Tuesday, March 14, 2017
Animated Alcon: Alcon's 'Darkmouth' Gets Directors
For a little while in animationland, Alcon Entertainment has been bubbling under the surface.
A now 20-year-old studio, they are still big partners with Warner Bros. Last we've heard, they're working on a new all-animated Garfield movie with Davis Entertainment, and given their deal with the big shield, that will probably be billed as a Warner Animation Group picture.
On their docket is Darkmouth, an animated adaptation of Shane Hagerty's fantasy book series. The premise? A kid who wants to be a part of his family business, which is... Going after monsters. He has to protect his monster, Darkmouth, from sinister creatures called Legends... But he isn't quite good at his job.
Two powerhouse directors have been tapped to take it on... Doug Sweetland and Dave Pimentel. Sweetland needs no introduction, being a long time Pixarian who left the lamp after directing his great, energetic, Looney Tunes-esque short Presto. Years later, he and Nicholas Stoller gave us WAG's also very Looney Tunes-y feature film Storks, a film that seemed to be pretty divisive. I happened to really like it, and felt it was one of the better zany animated comedies out there. So I'm happy to hear that Sweetland is moving from cartoon hijinks to epic fantasy.
Pimentel, also a veteran, worked at Disney Feature Animation from roughly 1995 to 2001 as an animator, spent some time at DreamWorks as a story man, and then returned to Disney, doing story work for Big Hero 6 and becoming head of story on Moana. It's good to see him spreading his wings and landing new gigs.
The film is set to be written by Lloyd Taylor, who - according to Variety - worked on Blue Sky's upcoming Pigeon: Impossible. We now know the directors of that picture as well: Troy Quane (longtime animator and storyboard artist) and Nick Bruno (Blue Sky animator since Ice Age: The Meltdown). It'll be a co-production with Chernin Entertainment. Lloyd's resume is rather scant, and apparently he contributed additional story material to... The Wild...
Darkmouth's got a ton of producers attached, too, one of them being another Disney Animation face: Craig Peck. He produced their short Chalk, a sort of training project made years ago that can be viewed here.
Anyways, it's good to see some more animated high fantasy moving forward, and it's also cool to see another player getting into animation, even if they may end up being one of the studios doing work for the umbrella that is Warner Animation Group.
Do you think Alcon's two animated projects will end up being WAG releases? What do you think of Darkmouth being adapted? Sound off below!