At top: “Redwall” visual development art by Pierre Breton. Netflix © 2021
What’s it about? Twelve-year-old Gabriel Nemo is the descendant of Jules Verne’s famous hero Captain Nemo, whose lust for adventure he shares. With his friends and Nemotech submarine, he strikes out to fight evil forces and protect the ocean. Jason Henderson’s series of middle-grade books will be adapted here as a trilogy of films.
This Was Our Pact
Who’s involved? India-based entertainment company Rainshine Entertainment is producing (through its kids and family unit Kinsane Entertainment) with Animasia, the Malaysian animation studio behind the hit series Chuck Chicken. The screenplay will be by Jeffrey Reddick, who created the Final Destination franchise and co-wrote Netflix’s upcoming animated series Samurai Rabbit: The Usagi Chronicles.
Young Captain Nemo
What’s it about? The film is an animated musical adaptation of the children’s book Toto: The Dog-Gone Amazing Story of the Wizard of Oz, by Michael Morpurgo and illustrator Emma Chichester Clark. The book tells the well-known story from the perspective of Toto, Dorothy’s loyal pooch.
Who’s involved? Peter Dinklage’s Estuary Films is producing, and the actor will also voice a talking bear. Also producing are Duncan Studio and Corus Entertainment’s Nelvana, which formed a development deal for original animated features last year. Will Collins, the writer of Cartoon Saloon’s Wolfwalkers and Song of the Sea, will adapt Andrews’s book.
We’re in a golden age for animated features. The films reaching our screens represent a growing range of subject matter, genres, visual styles, and budgets. The field is becoming more international — the Oscar shortlists attest to that. The sheer number of projects being greenlit, made, and released keeps us busy here at Cartoon Brew.
Who’s involved? Toto is set up at Warner Bros. It will be animated at Animal Logic’s Vancouver studio; this is the third film in a three-picture deal between the two companies. Alex Timbers is attached to direct from a screenplay by John August. Derek Frey will produce the animated movie, which according to Animal Logic is in pre-production.
What’s it about? At the annual Autumn Equinox Festival, the people of Ben’s town send paper lanterns down the river. One year, Ben and his friends decide to find out where the lanterns go. Cue a big magical adventure. The family film is based on Ryan Andrews’s bestselling graphic novel of the same name, which was nominated for an Eisner Award.
This story had additional reporting by Alex Dudok de Wit.
Who’s involved? The feature and series are in development at Netflix, which acquired the rights to the books from Penguin Random House UK. Writer Patrick McHale (Over the Garden Wall, Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio) is attached to the film.
To better keep track of the scene, we’ll be publishing regular round-ups of animated feature projects that have recently been announced. Here is our first. The films below are in their early stages, so no release dates have yet been confirmed.