UTV Software Communications Ltd has announced two landmark deals in the animation business amounting to a total of $14 million. The first deal is a co-production with PorchLight Entertainment, producer and distributor of the award winning pre-school series ‘Jay Jay, the Jet Plane’, to produce the first Jay Jay feature length animated movie, ‘Jay Jay’s Race Around the World’.
Scripting for the feature is already underway and pre-production will begin in October at UTV in Mumbai and PorchLight Animation in Los Angeles. The movie is slated for release in the fourth quarter of 2007.
UTV has also inked a deal with Los Angeles based Mike Young Productions’ distribution arm, Taffy Entertainment and Method Film France, for the TV series ‘Cosmic Quantum Ray’ and an animation services deal for 13 hours of a combination of direct-to-DVD titles and TV episodes in 3D animation. Mike Young Productions is no stranger to India and has been producing 3D animation with a leading production house for several years.
Speaking on the new developments Ronald D’Mello, COO, UTV, said, “These deals signify an important step in the growth and development of UTV within the animation space. They mark a significant step towards the addition of some very high profile titles into UTV’s animation portfolio and an entry into the elite animated feature film makers’ club.”
Bruce Johnson, CEO, PorchLight, and executive producer of ‘Jay Jay, the Jet Plane’, said, “This is the next step in globally maximising the Jay Jay brand. We took the success of Jay Jay on PBS and grew it into a recognisable licensing brand. Now, having added new characters, new storylines and the PBS Sprout platform to the series, it is logical to align ourselves with the talents of UTV and produce Jay Jay in a long form format.”
Commenting on the deal, Mike Young, co-CEO, Mike Young Productions and Taffy Entertainment, said, “We are very excited about starting this new relationship. We expect to benefit hugely from the abilities and experience of UTV’s animation studio and also their pedigree and depth as a media company.”