Adrian Politowski’s Align, the L.A. based production and finance company, has come on board to co-finance “Little Nicholas,” a hand-drawn animated feature directed by Amandine Fredon and Benjamin Massoubre.
The feature is being produced by Aton Soumache at ON Kids & Family (“The Little Prince”), a Mediawan Group company, and Lilian Eche and Christel Henon at Bidibul Productions. Charades, the banner behind the Oscar-nominated “Mirai,” is handling international and domestic sales.
Fredon and Massoubre previously worked on “Ariol” and “I Lost My Body,” respectively. Created by the author Rene Goscinny and the New Yorker illustrator Jean-Jacques Sempe, “Le Petit Nicolas” follows the adventures of a mischievous boy and his schoolmates, teacher and parents in Paris in the 1960s.
The feature, written by Michel Fessler (“March of the Penguins”) and Anne Goscinny, the daughter of Rene and a critically acclaimed author herself, will have two narrative threads. One will follow Nicholas and his surroundings, based on the graphic novels. The other will follow the lives of Goscinny and Sempe when they created “Le Petit Nicolas” and brought the little boy to life.
The storylines intertwine as Nicholas playfully interacts with his creators. The story of “Little Nicholas” mainly takes place in Paris but will also sail across the Atlantic through the tale of the authors’ lives.
“We’re very excited to be expanding our animation slate. I have grown up with the books of ‘Little Nicholas’ and was really touched by how this project is not only a tribute to the candor and beauty of childhood but also to the wonderful friendship of the creators,” said Align’s CEO and co-founder Adrian Politowski. “It has all the ingredients to entice audiences across the globe,” he added.
Soumache, president and co-founder of ON Kids & Family, said “Little Nicholas” is “a project that is particularly close to our hearts and on which we have been working passionately for the last five years with Anne Goscinny.”
“Today, we are very happy to have Align on board with us, in this unprecedented time for cinema, to co-finance this unique animated film with strong international potential and incomparable originality, both in its artistic direction and in its narrative force,” said Soumache.