Disney buys Israeli animated series

France 5, Al Jazeera Kids, Canada's TVO, and Eastern Europe's Minimaz have also bought "Monkey See Monkey Do"

Israeli start-up Smartoonz Ltd. has sold its animated series "Monkey See Monkey Do" to Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS). The company made the announcement last night at the mipTV convention in Cannes. Revenue from the deal is estimated at millions of dollars over the coming years.

Tel Aviv-based Smartoonz has five employees. Smartoonz managing director and head of production Yuval Levy told "Globes", "We produce content for preschoolers. We've been presenting here at Cannes for three years. 18 months ago, distributor HIT Entertainment (the distributor of "Bob the Builder" and other global hits - L.A.) approached us, and they decided to distribute the content. "Monkey See Monkey Do" has been sold to Disney Latin America, and it continues to be distributed in many countries around the world, including Canada and the US."

Levy expects to begin merchandizing of the show, which is where the big money lies. "We've completed the very difficult and challenging production stage. As far as we're concerned, it was a great achievement that HIT took us under their wing, and that Disney is our partner," he said.

Smartoonz has also sold "Monkey See Monkey Do" to France 5, Al Jazeera Kids, Canada's TVO and Knowledge, Eastern Europe's Minimaz, and other companies.

mipTV representative in Israel Guy Martinovsky said, "One of our advantages is that our culture is very close to Anglo-Saxon culture, more than in other Asian countries, which might produce cheaper shows, but which lack the grasp of details that Israelis have. This is part of the flowering that we see this year, compared with 2009, in new media."

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on April 15, 2010

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2010

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