Spain set for a big-budget animated film

Antonio Banderas, producer Enrique Posner and Kandor Graphics have launched pre-production on Spanish animation feature “Goleor, the Scale and the Sword.” Banderas will voice a character and will cast and direct voice talent.

Budgeted at E22 million ($33 million), the pic is Spain’s first higher-bracket digital 3D movie. The English-language epic adventure depicts, in a lighthearted, comedic tone, the fantasy medieval land of Gabilonia.

Pic’s hero, young Goleor, dreams of becoming a knight in shining armor — no easy task when Gabilonia’s in painful transition from a cozy world of knights, dragons and magicians to a modern age dominated by bureaucracy and lawyers.

Manuel Sicilia has nearly completed the screenplay and will direct.

Green Moon and the Granada-based Kandor Graphics.

Kandor’s Juan Molina produces, Posner, former managing director at Warner Bros. Entertainment Espana, will exec produce with Kandor’s Raul Garcia and Green Moon’s Antonio Meliveo. Posner will oversee financing, merchandising and licensing, sponsorship and sales.

Kandor Moon’s first toon pic, which Posner exec produced, was the eco-friendly CG comedy “The Missing Lynx: Paws on the Run.” Pic bowed last November to a creditable $1.7 million at the Spanish B.O. Helmed by Sicilia and Raul Garcia, it has been sold by 6 Sales to 66 territories, including a U.S. pickup by Phase 4 Films.

“Goleor” represents “a large step up in ambition,” says director Sicilia. “Its budget is five times bigger and it’s conceived from the start as an international production.”

Banderas boarded “Lynx” when it was already in motion.

Also onboard “Goleor” from the get-go, Posner is responsible for pre-sales, licensing and merchandising and co-production.

“Lynx” saw substantial subsidies from Andalusia’s Environment Dept. ($1.16 million) and Culture Dept. ($373,000) and a pickup from regional pubcaster Canal Sur ($932,400).

Kandor Moon is a flagship company for Andalusia’s attempt to wean the region off an overdependence on the construction sector and toward tech-driven employment.

“A company like Kandor is precisely what Andalusia’s government wants companies to be: a technology-driven creator of exportable product not linked to the traditional tourism and housing markets,” Posner said.

Pic also reflects the evolution of international animated film production, Posner added.

Young, skilled animators are willing to work around the world, he said. And release slots for animated films are opening up beyond the traditional studio-dominated summer and Christmas spans. International companies also are making toon features of larger ambition.

Kandor Moon recently completed “The Lady and the Reaper,” an eight-minute stereoscopic 3D pic written and directed by newcomer Javier Recio Gracia that put Kandor Moon’s proprietary 3D rendering technologies through their paces.

“Goleor” will go into production in January, to be delivered in December 2011.

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