Animation major Toonz on Monday signed an agreement to bring Mr Bean, the globally acclaimed comic character portrayed by Rowan Atkinson, to South-East Asia. According to the agreement signed with the Tiger Aspect Productions, Toonz Licensing has been appointed as the sole licensing agent of the new film and DVD series in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal.
The agreement comes close on the heels of the huge success of the movie, ‘Mr Bean’s Holiday’, which has grossed almost $2 million in just four weeks. ‘Mr Bean’ is a licensing favourite with merchandise distribution in more than 60 territories worldwide, including publishing, video, plush and toys and Toonz is keen to reflect this success with the development of licensing strategies alongside the increasingly popular character.
Announcing the deal, Toonz CEO Jayakumar said: “Mr. Bean already has a huge fan following in South Asia, thanks to the success of live and animated television series. We believe this deal with Tiger Aspect will propel the brand to a new level.” The DVD series will be available throughout the subcontinent soon. It will also market the logo in apparels, toys, wallpapers, bags and other materials.
Mr Bean, created by Rowan Atkinson and Richard Curtis, first burst onto television screens in 1990 with a live action series, which, since its inception, has sold to more than 190 countries. Since then, the character has appeared in two major movies – ‘Bean The Ultimate Disaster Movie’, which grossed in excess of $255 million worldwide, and the current ‘Mr Bean’s Holiday’, which is equally enjoying the similar status.
In 2002, Rowan Atkinson worked with animators to create an animated version of Mr Bean, which proved equally popular – in particular with younger audiences – and which is currently distributed in over 60 countries.