AFM: Grindstone Takes North America on ‘Wicked Flying Monkeys’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Biggest movie production to date from Mexico’s Anima Estudios, creators of first animated Netflix original series produced in Latin America

Lionsgate’s Grindstone Entertainment has acquired North American rights to animated movie “Wicked Flying Monkeys,” a fantasy set in L. Frank Baum’s Oz universe, sold at the AFM by FilmSharks Intl.

Movie marks the biggest film production to date from Mexico’s Anima Estudios, Latin America’s largest toon studio. Anima shot to prominence in September when Netflix announced that Anima would create “Las Leyendas,” the first animated Netflix original series produced out of Latin America.

Mexican animator Jorge R. Gutierrez, who co-wrote “Wicked Flying Monkeys” and also worked as a character designer and exec producer on the film, directed the Golden Globe nominated “The Book of Life” which was produced by Guillermo del Toro for Dallas-based Reel FX Animation Studios. “Life” grossed $99.8 million worldwide. Alberto Mar (“Top Cat: The Movie”) directed “Wicked Flying Monkeys” (aka “Guardianes de Oz”).

FilmSharks’ Guido Rud, Anima Estudios’ Gaston Cami and Grindstone’s acquisitions head Stan Wertlieb closed the U.S./Canada deal.

“This is such a fresh and unique look at the world of Oz. Kids and their families are sure to be enchanted,” said Wertlieb.

Produced by Anima Estudios’ Fernando de Fuentes and Jose C. Garcia de Letona, and also a Discreet Arts production, “Wicked Flying Monkeys” reps Anima’s first CGI movie as a lead producer. Bowing third place at the Mexican box office on April 10, it has closed major territories such as the U.K. (eOne Films), Australia/New Zealand (Rialto Distribution) and CIS/Eastern Europe (Top Film), plus Middle East (Shooting Stars) and Turkey (Tanweer Group).

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