LYON, France — “Pinocchio,” Italo toon auteur Enzo d’Alo’s adaptation of Carlo Collodi’s fairy-tale, has charmed a slew of buyers in the run up to its North American preem at the New York Children Film Festival on March 16.

Pic is typical of the kind of European auteur-driven animated fare that can lure movigoers looking for an arthouse alternative to U.S. toon blockbusters. It features illustrations by Lorenzo Mattotti and music by Lucio Dalla.

Repped by Laurent Danielou’s Rezo Films, the colorful 2D feature, which opened Venice Days, has been acquired for distribution by Koch Media in U.K. and Germany, Dreamwest in South Korea, Aurora in Scandinavia and Premium Film in Russia. Other territories sold are Israel (Film House), Turkey (Euromedia), Middle East (Prime Picture) and Benelux (Cineart).

“Rezo Films is currently in negotiations with an important U.S buyer and is hoping to close deals for Japan and Tawain at Filmart, where the toonpic will play,” Danielou told Variety at Cartoon Movie, the three-day co-production forum wrapping today in Lyon.

Danielou said that Dreamwest, a major South Korean player whose 2013 slate includes “Sin City: A Dame to Kill For,” is planning to give “Pinocchio” a big-scale release and will be hiring a well-known South Korean star to dub the fox, a character voiced by the pic’s producer Maricla Affatato in the Italo version.

Released by Lucky Red in Italy and Gebeka in France on Feb. 21 and Feb. 20, “Pinocchio” has had a solid box-office run. Lucky Red gave it a big theatrical roll-out on 337 prints and has grossed $1.6 million so far, and Gebeka distributed it on 157 playdates and has earned $1.5 million in France.

“Pinocchio” is produced by Italy’s Cometafilm, Luxembourg’s Iris Productions (Rezo Films’ sister company), Belgium’s Walking the Dog and Gaul’s 2D-3D Animation.

D’Alo is now working on the second season of the hit animated series “Pipi, Pupu and Rosemary.”