Universal Picks Up Two Animated Features Based on ZhuZhu Pets

Cepia LLC, the maker of ZhuZhu Pets®, the world’s favorite interactive hamsters, today announced a worldwide television rights and home entertainment arrangement with Universal Pictures to release two feature-length, animated films, Quest for Zhuâ„¢ and Power of Zhu,â„¢ to debut exclusively on DVD in 2011 and 2012, respectively. The announcement was jointly made today by Russ Hornsby, CEO, Cepia LLC, Craig Kornblau, President of Universal Studios Home Entertainment and Eddie Cunningham, President, Universal Pictures International Entertainment.

With more than 62 million toy hamsters sold across more than 65 countries, ZhuZhu Pets® have achieved a loyal fanbase of “Zhu-natics” since they launched in 2009. ZhuZhu Pets® have won “Toy of the Year” awards in the U.S., U.K., Australia, Russia, Norway, Brazil and Czech Republic.

Cepia LLC has teamed up with Los Angeles-based, multi-Emmy and British Academy Award winning production company, Moonscoop (Jakers, Clifford, The Big Red Dog and Chloe’s Closet) and writer Sean Catherine Derek (Smurfs, Spiderman and Mortal Combat) and 3-D animation studio Prana Animation Studios, Inc. (TRON: Legacy and Tinker Bell) to bring the magical Zhu-niverseâ„¢ to life in 3-D stereoscopic animation. Both movies star the four original ZhuZhu Pets® characters (Pipsqueak, Mr. Squiggles, NumNums and Chunk), who explore the Zhu-niverseâ„¢ through adventurous, heartwarming and heroic tales.

“Bringing ZhuZhu Pets® to life through the magic of movies is an exciting new chapter in the Zhu-niverseâ„¢ evolution,” said Russ Hornsby. “Partnering with Universal to show kids ZhuZhu Pets® in action and to watch their very real adventures and emotions is something we think they are truly going to enjoy.  Creating movies is an exciting new experience for ZhuZhu Pets® and Cepia, and with these films we have another way for our brand to come alive for the fans.”

“This agreement perfectly combines the exceptional global appeal of the ZhuZhu Pets® brand with Universal’s premier marketing and distribution infrastructure,” said Craig Kornblau, President, Universal Studios Home Entertainment. “ZhuZhu Pets® is a fantastic complement to Universal’s expanding portfolio of family franchises and we anticipate this film property to have significant worldwide potential.”

Eddie Cunningham, President of Universal Pictures International Entertainment, said, “We are delighted to be working with Cepia LLC and ZhuZhu Pets®, a brand loved and cherished by kids around the world. The ‘Quest for Zhuâ„¢’ will be a great addition to our growing kid’s portfolio.”

“We are excited to partner with such a phenomenally popular brand and to bring the ZhuZhu Pets® and Kung Zhuâ„¢ characters to life through vivid and fun animation,” said Mike Young, CEO, Moonscoop. “Developing characters kids can relate to through music, challenges and real-world life lessons is a unique and gratifying opportunity.”

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