By Rachael Turk

New Zealand post-production major Weta Productions (Lord of the Rings, King Kong, The Chronicles of Narnia) and UK television production company Chapman Entertainment (headed by Bob the Builder creator Keith Chapman) are formally partnering in the development children’s television properties.

The first venture will be an animated comedy targeted at boys aged between six and nine.

Chapman Entertainment’s international toddler hits Fifi and the Flowertots and Roary the Racing Car currently feature in the UK’s top six selling pre-school toy licenses and have enjoyed television sales to over 200 territories.

The development of 2D and CGI animated properties will be jointly led by Chapman alongside Weta’s Martin Baynton and Richard Taylor.

The deal comes in the wake of mid-November’s announcement that Australian media empire The Omnilab Group will co-produce digital feature films with Oscar winning director George Miller’s production company Kennedy Miller, and Animal Logic’s announcement in May of a non-exclusive partnership with Warner Bros. to jointly develop a slate of animated feature films. 

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