ST. LOUIS, June 8, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Cepia LLC, the maker of ZhuZhu Pets®, the world's favorite interactive hamsters, today announced a worldwide television rights and home entertainment arrangement with Universal Pictures to release two feature-length, animated films, "Quest for Zhu™" and "Power of Zhu,™" to debut exclusively on DVD in 2011 and 2012, respectively. The announcement was jointly made today by Russ Hornsby, CEO, Cepia LLC, Craig Kornblau, President of Universal Studios Home Entertainment and Eddie Cunningham, President, Universal Pictures International Entertainment.
With more than 62 million toy hamsters sold across more than 65 countries, ZhuZhu Pets® have achieved a loyal fanbase of "Zhu-natics" since they launched in 2009. ZhuZhu Pets® have won "Toy of the Year" awards in the U.S., U.K., Australia, Russia, Norway, Brazil and Czech Republic.
Cepia LLC has teamed up with Los Angeles-based, multi-Emmy and British Academy Award winning production company, Moonscoop (Jakers, Clifford, The Big Red Dog and Chloe's Closet) and writer Sean Catherine Derek (Smurfs, Spiderman and Mortal Combat) and 3-D animation studio Prana Animation Studios, Inc. (TRON: Legacy and Tinker Bell) to bring the magical Zhu-niverse™ to life in 3-D stereoscopic animation. Both movies star the four original ZhuZhu Pets® characters (Pipsqueak, Mr. Squiggles, NumNums and Chunk), who explore the Zhu-niverse™ through adventurous, heartwarming and heroic tales.
"Bringing ZhuZhu Pets® to life through the magic of movies is an exciting new chapter in the Zhu-niverse™ evolution," said Russ Hornsby. "Partnering with Universal to show kids ZhuZhu Pets® in action and to watch their very real adventures and emotions is something we think they are truly going to enjoy. Creating movies is an exciting new experience for ZhuZhu Pets® and Cepia, and with these films we have another way for our brand to come alive for the fans."
"This agreement perfectly combines the exceptional global appeal of the ZhuZhu Pets® brand with Universal's premier marketing and distribution infrastructure," said Craig Kornblau, President, Universal Studios Home Entertainment. "ZhuZhu Pets® is a fantastic complement to Universal's expanding portfolio of family franchises and we anticipate this film property to have significant worldwide potential."
Eddie Cunningham, President of Universal Pictures International Entertainment, said, "We are delighted to be working with Cepia LLC and ZhuZhu Pets®, a brand loved and cherished by kids around the world. The 'Quest for Zhu™' will be a great addition to our growing kid's portfolio."
"We are excited to partner with such a phenomenally popular brand and to bring the ZhuZhu Pets® and Kung Zhu™ characters to life through vivid and fun animation," said Mike Young, CEO, Moonscoop. "Developing characters kids can relate to through music, challenges and real-world life lessons is a unique and gratifying opportunity."
About Cepia LLC
Headquartered in St Louis, Mo., Cepia LLC is a privately held company that manufactures toys and games for children of all ages. The company was founded on the premise that sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. Ingenuity, creativity, playfulness and passion are the heart of Cepia and everything it creates. Cepia's toy building enterprises include: Glo-e, ZhuZhu Pets®, Kung Zhu™, ZhuZhu Princess™, ZhuZhu Babies™, ZhuZhu Puppies™ and their newest venture, DaGeDar™. ZhuZhu Pets® have received top honor Toy of the Year recognition in five countries, including 2010 "Toy of the Year," "Most Innovative Toy" and "Best Girls Toy" at the 2010 TOTY Awards in the U.S. All toys from Cepia LLC are sold globally through national chain retail outlets and independent toy stores. For more information, please visit www.cepiallc.com and www.zhuniverse.com.
About Universal Pictures
Universal Pictures is a division of Universal Studios (www.universalstudios.com). Universal Studios is a part of NBCUniversal, one of the world's leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production and marketing of entertainment, news and information to a global audience. NBCUniversal owns and operates a valuable portfolio of news and entertainment television networks, a premier motion picture company, significant television production operations, a leading television stations group and world-renowned theme parks. Comcast Corporation owns a controlling 51% interest in NBCUniversal, with GE holding a 49% stake.
Moonscoop is a leading worldwide kids production, distribution, brand management and entertainment company, focused on producing original projects and building brands with international appeal and longevity. Its rights library combines many of the most successful programs and best-loved animated creations in the global television market and includes over 3,000 half-hours of programming airing in more than 160 territories worldwide. Key brands include "Code Lyoko," "Fantastic Four," "Titeuf" (Tootuff), "Chloe's Closet," "Hero:108," "Dive Olly Dive!," "Geronimo Stilton" and "Casper," which are licensed in markets around the world. Moonscoop's production slate currently includes "Hero:108 2," "Tara Duncan," "Geronimo Stilton season2," "Casper season2," "The Davincibles" and "Super Sportlets" and feature film of "Titeuf."
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SOURCE Cepia LLC