StudioCanal & Universal Music ink partnership for 3D animated feature

MUMBAI: StudioCanal and Universal Music Group (UMG) have inked a partnership for the upcoming 3D animated feature, Around the World in 50 Years.

As part of this agreement, UMG will handle all North American theatrical, DVD, television and non-theatrical rights to the movie. Moreover, UMG will also handle the soundtrack album on a global basis.

The film is directed by Ben Stassen and is being produced at nWave’s Brussels studio.

The announcement of the deal follows straight after the film’s presentation to an exclusive, invitation-only audience at Cannes, as part of the international sales rollout. The presentation, which included almost 15 minutes of "immersion" 3D footage, was crafted and presented by former Dreamworks marketing executive, Peter Dunne who has signed on as an animation consultant for Studio Canal.

StudioCanal CEO Olivier Courson said, "I am delighted about this partnership. We first approached our sister company Universal Music Group about the soundtrack which is so critical for an animated film, but Doug Morris (chairman & CEO) was so enthusiastic that he decided not only to come on board for the music but also to become our partner for US distribution. We never even took the film to the market. This movie is another important step in our international production: 3D animation. We are happy to have partners within the Vivendi group who can bring together such a strong and diverse team of creative and marketing talent which this project deserves."

Morris added, "When Jolene Cherry (Universal Records senior vice president of A&R) first brought the film to my attention, I realized what a true gem it is. It combines the most innovative technology available today with great story-telling to convey an important environmental message. We are thrilled to be working with Olivier and his team on this important project."

The soundtrack album to the movie will be created by Cherry and Vincent Herbert.

StudioCanal EVP international distribution Rodolphe Buet added, "We are thrilled to have secured such a great home for Around the World in 50 Years. We have long recognized that international success in family entertainment relies on a great US release, and this deal allows us to begin work right away with our partners in putting together a first-class marketing, licensing and promotional campaign for the film."

Around the World in 50 Years will be released in North America and internationally in Q4 2010.

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