Nickelodeon Animation and Paramount Animation have formed a creative partnership with LAFIG Belgium and IMPS to produce multiple The Smurfs movies.
The first project under the new partnership banner is an animated musical film produced by all four labels set to begin production this year and set for release on December 20, 2024. Pam Brady (South Park, Team America) is set to write the first movie.
Also this morning, Nickelodeon, LAFIG Belgium and IMPS also announced a 26-episode second season of the CG-animated TV series, The Smurfs as well.
Sony previously had the iconic characters brand, which was created by Belgian artist Pierre Culliford aka Peyo. Through three theatrical releases, the Smurfs movies racked up more than $1.1 billion worldwide.
Ramsey Naito, President of Animation for Paramount Animation and Nickelodeon Animation, said: “Nickelodeon is the home to some of the world’s most popular family franchises, and we’re honored to add The Smurfs to that roster. We’re excited to tell a story that stays true to its origins, but with a Smurf-tastic musical twist that excites new audiences and builds on the Smurfs franchise and universe of wonderful characters and stories.”
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Added Véronique Culliford, Founder & President of LAFIG and IMPS: “It is with great joy and pride that I welcome this new Smurfs film! I am truly excited with this wonderful partnership with the talented, creative and dynamic teams at Paramount Animation, Nickelodeon Animation, and IMPS. I am convinced that this great collaboration will allow families around the world to immerse themselves in this unique universe of humor and extraordinary adventures. I have no doubt that my father, creator of these marvelous world-famous characters, would also be delighted with this continuation of his work. I look so forward to seeing audiences gather together in the near future to enjoy this new adventure of our beloved Smurfs.”
Latifa Ouaou, EVP Movies and Global Franchises, Paramount Animation and Nickelodeon Animation, will oversee the LAFIG Belgium and IMPS partnership on behalf of the studio and is in the process of identifying key creative leads including the director for the first film.
Said Ouaou, “The Smurfs is an iconic and beloved franchise, and we can’t wait introduce it to a whole new generation of fans by bringing a fresh cinematic perspective to the Smurfs franchise with this all-new story on the big screen.”
Under the deal, Nickelodeon licensed the global rights to The Smurfs, which follows Papa Smurf, Smurfette, Brainy, Hefty, Clumsy and others on all-new adventures. The series launched in September in the U.S. and has since ranked among the top five animated series on cable with Kids 2-11. After its U.S. debut, it aired on Nickelodeon channels internationally. In Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands the series will air on the public channels KiKA, Ketnet, RTBF and npo Zappelin, and in France on TF1.
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In addition to the content partnership, ViacomCBS Consumer Products (VCP) is the consumer products licensing agent for The Smurfs property across the U.S., Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, Singapore, Malaysia and certain South American territories. VCP will seek new merchandising and promotional partners in select categories and territories for The Smurfs classic brand, in addition to a new product line for the new animated series The Smurfs, spanning a variety of categories, launching at retail this year.
The Smurfs movie marks Nickelodeon Animation’s second CG-animated theatrical production. An all-new CG-animated Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Next Chapter, produced with Point Grey Pictures’ Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg and James Weaver and directed by Jeff Rowe, is currently underway, and set for release on Aug. 4, 2023. PAW Patrol: The Movie, produced with Spin Master with Nickelodeon Movies and Paramount, grossed $142.5M with a sequel, PAW Patrol: The Mighty Movie, scheduled for a Oct. 13, 2023, theatrical debut.
Additional upcoming theatrical titles under Ouaou’s purview includes Paramount’s next animated feature The Tiger’s Apprentice (Feb. 10, 2023), starring Henry Golding and directed by Raman Hui and co-directed by Paul Watling & YongDuk Jhun, and the movie strategy for Avatar Studios.
For the film, The Smurfs‘ right owners are represented by WME’s Dave Wirtschafter, Rob Markus and Jordan Naftalis.
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