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Chinese kungfu cartoon hit scheduled for late arrival on domestic screens
Latest Updated by 2007-05-08 14:52:51
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The international TV cartoon hit "Shaolin Kids" could finally appear on Chinese screens in October -- four years after its debut abroad.

The head of the Chinese side of the Sino-French production said at the ongoing third China International Cartoon and Animation Festival in Zhejiang Province that the company was discussing its broadcast with China Central Television (CCTV).

Produced at a cost of 40 million yuan (5.2 million U.S. dollars), the series by Shanghai Fantasia Animation Company Ltd. and the Les Cartooneur Animation Company of France tells the stories of three Chinese children with unique kungfu skills, who subdue monsters and exterminate devils.

The 26-part cartoon has already topped the ratings of TV3 in France and was screened at the Cannes TV Festival in 2003 and 2004. It was also well-received in Germany and Canada.

"We have recouped our investment by airing in foreign markets and finally the series will air in China in October," said Zhang Tianxiao, chief executive of Shanghai Fantasia Animation Company Ltd.

CCTV Children's Channel chief executive Yu Peixia said the series was awaiting a broadcasting license from the SARFT and he could not give an exact date for the Chinese launch.

The series might give a boost to China's animation market, which has been flooded by mostly Japanese productions, at times taking 80 percent of the Chinese market.

China's production of animated cartoons reached 80,000 minutes in 2006, double the amount of the previous year and more than the total production from 1993 to 2004.

In the first quarter of this year, production amounted to 22,000 minutes, said Jin Delong, deputy chief editor of the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT).

The industry has benefited from government measures to boost domestic production. In September last year, the SARFT restricted foreign cartoon broadcasts to a maximum of 30 percent of animated cartoons aired from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. everyday. Chinese-foreign joint productions can count in the 70 percent minimum domestic content.

"The policy has definitely played a part in boosting domestic animation industry," said Jin.

"China is not against imported animation products, but we have to encourage the development of fledgling domestic industry and bring in those which can improve our competitiveness," he said.

Jin cited other China-made international successes, including "Heaven Eyes" and "The Blue Cat and Naughty Mouse's 3,000 Questions".

Editor: Donald

By: Source:China View website
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