US: New animated Heathcliff on way

Renegade Animation begins pre-production on series of interstitials.
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Fitzroy Media has signed up Renegade Animation to design and produce a series of new projects around popular cat character Heathcliff, starting with a package of animated interstitials.

Renegade will start pre-production on 50x2-minute interstitials this month, with the team focusing on an updated look. 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," said Darrell Van Citters, animation director at Renegade. "We are thrilled to have the opportunity to rekindle the magic and introduce this loveable cat to a new generation of fans."

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, which was originally created in 1973.

Under the agreement, Fitzroy will develop animated feature films, direct to DVD released and location-based entertainment projects, in addition to working on extra projects with the licensing and merchandising community.

"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," said Gallagher. "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."

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