G.I. Joe, Barbie, Bionicle” some toys are naturals for TV and film. But Slinky? That springy thing that “walks” down stairs? That’s right, one of the world’s most simple and enduring toys is set to make its multi-media debut. H2V Kids, a new division of Montreal-based H2V Ent., and partner UKFS have signed a deal with DoubleTake Spring Partners and James Industries Inc. to launch animated Slinky properties.
We recently brought you word that H2V Ent. was preparing to enter the animation market with three adult-targeted features scheduled to begin roll-out in Spring 2004. In addition, H2V CEO Henrique Vera-Villanueva and the partnering companies will produce two feature length animated family films and an animated television series based on characters from the popular collection of Slinky Pets toys.
Pre-production on the first Slinky title, The Magic Quilt, will begin in February 2004 for a fall 2005 delivery. The film will take family audiences into a land of enchantment and adventure as the cast of spring toys follows a trail from patch to patch on the mysterious title quilt. The features and 26×26 television series will combine 2D and 3D animation and will be produced at H2V’s studios in Montreal, Spain and Argentina.
Slinky is still made in Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania, with the original equipment Richard James created in 1945. Over the past 57 years more than a quarter billion have been sold, and Slinky and Slinky Pets toys can today be found in more than 20,000 stores worldwide.
The world-famous spring toy made its feature-animation debut in Pixar’s Toy Story and Toy Story 2, which count Slinky Dog among their cast of characters. The iconic novelty diversion has also been featured in such live-action motion pictures as Ace-Ventura–When Nature Calls, Demolition Man, Other People’s Money and Hairspray.
H2V Ent. is currently producing the animated features Manga Latina, Piñatas and Monica Made in America with a staff of 250 animators. Partner UK Films Services Limited (UKFS) is a producer and financer of a diverse slate of feature films, in which the company has invested $125 million in 2003.