Two of the established creative forces in family entertainment, New Zealand based Weta Productions and Chapman Entertainment, from the UK, are forming a unique partnership to develop a range of childrens’ television properties. The first venture will be an animated comedy targeted at boys between six and nine.

The two companies host impressive track records in their respective fields. Chapman Entertainment is renowned for its hit international pre-school shows Fifi and the Flowertots and Roary the Racing Car, these follow Keith Chapman’s creation of the global phenomenon Bob the Builder. Fifi, Roary and Bob currently feature in the UK’s top six selling pre-school toy licenses and have enjoyed impressive television sales to over 200 territories.

Weta, is the multi Academy and BAFTA Award winning company acknowledged as a world leader in special effects following the global success of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, King Kong and The Chronicles of Narnia. Weta has also recently ventured into children’s television, through Weta Productions, with the production of the animated series, Jane and the Dragon, which has received critical acclaim.

The development project will be jointly led by Martin Baynton and Richard Taylor of Weta and Chapman Entertainment’s Creative Director, Keith Chapman. They are working on a selection of 2D and CGI animated properties which will be presented to broadcasters and the licensing community in the near future, with pre-production expected to commence in 2008.

“Weta are the world leaders in their field and we are thrilled and extremely proud to be combining our respective skills to work on this exciting development,” says Keith Chapman. “This special new partnership takes Chapman Entertainment to an important new phase in the company’s history and will add a new age group to our portfolio of shows.”

“We have been fortunate to have worked with just brilliant film makers such as Peter Jackson, Andrew Adamson, James Cameron and Steven Spielberg”, says Richard Taylor “And we are once again fortunate to work with someone as renowned as Keith Chapman and the team at Chapman Entertainment. Weta Productions is looking forward to building on the success of Jane and the Dragon with these new properties”.