Masha and the Bear, one of the best known international animation franchises coming from Russia, has begun production of its new season, despite previous reports that it lacked funding.
Animaccord, the children’s animated series’ production company, has announced its third season, which is to consist of 26 episodes. Production is set to continue through mid-2017.
Dmitry Loveiko, Animaccord’s general director and the series’ producer, was quoted by the Russian business daily Vedomosti as saying that the production of one episode costs $250,000, with the entire season’s production costs amounting to $6.5 million.
News about the series’ new season was a surprising development after reports earlier this year indicated that Animaccord wouldn’t do a new season of Masha and the Bear since it didn’t have funding.
According to Loveiko, the company is funding the series out of its own pocket.
Launched in 2009 and based on a Russian fairy tale, the series is centered on adventures of a little girl named Masha and an anthropomorphic bear. It has been aired in a number of countries.
Some of its episodes are available on YouTube, and merchandise under the Masha and the Bear brand is available globally.
Earlier this year, Animaccord struck a deal with Netflix, and the series’ first season has been available on Netflix since August.
At Kidscreen Summit 2015, the series won for best animation in the creative talent category.