×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Gkids Acquires Spain’s ‘Birdboy: The Forgotten Children’

Acclaimed by critics, the dark-humored animated feature sets a coming-of-age adventure in a dark, sometimes appalling post-apocalyptic world

Crowning recognition of Alberto Vazquez, one of Spain’s fastest-rising young animation directors, New York’s Gkids has acquired North American distribution rights to “Birdboy: The Forgotten Children,” the first feature of joint directors Vazquez and Pedro Rivero, based on a Vazquez graphic novel and 2011 short film, “Birdboy.”

This February, Vazquez pulled off a remarkable double at the Spanish Academy Goya Awards – the country’s equivalent of the Oscars – winning best animation feature for “Birdboy” and best animated short for “Decorado,” seen at  Cannes Directors’ Fortnight.

Also a product of Northern Spain’s building animated movie scene, “Birdboy” is set on an island in a post-apocalyptic world where Dinky, a young teen mouse, hatches a plan to escape to the big city. Birdboy, a shy teen bird tormented by psychotic nightmares of demons, shuts himself up in a nearby lighthouse.

Jumping from black or sometimes gross-out humor to school bullying, violent police, dirt poverty, an odd-ball talking clock, Dinky’s gross adoptive father, and demons imagined or real, “Birdboy: The Forgotten Children” paints a hugely cross-grained portrait of a world devastated by the actions of adults.

“Among the many vastly more expensive, live-action dystopian visions of recent cinema, you’d be hard-pressed to find anything as original or surprisingly poignant” as “Birdboy: The Forgotten Children,” Variety said in its review.

“Sardonic, cruel, funny, macabre, yet surprisingly good-hearted, this bizarre adventure won’t fit into standard commercial theatrical slots for animated features. But deserved critical and fan support should eventually guide it to its niche audience,” the review also predicted.

After “Birdboy: The Forgotten Children’s” world premiere at Annecy Festival last June, that is most certainly on the cards thanks to the pick-up by Gkids, which plans a Fall 2017 theatrical release of the film in both its original Spanish and a dubbed English-language version.

“From the first moment we screened the film we knew we had to be involved,” said Dave Jesteadt, president of Gkids.

He went on: “With iconic characters and a storyline that explores universal themes of hope, despair, salvation, and loss with humor and grace, ‘Birdboy’ pushes the boundaries of animated storytelling in exciting new directions.”

A remarkable distributor of award-winning featured animation for adults and families, Gkids has scored nine best animated feature Academy Award nominations, starting with “The Secret of the Kells” in 2010. Moving into production, it is co-producing “The Breadwinner,” from “Kells’” producer Cartoon Saloon, which will be shown as a work-in-progress next month at France’s Annecy Festival and is scheduled for a release later this year in the U.S.

“Birdboy: The Forgotten Children” is produced by Carlos Juarez’s Basque Films, which made the dark-humored animated feature spoof “Possessed,” Galician actor Luis Tosar (“Miami Vice”) and Farruco Castroman’s ZircoZine Animation. It is backed by both the Galicia and Basque governments in Northern Spain.

More Film

  • Corey Stoll Brian dArcy James

    'West Side Story' Remake Adds Corey Stoll, Brian d'Arcy James as Cops

    Steven Spielberg has cast Corey Stoll and Brian d’Arcy James as police officers in his movie adaptation of “West Side Story.” Stoll will take on the role of Lieutenant Schrank, the New York City detective charged with quelling civic unrest in his racially-torn precinct. James will play Sergeant Krupke, a veteran cop whose beat includes [...]

  • Alexander Dinelaris

    'Jekyll and Hyde' Movie in the Works Based on Broadway Musical

    The Broadway musical “Jekyll and Hyde” is getting the movie treatment from Academy Award winner Alexander Dinelaris. Dinelaris, who is writing and producing the adaptation, won an Oscar for the “Birdman” script and was a co-producer on “The Revenant.” He is producing “Jekyll and Hyde” as the first project under his New York-based development company, [...]

  • Will Smith Bright - Japan premiere

    Three Six Zero Acquires Will Smith and Miguel Melendez's Westbrook Entertainment

    International entertainment and music management company Three Six Zero has acquired Westbrook Entertainment, the talent management company which represents Will Smith, Jada Pinkett Smith, Jaden Smith, Willow Smith, Kenna and Crespo. “Bringing Miguel, his clients and his management team to Three Six Zero is an exciting next step on our journey to expand our entertainment [...]

  • Chris Cooper

    Chris Cooper Joins, Focus Features Boards Jon Stewart's Political Comedy 'Irresistible'

    Focus Features is partnering with Plan B Entertainment to produce and distribute Jon Stewart’s political comedy “Irresistible,” with Chris Cooper joining stars Steve Carell and Rose Byrne. Variety first reported in October that Stewart and Carell had boarded the project, with Stewart directing and producing with Plan B. Stewart has kept a low profile since [...]

  • Woody and Buzz Lightyear Hit the

    'Toy Story 4': Woody and Buzz Lightyear Hit the Road in New Trailer

    Woody, Buzz Lightyear, Bo Peep, and a strange new toy named Forky have returned in the new trailer for “Toy Story 4” that sends the gang out on the road. Disney unveiled the footage Tuesday with Woody telling the other toys that Forky — a craft-project-turned-toy — is the most important toy to Bonnie. He [...]

  • Warner Bros. HQ LA

    Warner Bros. CFO Kim Williams Tapped for Interim Leadership Team (EXCLUSIVE)

    Warner Bros. Entertainment is setting an interim leadership team to lead the Hollywood studio following the abrupt dismissal of CEO Kevin Tsujihara on Monday. As Variety first reported, the team will consist of Warner Bros. motion pictures group chairman Toby Emmerich and Warner Bros. television group president and CCO Peter Roth. It will also include [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content