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Glen Keane to Direct Animation ‘Over the Moon’ for China’s Pearl Studio, Netflix

Glen Keane will direct Pearl Studio’s animated “Over the Moon” as a world premiere film exclusively for Netflix.

Tuesday’s announcement was made jointly by Peilin Chou, chief creative officer of Pearl Studio, and Melissa Cobb, vice president of kids and family for Netflix.

Over the Moon” is a musical adventure feature film about a girl who builds a rocket ship and blasts off to the moon in hopes of meeting a legendary Moon Goddess. The film will be released in 2020 theatrically in China and by Netflix around the world.

Keane and retired basketball superstar Kobe Bryant have been nominated for an Oscar for the animated short film “Dear Basketball,” based on a letter Bryant wrote in the Players’ Tribune in 2015, in which he announced his retirement from basketball. Keane, whose animation credits include “The Little Mermaid,” “Aladdin,” and “Beauty and the Beast,” directed and used hand-drawn animation to capture Bryant.

Keane also animated Elliott the Dragon in “Pete’s Dragon” and was responsible for the climactic bear showdown in “The Fox and the Hound.” In 2012, he left Disney to form Glen Keane Productions.

“Over the Moon” is written by Audrey Wells, produced by Gennie Rim (who also produced “Dear Basketball”), and executive produced by Janet Yang (“Joy Luck Club”). Songs will be written by Christopher Curtis, Marjorie Duffield, and Helen Park.

“I am powerfully drawn to characters who believe the impossible is possible,” said Keane. “‘Over the Moon’ has just such a heroine as its centerpiece. The compelling script by Audrey Wells has tremendous heart and humor that called to me and I had to respond. I’m honored to bring this story to life alongside my producer Gennie Rim. We are both looking forward to creating a wonderful film and partnership with Melissa Cobb at Netflix and Peilin Chou at Pearl Studio.”

Shanghai-based Pearl Studio is currently in production on “Everest,” to be released worldwide through Universal Pictures in 2019. Within China, it will be distributed by Pearl Studio. The company was previously operated as a joint venture known as Oriental DreamWorks, which co-produced “Kung Fu Panda 3” as the first American-Chinese animated co-production.

Ken Kleinberg of Kleinberg Lange Cuddy & Carlo represented Glen Keane Productions, Keane and Rim in the deal.

 

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