Fri, Dec 03, 2004 - Page 10 News List

New cartoon to spread `Panda Monium'

By Jessie Ho  /  STAFF REPORTER

Following in the footsteps of Mickey Mouse, Hello Kitty and Pokemon, a Panda cartoon character is likely to become the next popular icon among kids in Taiwan after the nation's first original animation series begins broadcast later this month.

The cartoon, Panda Monium (魔豆傳奇), has been created by TVbeans Co (電視豆), which signed an agreement with Japan-based Planet Inc and Fuji Creative Corp last year to pour in ?800 million (US$7.8 million) for the project.

TVbeans created the characters and screenplay of the cartoon, while its Japanese counterparts took charge of the directing and production.

The first 26 episodes of Panda Monium will premier on Dec. 19 in Taiwan, Jan. 8 in Japan and July 10 in China, Jimmy Chang (張水江), chairman of TVbeans, said yesterday. The serial will also be aired in the US, Europe and Korea, he added.

Combining advanced technology with a crew that includes the director of Pokemon, Hideki Sonoda, and the director of Detective Conon, Hideaki Oba, Chang believes that the cartoon will be successful.

"If we strike a hit, we hope to establish a digital content fund to help other content providers to produce made-in-Taiwan programs," he said.

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