NEW YORK – (January 2, 2009) – With an insatiable appetite for mischief and a longing for more adventure, America’s favorite street-smart feline is going renegade for a new animated Heathcliff as Fitzroy Media signs Renegade Animation to design and produce a series of projectsanimation beginning with an animated special for release on DVD.
Pre-production will start this January(on 50 x 2 minute interstitials) with nationally renowned animation director Darrell Van Citters, who leads Renegade’s creative team, on board to develop an updated look for the special featuring Heathcliff, the world’s best known street-smart cat. Targeting an adult and tween audience, the new Heathcliff will focus on comedy set against a hip, club-music sound.
“Heathcliff is a fantastic character that has delighted millions of people worldwide—and we are among his biggest fans,” Van Citters said. “We are thrilled to have the opportunity to rekindle the magic and introduce this loveable cat to a new generation of fans.”
Van Citters credits include Christmas Is Here Again, a new animated feature starring Ed Asner and Kathy Bates, as well as the Cartoon Network series Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi and Captain Sturdy. He also directed the award-winning internet series Elmo Aardvark: Outer Space Detective and numerous television commercials.
“Renegade’s track record for producing animation that hits the mark with today’s audiences, coupled with Darrell Van Citters proven sensibility for maintaining an evergreen character’s intrinsic qualities as it evolves in the 21st century, is certain to be a formula for success with Heathcliff, a classic character who has earned his stripes – black, orange and otherwise – as a permanent fixture in popular culture,” said Fitzroy Media CEO Hamp Hampton.
The new Heathcliff DVD is the first project to be greenlighted by Fitzroy under an agreement with cartoonist Peter Gallagher, who writes and draws the Heathcliff comic strip created in 1973 by his uncle, George Gately. Under the agreement, Fitzroy Media will develop animated feature films, Direct-to-DVD releases and location based entertainment projects, in addition to reaching out to the licensing and merchandising community with opportunities to develop additional products based on the evergreen Heathcliff character.
“We’re going to dust off this classic kitty, throw him in the tub, scrub behind his ears and get rid of those old fleas. Heathcliff’s many loyal fans are going to be thrilled and he is certain to find an even wider audience with all-new shenanigans in the 21st century,” said Gallagher.
About Fitzroy Media LLC
Fitzroy Media (FRM) is a media property development company specializing in children’s entertainment created for a variety of new and emerging media platforms including mobile, Internet and interactive broadcast TV.
Led by CEO Hamp Hampton, founder of The Mercer Group LLC, and formerly with Honest Entertainment, the licensing/marketing firm behind the hit children’s properties Angela Anaconda, Pepper Ann and Fido Dido, the top management team boasts more than 75 years of combined specialized industry experience. COO Terrence McCarthy is an award-winning technology and integrator consultant who founded Neoteric, Inc., a leading workflow, directory and messaging integrator, and a veteran CTO, CFO and management consultant clients including Price Waterhouse Coopers, Road Runner, American Airlines, UNICEF, Hitachi, Novell, Motorola and IBM.
About Renegade Animation
Best known as the producer of the Cartoon Network series The Mr. Men Show and Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi, Renegade Animation is an industry leading producer of cross-platform, digital animation. Renegade produces smart funny and always original animation for film, television, advertising, DVD products and other media. Its unique animation process allows Renegade to achieve a traditional look with non-traditional tools and to generate high quality content much faster and more efficiently than industry norms. www.renegadeanimation.com