Hari joins the distribution club

Kids-logo-460_2GRIZZY_HARIHari International introduced its first cartoon series Grizzy and the Lemmings at MIPJunior last year, and its international roll out is now beginning to take shape.

Grizzy is a bear who finds comfort in a forest ranger’s house, but faces off against a band of lemmings whose goal is to drive him out. The bear and his foes have sure been busy.

3D CGI comedy-cartoon series Grizzy and the Lemmings launched in October and November on Turner’s Boomerang pay TV channel worldwide, excluding France and Canada.

This 78x7mins dialogue-free series comes from Studio Hari, the French animation company behind comedies including The Owl, The Owl & Cie and Leon and premiered at MIPJunior.

Already pre-bought by Turner and France Télévisions, which has the first broadcast window in France, it debuts soon. Télé-Quebec from French-Canadian public television is also attached.

The family-skewed show was the first to be distributed by Hari International, the sales firm Studio Hari formed last May.

Adeline.Tormo_Hari.International_HD1.jpgRun by Adeline Tormo (right), the former Gaumont Animation head of sales, the new distributor will represent all new series from Studio Hari and build “brand strategies based upon the company’s properties”.

“Having secured pay TV sales worldwide, our goal is to gather the greatest number of partners in free TV, country by country, so as to launch our new property and build a strong TV and licensing brand. Grizzy and the Lemmings has the potential to become a classic.”

This week Super RTL in Germany, VRT in Belgium, NPO in the Netherlands, NRK in Norway, SVT in Sweden, RUV in Iceland and Puls TV in Poland were confirmed as the first FTA buyers.

Tormo adds that creating Hari International ensures the television, video and merchandising exploitation for Studio Hari’s new productions are handled seamlessly.

“This is a major step in the development of Studio Hari,” company founders Josselin Charier and Antoine Rodelet said upon the forming of the division. “Its creation will lead to the integration of all the activities related to our content.”

TheOwl&Co_key_image.jpgHari International doesn’t hold the sales rights to former series produced by the studio. The sales to The Owl and The Owl & Cie (above) are handled by France Télévisions, while PGS Entertainment distributes Leon and The Gees, a 52x3mins show created for French channel Gulli.

Those shows have been licensed into over 200 countries and broadcast on channels including France Télévisions, BBC, Disney, SVT, Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon and the ABC. The L&M rights, however, haven’t been exploited.

Since its creation in 2006, Studio Hari has specialised in 3D animation, placing a bet on fully producing from its Paris and Angoulême studios, so as to keep control on the development and production of its TV shows.

“Like Aardman Animation, Studio Hari is well known for its technique and style: we now want to control the distribution and the rights chain instead of them being lost in the catalogue of another distributor,” Tormo says.

Hari International’s catalogue is set to grow, with a new project introduced in Annecy.

Live-action/3D hybrid Hollywood Pedigree will follow a cat, a dog and a chimpanzee sharing a flat in Tinseltown, and living with a human butler. It will play on the contrasts between animals and humans, and with co-viewing in mind, will be developed as a series or a TV movie.

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