Shop pinning big hopes on little mouse's ears

Universal’s “The Tale of Despereaux” marks the first big step by Framestore CFC into producing its own CGI animated movies. Framestore set up a feature animation arm 2½ years ago in partnership with L.A.-based exec David Lipman, who previously served eight years at DreamWorks Animation. It’s an ambitious effort to become a production house in its own right rather than just a deluxe service company. It’s been a challenging process, with two changes of directors — from Sylvain Chomet to Mike Johnson to the final duo of Sam Fell and Robert Stevenhagen — capped in September by a public complaint from Chomet about his credit. Framestore will be hoping that all of this will prove irrelevant when the movie opens wide Dec. 19 in the U.S.

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