China’s ‘Boonie Bears’ Reach Korea With Animated Series and Movie

Two seasons of the hit Chinese animation series “Boonie Bears” have been licensed for release in South Korea. The deal was struck by animation studio Fantawild with content distributor Media to Media.

The broker has acquired IPTV and VoD rights to “Boonie Bears: Four Seasons,” and “Sunsational Summer and Snow Daze,” a total of 104 episodes. It has arranged for them to play on SK Broadband’s SKBTV from May, and SK Broadband’s Oksusu OTT platform.

It is the first time that the hit series has played on Korean TV, though three feature movies (“To the Rescue!,” “A Mystical Winter,” and “The Big Top Secret”) have previously been released. So too have two TV movie spin-offs: “Homeward Journey,” and “Robo-Rumble.”

Fantawild also stuck a Korean distribution deal for “Fantastica,” the fourth theatrical movie in the franchise. It was bought by distributor Activers, which plans to release it in theaters in this year.

The sixth installment of the movie franchise, “Blast into the Past,” is set to open in mainland Chinese cinemas in early February, at Chinese New Year. Fantawild says the film will open with some 7,000 screens. It expects it to beat the franchise record of $97 million, set last year by “The Big Shrink.”

Fantawild, which is also a leading theme park operator, creates 52 or 104 episodes per year of the “Boonie Bears” series, as well as a feature movie. The franchise now totals more than 700 TV episodes and some $310 million of theatrical revenue.

“Things moved really fast. We first met with (Media to Media) at ATF (in December), and they loved our shows at first sight. It’s strange that it hadn’t happened earlier, but sometimes you just need to hit the right note at the right time.” said Daniel Bort, head of international, at Fantawild Animation.