The posters in Spain for “Donkey Xote” proclaimed “From the producers who saw ‘Shrek,'” but those ironic one-sheets could not make the “Don Quixote” adaptation a success in their native land, where the digital toon has been a quixotic quasi-flop. What happened?
“The problem was the script,” says Lumiq’s Carlo Alfano. “Average audiences won’t really appreciate the definition of a lion’s hair or the detailed texture of a forest. They want a great story.”
That’s why the version that went out in Italy on Oct. 31 was completely retooled with rewritten dialogues and even some plot modifications. Lumiq is distributing “Donkey Xote” in tandem with Italo distrib Revolver, opening on a modest 70 prints.
But “Donkey” should not be considered a total flail against the windmills. It sold to all Spanish-language territories and has been released in Poland, Russia and Turkey.
“We have proved that we are capable on the production side, but we need to work on the scripts and develop the right stories,” says Alfano.
“Now we’d like to take the next step.”