendly Ghost" character. Classic is headquartered in the U.S., but oversight of the project will be handled from its London office.

Lassie was born in a 1940 novel by Eric King, made her big screen debut in 1943 and subsequently appeared in 10 movies including the 2005 Odyssey Entertainment retread directed by Charles Sturridge. A live-action TV series began in 1954 and ran for 19 seasons.
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