Xing Xing Digital and Pelagius Entertainment To Co-Produce Animated Movie 'Smart'

The robot tale will be directed by John A. Davis, whose credits include "Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius" and "The Ant Bully."

Xing Xing Digital, the Beijing-based animation studio, and Pelagius Entertainment, the Los Angeles-based production company, are joining forces to co-produce Smart, an animated movie to be directed by John A. Davis, who previously directed 2001’s Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius and 2006’s The Ant Bully.

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Billed as a screwball comedy about an emotional robot that forms an alliance with two abandoned pets to stop an evil toy manufacturer, the project, budgeted at $22 million, is being scripted by S.D. Katz and David Freeman.

Pre-production is beginning this month in Los Angeles, and the majority of the production will take place at Xing Xing studios in China. The movie is slated for an international theatrical release in 2016.

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Xing Xing Digital, headed by CEO Lifeng Wang, has co-produced such television titles as Wild Animal Baby Explorers and The Secret Millionaire’s Club.

Pelagius Entertainment, founded by Joe Fries and Natalie Khoury, has produced the 2007 feature Talk to Me and the 2008 documentary Adjust Your Color: The Truth of Petey Greene.