Russia's Art Pictures Studio to Co-Produce New 'Smeshariki' Films

Smeshariki - P 2014

Smeshariki - P 2014

The animation franchise, known internationally as Kikoriki, has been adapted in several countries.

The Russian film company Art Pictures Studio, run by Fyodor Bondarchuk, the director of the all-time top grossing local movie Stalingrad, will co-produce new installments of the feature version of the Smeshariki animation franchise, known internationally as Kikoriki and in the U.S. as GoGoRiki.

"Animation is a niche in the film industry that is developing very rapidly," Dmitry Rudovsky, co-founder of Art Pictures Studio, said in a press release. "And Smeshariki is a brand that is well-known in the market and among viewers, so we are very keen on taking part in this project."

"For us, collaboration with Art Pictures Studio is a step toward new achievements in film production," added Ilya Popov, producer of the Smeshariki franchise. "The company has been working in the local and international markets for a long time and has substantial experience in distributing films for a wide range of audiences, including family films."

Smeshariki debuted 12 years ago as a children's cartoon series and has been adapted in half a dozen countries, including the United States, Germany and the United Kingdom.

The franchise's first feature, Smeshariki: The Beginning, was released in 2011. The two new feature installments, Smeshariki: Legend of a Golden Dragon and Smeshariki: Deja Vu, are to be presented at Le Marche du Film in Cannes next month.

Art Pictures Studio belongs to a group of "industry leaders" and has preferences for government funding.