MOSCOW, April 23. /TASS/. Management of Russia’s oldest animation studio Soyuzmultfilm wants to return the rights to use the image of a popular cartoon character Cheburashka from Japanese company, Chairman of the studio’s board Yuliana Slashcheva told reporters.
Earlier a short 3D Cheburashka cartoon, the first in a planned series, was released in Japan. According to the project’s website, the release is timed to coincide with the 10th anniversary of the first screening of the franchise in Japan. The rights to distribute cartoons about Cheburashka in Japan belong to SP International until 2023.
According to Slashcheva, the rights to use the image of Cheburashka were given to the Japanese company 16 years ago by the previous management of the studio. Now the Russian and Japanese sides have serious disagreements about the duration of the contract and its terms.
"We consider the current version of the contract to be invalid, and we have notified the Japanese partners. The difficulty is that the current contract is drawn up in accordance with Japanese law, and all proceedings, including in court, must be done in Japan and require serious financial resources. I I think that another option would be to bring the issue of returning the rights to Cheburashka to the state and intergovernmental level. In any case, we intend to seriously address the issue in the near future," she said.
She noted that since the start of Soyuzmultfilm revival in 2017, the studio has managed to return more than 90% of the rights to audiovisual images and animated films of the "golden collection", including Internet rights and the rights to display it on paid TV channels in Russia and abroad.