Brazilian producer-director Andrés Lieban is set to direct his first animated feature, “My Big Big Friend – The Movie.” It is set up at his 2DLab label, which has specialized to date in TV animation production. 2DLab’s André Breitman will produce the feature and handle international sales.

“My Big Big Friend – The Movie” is a spin off from kids’ TV series “Meu AmigãoZão,” (“My Big Big Friend”) an international hit which sold to over 100 territories and aired for ten years racking up 104 episodes. Sold by 2DLab and 9 Story Distribution International, the series has also spawned a musical in Brazil. Co-produced by 2DLab and Canada’s Breakthrough Animation “My Big Big Friend“ was aired for the first time on Discovery Kids and Treehouse TV.

“My Big Big Friend – The Movie” has received state funding from Brazil’s Audiovisula Sector Fund (FSA) and Rio de Janeiro film-TV fund RioFilme.

The movie spinoff is “a response to the affection received for so long from kids viewers of all ages and from all over the world. It will be a new independent adventure, with much more emotion and impact,” said director Lieban, who also helmed the series. Lieban’s first feature will be ready for delivery by the end of the year.

Uruguayan-Brazilian composer Christiaan Oyens will be responsible for the soundtrack. Clive Endersby y Claudia Breitman have penned the screenplay

The series revolves around the everyday adventures of three 5/6-year kids –Yuri, Lili and Matt– with their special and very big friends –a giraffe, an elephant and a kangaroo.

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“My Big Big Friend – The Movie” Credit: 2DLab

According to the director, the feature strengthens the themes of friendship and inclusion developed in the series, but from a particular angle – the feeling of self-confidence. For the first time the story includes a villain, a fantastical creature who tries to manipulate the children’s self-assurance.

“Without departing too far from the soft style of the series, we’ve worked at creating more cinematographic framing and lighting, for audiences to feel more engaged by the real and fantasy settings,” Lieban told Variety.

2DLab recently produced TV shows “Annie Rose’s Critter Camp” – airing in Brazil on ZooMoo Networks– and the Quirino-nominated “Count On Me.”

“With scripts made in Canada, animation in Brazil, and music in Europe, this film is taking advantage of the new home working practices all over the world, which the pandemic forced us to adopt. It’s proved really challenging but also opened up a whole world for us during production.”

“My Big Big Friend – The Movie” is scheduled to be ready for delivery by the end of the year.