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Animated Features Draw Interest at Berlin

Animated films are set to make a big splash at this year’s European Film Market, as German and international productions continue to excite global buyers.

Berlinale is making history in 2018 with the first animated film to open the festival (Wes Anderson’s stop-motion “Isle of Dogs”), and toon titles are unspooling in other sections, also having a strong presence at the EFM.

LevelK’s Danish feature “The Incredible Story of the Giant Pear” opens the Generation Kplus section. Directed by Philip Einstein Lipski, Amalie Naesby Fick and Jorgen Lerdam, the film follows the adventures of Sebastian the elephant and Mitcho the cat as they set off on a journey to save the mayor of their town.

Another Danish work screening in the Generation Kplus sidebar is Jannik Hastrup’s “Circleen, Coco and the Wild Rhinoceros,” the fourth big screen adventure of the matchbook-sized elf Circleen, who this time joins Princess Coco and a baby rhinoceros as they return to their home in Africa. The Attraction Distribution title is Hastrup’s eleventh animated work to compete in the Generation section since 1985.

Indie Sales’ feature “Another Day of Life,” which was directed by Raul de la Fuente and Damian Nenow, uses animation to tackle a tough subject matter, chronicling the work of Polish war correspondent Ryszard Kapuscinski during the 1975 Angolan civil war.

Sweden’s Linda Hamback hits Generation KPlus with “Gordon & Paddy,” a detective story with a young mouse done in 2D animation and adapted from the book series by Ulf Nilsson and Gitte Spee.

Munich-based Studio 100 Film presents a slew of upcoming productions, including “Princess Emmy — The Movie,” about a young princess who is put to the test; “Maya the Bee — The Honey Games,” the sequel to the company’s 2014 hit “Maya the Bee,” based on Waldemar Bonsels’ 1912 German children’s book; “100% Wolf,” about a young werewolf who, in his first transformation, inexplicably turns into a ferocious poodle; and “Quixotes — The Heirs of La Mancha,” which follows the young descendent of Don Quixote as he and his imaginary friends try to save their town from a sinister storm.

Having its market premiere in Berlin will be ARRI Media Intl.’s “Ploey — You Never Fly Alone,” an Icelandic-Belgium co-production about a young plover that fails to migrate with his family and is forced to survive on his own.

Sola Media is showcasing a number of new projects, among them Norway’s “Louis and Luca: Mission to the Moon,” which follows the respective titular magpie and hedgehog on an adventure-filled flight to the moon. In “Captain Morten and the Spider Queen” — a stop-motion co-production from Ireland’s Telegael — a young boy learns responsibility when he is shrunk to the size of an insect, while “Hodja and the Magic Carpet,” based on Danish author Ole Lund Kirkegaard’s classic children’s book “Hodja From Pjort,” follows the adventures of a boy on a magic carpet ride.

Global Screen presents “Tabaluga,” based on the little dragon character created by German rock star Peter Maffay and made famous by the hit international TV series produced from 1994 to 2004; “Luis and the Aliens,” about a boy who makes friends with three awkward aliens who crash land near his house, written and directed by Academy Award winners Wolfgang and Christoph Lauenstein. The Lauenstein brothers also direct “Marnie’s World,” about a spoiled house cat who is lured into a secret agent job.

Ukraine’s Film.UA, meanwhile, is screening two new animated fantasy films, “The Stolen Princess” and “The Underwater Adventures of Sadko.”

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