UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif., February 11, 2005 - Universal Studios Consumer Products Group today announced a worldwide licensing agreement with Toy Biz, a division of Marvel Enterprises, Inc., pursuant to which Toy Biz will act as the master pre-school toy licensee for Universal Pictures' and Imagine Entertainment's upcoming animated feature film and PBS KIDS' television series based on the classic children's tales, Curious George. The film is scheduled for release on February 10, 2006, with the TV series set to debut in Fall, 2006. The Curious George toy line-up will include action figures, playsets and vehicles, novelty figures, animatronics, role-playing toys, pre-school matching/memory games, infant toys and plush, including a Curious George themed plush with book.
"We are excited to be working with Toy Biz on the Curious George franchise," said Beth Goss, executive vice president of Universal Studios Consumer Products Group. "Toy Biz is a proven leader within the toy industry and will deliver a unique and extraordinary vision to the Curious George toy line."
Alan Fine, president & CEO of Toy Biz and Marvel Publishing added, "We are extremely pleased to be selected by Universal to create a new pre-school and plush line for one of the true icons in children's entertainment. Curious George has a broad multigenerational fan base and we are looking forward to working with Universal to create a compelling product line that celebrates his endearing and playful nature."
Eight years ago, Universal Studios acquired the rights to Curious George and has transformed the brand into a global franchise. Licensing and promotional opportunities are currently in development in support of the new Curious George entertainment franchise across all categories including, apparel, accessories, interactive games, collectibles, fine art, home furnishings, health and beauty aids, food and beverages, gifts, stationery products and wireless communication devices and accessories.
About Curious George books
Originally published in 1941, the book Curious George has never been out of print since. Authors H. A. Rey and his wife Margret, creative partners who fled Europe during the Nazi occupation and settled in Cambridge, Massachusetts, wrote the original seven Curious George tales. In 1998 Houghton-Mifflin began publishing new Curious George adventures and continues to release new titles and formats. Curious George titles have sold more than 27 million copies worldwide and have been published in 17 languages, making the little monkey who left the jungle with The Man With the Yellow Hat one of the best-selling and most enduring characters in children's literature.
About Curious George film
Universal Pictures and Imagine Entertainment bring Curious George, the original "monkey see, monkey do" chimp, to the screen in an all-new animated adventure based upon the beloved tales that have been enchanting readers for more than 60 years. George, the inquisitive little guy with an insatiable taste for adventure, sets off in a brand new tale for the big screen, where his spunky and fun-loving nature endears him to new friends he meets along the way and (of course) lands him in a series of (mis-) adventures.
Produced by Brian Grazer, Ron Howard, Jon Shapiro and David Kirschner, Curious George is directed by Matt O'Callaghan. Will Ferrell (Elf, Old School) lends his voice to The Man With the Yellow Hat. Dick Van Dyke, Drew Barrymore, David Cross, Eugene Levy and Joan Plowright are also among the distinguished cast of voices.
This film has not yet been rated. Please consult www.filmratings.com or www.parentalguide.org for more information.
About Curious George TV
Universal Home Entertainment Productions (UHEP), Imagine Entertainment and WGBH Boston, a leading public television producer, are producing an animated Curious George preschool television series based on the literary classic. Curious George will use George's insatiable curiosity as a way of acquainting preschoolers with key concepts in math, science and design engineering technology. The series will encourage inquiry and curiosity, promote hands-on exploration, and show parents and caregivers how to support children's science and math-related play. George's memorable misadventures from dismantling clocks to rounding up errant bunnies will offer a perfect vehicle for motivating kids to expand their own investigations of the word. William H. Macy will narrate the series.
About Universal Studios Consumer Products Group
Universal Studios Consumer Products Group is responsible for global licensing and retail strategies as well as building brand recognition of the extensive catalogue of NBC Universal properties. Universal Studios Consumer Products Group is a unit of NBC Universal, one of the world's leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production, and marketing of entertainment, news, and information to a global audience. Formed in May 2004 through the combining of NBC and Vivendi Universal Entertainment, NBC Universal owns and operates the No. 1 television network, the fastest-growing Spanish-language network, a valuable portfolio of news and entertainment networks, a premier motion picture company, significant television production operations, a leading television stations group, and world-renowned theme parks. NBC Universal is 80%-owned by General Electric, with 20% controlled by Vivendi Universal.
Curious George and related characters, created by Margret and H.A. Rey, are copyrighted and trademarked by Houghton Mifflin Company and used under license. Licensed Universal Studios Licensing LLLP. All rights reserved.