Hemdale sets ‘Goblin’ distribution

Welsh animated feature “The Princess and the Goblin” will be released theatrically in the U.S. and Canada via Hemdale.

Deal represents the first significant U.S. theatrical push for a Welsh feature film and reflects the trend toward family pictures.

“The Princess and the Goblin,” made by Welsh animators Siriol Prods., will go into general release on 1,000 U.S. screens in June.

The $ 4.5 million release will be supported by a multimillion-dollar marketing campaign and sponsorship with brand name products, including Coca-Cola. A hefty merchandising push involving toys, books and clothes is also planned.

“The Princess and the Goblin,” based on the Victorian novel by George MacDonald, was released in Britain last year and has been distributed theatrically in Germany, Holland, Hungary, and South Africa, among others.

Siriol co-produced the movie with Budapest’s Pannonia in association with Welsh broadcaster S4C and NHK Enterprises.

“‘The Princess and the Goblin’s’ achievement in securing a general cinema release in the U.S. is excellent news for the animation industry in Wales,” said S4C chief executive Geraint Stanley Jones.

The sale will further increase S4C’s international profile. The station’s morale is already high after it received an Oscar nomination for its low-budget, Welsh-language film “Hedd Wyn.” The pic won a Royal Television Society award for best U.K. drama.

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