New Zealand's Huhu Studios has signed an $86 million deal with a Chinese "powerhouse in the animation industry" to co-finance and co-produce five movies.
The deal between the Snells Beach digital media studio and Qingdao's DeZerlin Media should create 72 jobs in New Zealand, says Huhu's co-founder and chief executive Trevor Yaxley.
The agreement, signed in China yesterday during Prime Minister John Key's visit, will see Huhu and DeZerlin make the five animated movies over the next three to four years, with one aimed to enter production every nine months.
Yaxley said the contract was worth around US$60 million and about two thirds of the work from the deal should come to New Zealand.
The pictures will be created in English but also dubbed in Chinese for that market. ...
Below the gargantuan cartoon blockbusters -- mostly created by Disney, Blue Sky Studios, Illumination Entertainment (etc.) -- there are a raft of smaller productions done on smaller budgets and making tidy profits.
Many of these movies American audiences don't notice very much because they either roll out in very limited domestic releases ... or they don't get a theatrical play in the United States at all. (Like for instance this).
There are a lot of cartoons made abroad that fly under our radar. The deal above is just one more example of the scope of the global animation industry.