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Los Angeles-based Shout! Factory has picked up North American distribution rights to the Russian animated film franchise Kikoriki, known in Russia as Smeshariki.
The deal includes theatrical, VOD, digital, broadcast and home entertainment rights to the new animated feature Kikoriki: Legend of the Golden Dragon and the 2011 film Kikoriki: Team Invincible.
“We love the world of Kikoriki,” Jordan Fields, vp acquisitions at Shout! Factory, said Monday in a statement. “Legend of the Golden Dragon and Team Invincible are two highly entertaining comedies with truly nutty characters, clever storytelling, gentle satire and rich animation.”
He added: “The sharp, action-packed scripts were adapted by Hollywood animation veterans, and their comic sensibility is right on target for North American audiences.”
Added Diana Yurinova, vp international sales of the films’ Russian production company Riki-Group: “I’m happy to see that our new feature is gaining acceptance of the audiences abroad, country by country, spreading our round furry animal’s success story far from its nest.”
According to Yurinova, the company currently is working on the next part of the Kikoriki franchise, which is expected to be released in 2018. Kikoriki is represented globally by Odin’s Eye Entertainment.
Shout! Factory also has picked up French and German animation films, including the French animated feature Long Way North.
It is currently producing with Dynamite Entertainment the animated feature Red Sonja: Queen of Plagues, centered on the female self-taught warrior portrayed in a 1985 live-action film by Brigitte Nielsen.
The Kikoriki franchise was launched back in 2003 as a television series and has since been adapted in half a dozen countries, including the U.S., Germany and the U.K.
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