×

New Details on ‘Playmobil: The Movie’ Spilled at Annecy Festival

ON Animation Studios unveiled new details and some footage of Lino Di Salvo’s anticipated “Playmobil: The Movie” during a work-in-progress session at Annecy Animation International Film Festival.

Di Salvo, a Disney veteran who served as head of animation on “Frozen” and was animation supervisor on “Tangled” and “Bolt,” presented “Playmobil” via a recorded video and said the film will be character-driven, trigger emotions and imagination, while the designs will “embrace the simplicity and uniqueness of ‘Playmobil.'”

Unveiled during the session, the plot revolves around twenty-year old Marla who is forced to abandon her carefully structured life to embark on an epic journey to find her young brother Charlie who has disappeared into the vast and wondrous animated world of Playmobil. Blaise Hemingway, Greg Erb and Jason Oremland wrote the script. A portion of the film is in live-action.

“The film is an emotional, adventure-filled journey in the veins of ‘Finding Nemo,'” said Julien Bocabeille, the head of animation, who attended the Annecy work-in-progress session with the producer Aton Soumache.

Popular on Variety

A clip of the movie was shown at the presentation and sparked an enthusiastic reaction from attendees — some of whom applauded the designs, Disney/Pixar quality and the voices.

Soumache, who is producing “Playmobil: The Movie” with Dimitri Rassam at ON Animation Studios, along with Alexis Vonarb and Moritz Borman, told Variety that the movie, which is represented by Lionsgate, has now been sold worldwide (save Japan) to major distributors, including Studiocanal in the U.K. and Tele München Group in Germany. As previously announced, Open Road Films will handle the U.S. release while Pathe will roll out the film in France.

The well-seasoned animation producer also revealed that “Playmobil” will boast, under Di Salvo’s impulse, a strong musical component and several original songs as did “Frozen” which scored more than $1.2 billion around the world. The film will also be headlined by a high-profile English-speaking voice cast as did “The Little Prince,” ON Animation Studios’s previous feature which grossed $97.5 million at the box office worldwide.

During the presentation, Soumache also addressed the positioning of “Playmobil” compared with “Lego: The Movie.” “The movie ‘Lego’ relied a lot on comedy and wasn’t so much driven by characters, while our film will follow more the Disney tradition of storytelling and is meant to appeal to girls as much as boys,” explained Soumache, who quipped “‘Lego’ grossed almost $500 million worldwide, if we make half of that will be very happy!”

Aside from the movie, ON Animation Studios has also developed a topnotch virtual reality experiment which allows users to jump into scenes from the film and interact with characters and decors. A segment of the VR experiment is on display at Annecy’s market, Mifa.

More Film

  • Warner Bros. Launches $1.1 million Funding

    Warner Bros. Launches $1.1 million Funding Initiative in Germany

    Warner Bros.’ Hamburg-based German division, Warner Bros. Entertainment GmbH, has agreed for the first time to financial contributions of €1 million ($1.1 million) annually for regional funder Filmförderung Hamburg Schleswig-Holstein (FFHSH). The three-year deal, signed between Warner Bros. and the FFHSH on Friday, marks the first time that Warner Bros. has contributed to any of [...]

  • Falling

    'Falling': Film Review

    Viggo Mortensen may have three Oscar nominations to his name, but I get the feeling most folks still don’t take the guy seriously enough. Maybe they don’t realize that, in addition to his acting work, Mortensen is also a painter, a poet, a photographer and a musician. When “The Lord of the Rings” made him [...]

  • Emma Gonzalez, Jaclyn Corin, and Matt

    The Kids Are All Right: Sundance Docs Showcase Inspiring Young People

    At this year’s Sundance Film Festival four documentaries spotlight adolescents who inspire change while also holding a mirror up to a society that provoked their pain and path to resistance. In Kim Snyder’s “Us Kids” the director focuses her lens on a handful of teenagers who survived the 2018 Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School mass [...]

  • BTS: Director/Writer Greta Gerwig and Jo

    Greta Gerwig Credits 'Little Women' for Her Writing Career

    Greta Gerwig, who wrote and directed “Little Women,” told hundreds of writers on Thursday night at the Writers Guild Theater that Louisa May Alcott’s iconic 1868 novel was her own origin story. “I’d grown up with the book ‘Little Women,’ and I loved ‘Little Women,'” she explained at the WGA West’s Beyond Words event. “And [...]

  • Tesla Movie Sundance

    Five Artisans Talk About Their Work on Buzzy Sundance Titles

    At this year’s Sundance, 118 features will make their debut. Here are five hotly anticipated films that will be in the mix and some of the artisans behind them.  Bad Hair (Midnight) Costume designer Ceci reconnects with Justin Simien (“Dear White People”) on a satirical horror set in 1989 Los Angeles, where ambitious Anna (Elle [...]

  • Timmy Failure-Mistakes Were Made Disney Plus

    'Spotlight' Director Tom McCarthy on Switching Gears With Disney Plus Kids Movie

    Most directors wouldn’t follow up a best picture Oscar victory with a children’s movie produced by and distributed on a new streaming service. But that’s exactly what Tom McCarthy did after “Spotlight,” his powerful 2015 drama about sex abuse in the Catholic Church, became an awards season darling. His latest feature, “Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content