Saturday, February 11, 2012

Upcoming Animated Films - My Thoughts (Part 14)

Sony Pictures Animation, like DreamWorks, has quite a few films in development that don’t have any exact release dates. I include The Familiars on this list because it’s scheduled for 2014, but with no month or day.

Since Sony is now partners with Aardman Animations, I’ll cover any upcoming Aardman films in this list.
The Familiars
This is Doug Sweetland’s directorial debut. He recently left Pixar, but while he was there, he directed the brilliant short film Presto. Fergal Reilly is the co-director of the project and Sam Raimi is the producer of all people. It’s based on the books of the same name, by Adam Jay Epstein and Andrew Jacobson. The plot involves three young wizards and their animals companions trying to escape from an evil kingdom. Sounds good already. This certainly sounds more ambitious than something like The Smurfs, obviously, but it seems like Sweetland is aiming high for his directorial debut.
Chickenhare is based on three graphic novels by Chris Grine. It’s about a half chicken/half hare, hence the title. Seems perfect for an animated film. Not much has been revealed about this project, so who knows what it’ll be like.

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2
Since the first one did so well, the sequel was inevitable. The sequel will not be based on the sequel to the original book, Pickles to Pittsburgh. This could be another franchise for Sony if they have enough good ideas to keep it fresh.
Finding Nemo screenwriter David Reynolds (little Davie Reynolds!) is scripting this co-production with The Gotham Group, which used to be a firm that was a talent agency for animated films in the early 1990s. Not much is known about this project.
Harold and the Purple Crayon
This project is based on a series of children’s novels by Crockett Johnson, and the novels have adapted before into animated short films. It’s also been adapted into an HBO TV series a couple years ago. It’s about a kid with a crayon that creates his own world, it could work. The film is co-production with Overlook Entertainment and Maurice Sendak is producing it along with Will Smith.
How to Live Forever
Another co-production with The Gotham Group. Not much is known about this one, though the title makes it sound interesting.
How to Survive a Garden Gnome Attack
The title alone already has me hooked. Robert Zemeckis is producing this film, and it’s another co-production with the Gotham Group. Apparently this one is going to be a little more adult-oriented. It’ll be a live action/CGI hybrid. It’s based on a book by Chuck Sambuchino. Hey, at least Zemeckis is doing something like this and not a motion capture remake of Yellow Submarine.
Instant Karma
This film is about a New Orleans safecracker who is reincarnated as a fly. Learning from his mistakes, he becomes different animals before he can be a human again and win back his love. This idea is great, and it certainly is a bit risky. Apparently the director, Paul Hernandez, has been trying to get this project off the ground for a while. It will be a live-action/CGI hybrid.

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