MGM to unleash ‘Bunyan and Babe’

Exodus produced modern take on folk story

MGM has pacted with Exodus Film Group to release the animated pic “Bunyan and Babe” in North America.

Film, which features the voices of John Goodman and Kelsey Grammer, is a modern take on the folk story of legendary lumberjack Paul Bunyan and his sidekick, Babe the Blue Ox, who together work with two adventurous kids to rescue their town from the evil clutches of a demented property developer.

Tony Bancroft and Jim Rygiel co-directed the pic from a script by Michael Nickles and Julia Wall.

“What Exodus has with ‘Bunyan and Babe’ is a new spin on a classic story,” said Erik Lomis, MGM’s prexy of worldwide theatrical distribution, home entertainment and acquisitions.

Exodus’ John Eraklis and Max Howard produced.

Deal comes at a time when MGM is transforming itself from a rent-a-distributor outfit into a full-fledged film producer.

Exodus’ credits include the animated pic “Igor.” The Venice, Calif.-based company’s upcoming projects include a series of DVD features with Tyler Perry in which his signature character Madea will appear in an animated world.

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