Wednesday, April 5, 2017

More Players: Imagine Ent. to Launch Feature Animation Slate

Imagine Entertainment, the studio founded by director Ron Howard and producer Brian Grazer, is planning to get in on the animation game...

They will be joining forces with Animal Logic, the studio that did the animation for the Lego films, previous WB animated releases like Happy Feet and The Owls of Ga'Hoole, and Sony's upcoming Peter Rabbit. Their plan? Launch a slate of animated family films.

Now, family filmmaking isn't out of Imagine's wheelhouse, for they did the live-action Grinch film and Curious George. That being said, it's yet again another studio/team getting into the field and making what everyone else is making. They plan to spend less than $85 million on these pictures, which I do think is smart.

Grazer himself said:

“This marriage was a fortuitous situation, an opportunity for a unique chemistry for what we have done. Ron and I have always been narrative storytellers, the goal to reach people emotionally. Many times that has been movies and TV that are thematic family comedies. Ron has been in that space since he was an actor, and movies like Grinch, Liar Liar, Curious George and The Nutty Professor. What Animal Logic brings as the perfect complement is its ability to extend that family sensibility, and to make things look amazing. When we saw The Lego Movie, we, along with most anyone else who saw the movie, found it to be uniquely progressive creatively. The simple things that matter here are, how things look and make you feel. We believe this is a perfect marriage of skill sets.”

CEO/co-founder of Animal Logic, Zareh Nalbandian, said:

“We are both known for wanting to tell great stories, looking for things different and innovative, and not formulaic. Strong characters, world creation but with a universality. We came up with a slate of ideas we want to make as soon as we started talking. The thing is, it sounds like a no-brainer to make family films in animation and hybrid animation. But it all comes down to compelling IPs, great ideas, high concepts that capture audience imaginations and that look different, whether it’s original creations, licensed IP, or great public domain characters that are ripe for reinvention.”

I don't know, folks... It all just sounds like typical stuff to me, and again, there's emphasis on live-action/animation hybrids these days. Fox Animation's slate is full of them, word on the street is that DreamWorks' Shadows might be a hybrid, other movies want to go for the Jungle Book VFX look.

Anyways, Howard is said to be directing at least one of the films, and their first release is aiming for late 2019 (a bit soon for a new house). I wish them the best, and hopefully the films they put out do stand out from the rest. Probably too hopeful of me, but... It's worth a shot. It seems like they're going to try to get some original ideas going, which is nice.

What say you?

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