Continental teams with Brazil’s Otto

Duo prepping S3D 'Witchcraft'

MADRID — Spanish toon house Continental Animacion is joining forces with Brazil’s Otto Desenhos Animados to co-produce stereoscopic 3D animated pic “Witchcraft.”

A family adventure movie budgeted at around Euros2 million ($2.5 million), “Witchcraft” is helmed by first-timer Virginia Curia and penned by Anxela Loureiro. Chelo Loureiro exec produces.

Targeted at 8-12 year olds, “Witchcraft” is an adventure fable turning on the ancient healing methods of an elderly woman and the high-tech passion of her granddaughter.

The two join forces to face off with a cosmetics multinational that is trying to nab their valuable secrets.

Project was unveiled to Daily Variety at Madrid de Cine-Spanish Film Screenings, where sales agent 6 Sales is showing 18 minutes of pre-school film “The Happets,” a pioneering — for Spain — stereoscopic 3D toon pic, which Continental co-produces.

Both “Witchcraft” and Alex Colls’ “Happets” form part of a new production line opened up at Galicia’s Continental Animacion, which is broadening its slate away from edgy toon movies — such as Miguelanxo Prado’s hand-painted “De Profundis” or the cult comic-based flash technology pic “Animal Crisis” — toward more market-driven productions.

Continental’s new business plan aims to produce around two low-budget toon movies a year, creating global brands that could work well with a niche theatrical release and also on DVD, TV and in vidgames markets.

“By handling budgets ranging from $2 million to $2.5 million, so briefer financing cycles, it’s possible to produce profitable toon pics,” Continental topper Pancho Casal said at Madrid de Cine.

“Witchcraft” will be ready for delivery by 2011 fall.

A third project illustrating Continental Animacion’s new production strategy will be “The Happets 2,” also helmed by Colls and co-produced with Chelo Loureiro’s Galicia-based Abano Producciones.

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