SenatorInternational has picked up worldwide sales rights from digital contentproducer GDC Holdings to celebrated French artist Jean "Moebius" Giraud'ssci-fi fantasy adventure Thru The Moebius Strip.

Themove marks the first foray into animation for both companies and is also thefirst full-length CGI feature for GDC Holdings subsidiary GDC Productions andthe first 3D CGI feature ever to be made in China, where production took placeat GDC Holdings' high-tech studio.

SenatorInternational president Joe Drake signed the deal with GDC Holdings' directorand chief business development officer Raymond D Neoh as well as Stephen Scharfof O'Melveny & Myers on behalf of GDC Holdings.

Productionbegan in Los Angeles in 2000 and switched a year later to the studio in China,which is run by GDC Holdings' training and production arm Institute of DigitalMedia Technology.

Chineseanimation trainees were supervised by leading US animators including animationdirector Kelvin Lee, whose credits include Contact and Stuart Little, and supervisor Bob Koch, who worked on Toy Story2 and A Bug's Life.

Writtenby Jim Cox, whose credits include The Rescuers Down Under, and Paul Gertz, Thru the Moebius Strip is a futuristic tale centering on a young boy whotravels to a world of giants to find his father.

Voicetalent includes Mark Hamill, Peri Galpin (Frasier, Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within), Chris Marguette (Freddy Vs Jason) and Kelly Martin (Malibu's Most Wanted).

"Thruthe Moebius Strip is more than justa movie - the making of it as the first 3D CGI feature movie made in China has,from pre to post production, involved our young and eager Chinese crew inchallenges much greater than anything they or the Chinese animation industryhas ever met before," Neoh said in a statement.

"Webelieve that now that we have successfully surmounted these challenges ourexample will become a primary moving force in the rebirth of Chineseanimation."

@;GDChas married China's best artists with Hollywood's most successful animationstorytellers and given them leading edge digital technology to make CG filmsthat will rival those at any studio," Drake added.

"We'reproud to be partners on a theatrical film of this calibre and to be getting inbusiness with a company that is positioned to be a primary gateway into China."

Giraudhas created iconic works like Lieutenant Blueberry, the inspiration for Heavy Metalmagazine, and contributed designs for Tron, Alien and The FifthElement, among others.