SANTA CLARA, Ca., (May 11, 2005) â€“ Global video games publisher, Namco Hometek Inc. announced today its agreement with Universal Studios Consumer Products Group to develop titles on major video game systems including console, handheld and personal computers for Universal Pictures' and Imagine Entertainment's February 10, 2006 animated feature film release, "Curious George."
"This is a new and exciting opportunity for Namco," said Jeff Lujan, business director, Namco Hometek Inc. "We are thrilled to be working in tandem with Universal Studios to bring a film character to life in a video game. 'Curious George' is the kind of adventurous, precocious and endearing character whose adventures make for great game play and we are certain this project will be a great success for Namco."
"'Curious George' is a character beloved by fans worldwide and the release of the animated feature film next year is the perfect opportunity to launch his hilarious adventures on multiple gaming systems," said Bill Kispert, vice president of Interactive, Universal Studios Consumer Products Group. "Namco is renowned for creating unique and innovative games and we are excited about the creativity they will bring to capturing George's spirit for gamers worldwide."
Universal Studios first acquired the rights to "Curious George" in 1997. In addition to the animated feature film, Universal Home Entertainment Productions (UHEP) in association with Imagine Entertainment and WGBH-TV Boston are producing an animated "Curious George" preschool television series, with 30 half hour episodes scheduled to air on PBS KIDS beginning in Fall 2006.
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.
"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.
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 world. 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.
About Namco Hometek Inc.
Namco Hometek Inc. is the U.S. consumer division of Namco Limited, a Tokyo-based world leader in the high-tech entertainment industry. Based in Santa Clara, CA, Namco Hometek Inc. is an award-winning video games publisher for next generation game consoles. Namco has created some of the industry's greatest video game franchises: "TekkenÂ®," "SOULCALIBURÂ®," "Dead to RightsÂ®," "Pac-Man WorldTM," "Ridge RacerÂ®," "Time CrisisÂ®" and "ACECOMBATTM." For more information about Namco and its products log onto www.namco.com.
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"TEKKENÂ®," "SOULCALIBURÂ®," "PAC-MAN WORLDTM," "Ridge RacerÂ®," "Time CrisisÂ®" and "ACECOMBATTM" are trademarks or registered trademarks of Namco Limited in the United States and/or other countries.
"Dead to RightsTM" is a trademark or registered trademark of Namco Hometek Inc. in the United States and/or other countries.