Spanish-lingo duo sink teeth into 3-D

Filmax, Patagonik join forces for Buscarini-directed 'Ratoncito'

Spanish mini-major Filmax and Argentina’s biggest production outfit, the Patagonik Film Group, have teamed to co-produce “El Ratoncito Perez,” a pic that mixes live-action and 3-D images in a “Stuart Little” style.

Patagonik will begin shooting the live action sequences in Argentina on May 23.

“Ratoncito” will be helmed by Juan Pablo Buscarini (“Condor Crux”) and will topline Colombian telenovela actress Ana Maria Orozco (“Ugly Betty”). Script was written by Enrique Cortes.

The animated part of the film, which will be about 28 minutes long, is being designed at Galicia-based Filmax 3-D factory, Bren Entertainment, said Paco Rodriguez, exec producer at Filmax Animation.

“The 3-D part of the film will then be integrated into the rest of the picture in Argentina,” he added.

Patagonik founder Pablo Bossi and Filmax chairman Julio Fernandez will produce.

“El Ratoncito Perez” is inspired by a popular Latino tale about a mouse which acts like a Tooth Fairy leaving money during the night under the pillow of children who have lost a tooth.

Pic is skedded to bow next March in Spain and around July 2006 in Argentina.

“Perez” marks another step in Filmax’s aim of hiking its presence in the Latin American film and TV market tightening ties with the most important producers in the region. Concurrently, it is producing  twins’ telepathy chiller “KM31,” with Mexican giant Televisa’s Videocine.

Both Patagonik and Filmax have considerable experience in the production of animated pics. Patagonik has produced the successful “Dibu” saga — again mixing live-action and 3-D images — and blockbuster epic “Patoruzito.”

Last year, Filmax sold all rights for North America on medieval adventure “El Cid: The Legend” to U.S. distributor Hannover House.

It is now teaming with Italy’s Lumiq Studios on the $13.6 million Don Quixote comic toon feature “Donkey Xote” and with France’s Animakids on the $10.3 million darkness-themed “Nocturna.”

Patagonik will take Latam rights on “Ratoncito,” and Filmax those to Spain and Portugal. Filmax Intl. will handle the rest of the world.