The Jim Henson Co. is looking at launching an animation studio in Tianjin, China, Variety reports. The company signed a memo of understanding on the venture with Nine Eyes Stone Animation Prods. At the first edition of the International Comic and Animation Convention in Beijing, which ended this past Sunday (Dec.9). Tianjin Dream Land Animation Creative and Tianjin Hi-Tech Investment Guarantee are also named as possible partners.
Henson is also look at producing a film and TV series based on the Chinese fable of Snow Mountain with Beijing’s Time Horizon Intl. Culture Co.
A Henson spokesperson noted that, “It is a story that they are looking to The Jim Henson Co. to help them bring to the rest of the world. Definitive terms of the agreement are being negotiated.”
Henson was at ICAC to promote its new 3-D animated Sid the Science Kid: The Movie, which was produced in collaboration with Nine Eyes Stone and Shanghai Animation Film Studios. The new feature is written by long-time show runner Bradley Zweig, who also serves as an executive producer.
“They organizers did a good job at putting the convention up and running at short notice,” CEO Lisa Henson told Variety. “It was a fun challenge for us to participate on 60 days notice. We’re small, we’re nimble, it’s easier for us to move. China is a big growth area for us, and this is a really exciting time for us. There are animation companies and studios springing up.”
More than 30 comic publishers and about 150 animation companies from the U.S., Japan, France and South Korea attended the Chinese confab, representing over 20 animated movies, 50 video works and more than 3,000 comic-related products during the 10-day event, which was sponsored by the country’s Ministry of Culture and other local agencies.