ARRI Media International has boarded WunderWerk’s animated family film “The Ogglies,” based on the hit German children’s book series about a group of creatures with unusual eating habits looking for a new home.
Helmed by Jens Møller, whose credits include the “Lego Star Wars” TV series, and Toby Genkel, director of animated hit “Ooops! Noah is Gone,” “The Ogglies” follows a family of green, smelly, garbage-eating yet good-natured little beings who find a new home in a city dump, only to face eviction when an unscrupulous contractor decides to build a wellness temple on the site.
ARRI Media will present a teaser of the 3D CGI-animated pic for the first time at the upcoming Cannes Film Market.
Erhard Dietl’s book series, which includes 34 titles, has been translated into more than 13 different languages and sold more than 5 million copies in Germany alone.
“The Ogglies” film is produced by Germany’s WunderWerk in co-production with Belgium’s Grid Animation, publishing group Verlag Friedrich Oetinger and Universum Film. Universum is set to release “The Ogglies” theatrically in Germany on Oct. 29, 2020.
The project has been making waves in Germany for some time. Screenwriter John Chambers won the German Animation Screenplay Award for a version of the script at the 2016 Festival of Animated Film in Stuttgart. Genkel is now credited as a co-writer on the film.
“The script is full of humor, charm, adventure, and action,” said Moritz Hemminger, ARRI Media’s deputy head of sales and acquisitions. He added that “the quality of animation that WunderWerk and Grid Animation are delivering is very impressive.”
Alongside genre titles and drama features, family entertainment is a main focus for ARRI Media. Its recent titles have included animated films such as “Ploey” and live-action pics “Vampire Sisters,” “Help, I Shrunk My Teacher” and its sequel, “Help, I Shrunk My Parents.”
With animation, ARRI Media focuses on one or two titles, usually selling them during their production phase. “When picking up animation films, several aspects have to come together: likeable character design, a funny and entertaining script for a family target audience, and the animation studios involved need to be experienced, with a track record in producing animation features for the big screen,” Hemminger said.
WunderWerk is one of Germany’s leading production companies in the field of family entertainment. In addition to “The Ogglies,” WunderWerk is currently co-producing the animated feature “Yakari,” based on the classic Franco-Belgian comic book series by artist-writer duo Derib and Job, about a young Sioux boy. Genkel again co-directs, this time with Xavier Giacometti. The company is also developing the live-action/animated hybrid film “School Ghost,” an adaptation of late German author Peter Abraham’s “Das Schulgespenst.”