Nelvana partners up for an original film push

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To capitalize on a growing demand for long-form animation, the Corus-owned prodco will invest in Duncan Studio's feature films.

Corus Entertainment has signed a development agreement with LA-based Duncan Studio to produce original animated feature films.

Under the deal, Corus-owned prodco Nelvana will invest in the development of new film content created by Duncan’s in-house production division as well as from Nelvana’s children’s IP and some select third-party properties.

The first project to come out of the deal is CG-animated Mother Nature, which looks at a futuristic society’s relationship to the natural world. The sci-fi fantasy-adventure was created by Duncan founder Ken Duncan (pictured).

According to a statement from Corus, this partnership allows both companies to tap into a growing global demand for long-form animation, while also supporting Nelvana’s push into animated features, which was previously identified as a potential area of growth for the team.

Last year, Duncan Studio – which has more than a decade of experience as a service studio on films like 9Mary Poppins Returns and The Nut Job – expanded to create its own IPs with the launch of Duncan Originals. At the time, it lined up a trio of new concepts for kids and families.

“Our passion for bringing great stories to life is shared equally with our long-standing goal of expanding into animated feature films,” said Corus Entertainment president and CEO Doug Murphy in a statement. “We are excited to embark upon this new agreement and to leverage the acclaimed creative talents of Duncan Studio together with Nelvana’s robust portfolio of timeless, world-renowned animated characters and stories. Fully maximizing this caliber of premium animation expertise and our well-known IP advances our own more content strategy and provides us yet another path to reach audiences in new ways.”

This story originally appeared in Kidscreen