Here is a brief overview of some of the projects presenting this week at Cartoon Movie 2023 that grabbed our attention. Visit animationmagazine.net daily during the event for more in-depth coverage.
Life can’t be easy for a teen butterfly who cannot fly. But Patrick, the heroic lead of Butterfly Tale, doesn’t let that dampen his optimistic spirit. The new CG-animated movie from Montreal- and Madrid-based Parrot Media, is slated for a fall 2023 release. Directed by Sophie Roy (Double Dribble) and produced by Marie-Claude Beauchamp of Montreal-based CarpeDiem Film & TV (Snowtime, Racetime) and Emely Christians of Germany’s Ulysses Films (The Amazing Maurice, Ooops! Noah Is Gone), the charming project features the voices of Tatiana Maslany (She-Hulk) and Mena Massoud (Aladdin). Add to all that, the fact that Heidi Foss’s screenplay for the movie won the Animation Screenplay Award from the 2021 Stuttgart International Animation Film Festival — and you have the perfect ingredients for a crowd-pleasing family movie. Spread your wings, Patrick!
Chicken for Linda!
Directed by Chiara Malta (Simple Women) and Sébastien Laudenbach (The Girl without Hands), Chicken for Linda! is one of the films that will stand out for its clarity of vision and simplicity. Previously showcased at Annecy, the French-Italian co-pro centers on a guilt-ridden mother who feels bad after unfairly punishing her daughter, so she sets out to make a chicken meal for her — even though she lacks any cooking skills! Produced by Dolce Vita Films and Miyu Productions and co-produced by Italy’s Palosanto, the movie promises to be a stylish 2D affair. “The film is intended to be sweet and tender, aimed at younger children”, the directors told the traders last year. “The story unfolds in an ordinary small town on a day of general strike. There is no super power, no sorcerer, no wizard, no big quest to save the world, and the only flying creature is a chicken!”
It’s always cause for celebration whenever Spanish comic-book and animation auteur Alberto Vázquez (Unicorn Wars) announces a new project. His latest is a feature adaptation of his acclaimed short of the same name, featuring Arnold, a middle-aged mouse who’s facing a midlife crisis and suspecting that the world is all a façade run by A.C.M.E. (A Company that Makes Everything!). The pic is produced by Iván Miñambres (Uniko) and co-produced by Chelo Loureiro (Abano Producións). Sign us up for this beautiful unraveling!
A young boy dreams of being a mermaid in Julián, the intriguing new project from the brilliant folks at Ireland’s Cartoon Saloon, directed by the Oscar-nominated Louise Bagnall (Late Afternoon) and produced by two-time Oscar nominee Paul Young (Wolfwalkers, Song of the Sea). Based on the acclaimed book Julián Is a Mermaid by Jessica Love, the project will be co-produced by Sun Creature (Denmark), Folivari (France), Aircraft Pictures (Canada) and Wychwood Media (U.K.) The creative team behind the movie has opened up Love’s simple but powerful picture book to follow the gender-fluid young boy on a trip to New York City, where he visits his abuela and learns about his history. Go ahead and put your money down that this movie will be a major awards season contender in a few years!
Love Is a Gypsy Child: A Carmen Story
Are you eager to travel back to 19th century Andalusia? Then, get ready for this stylish French-Spanish take on the enduring tale of Carmen, the fiery Romany woman with a dazzling voice who seeks to escape death on the streets of Seville. Based on the graphic novel by Cyril Pedrosa, the classic tale is directed by none other than Sébastien Laudenbach (The Girl Without Hands, Chicken for Linda!) and produced by Damien Brunner (Folivari) and co-produced by Pablo Jordi (Pikkukula) and Pierre-Henri Léon (La Garde Montante).
Merry Christmas, Monsieur Hulot
The clumsy, pipe-smoking character created by French filmmaker, mime, screenwriter and actor Jacques Tati first debuted in the 1953 movie Monsieur Hulot’s Holiday. He is back as an animated character in the new movie directed by Celine Willard, which finds the friendly eccentric growing a giant Christmas tree in the only remaining plot of land in his city. When the tree causes the wrath of the town mayor, Monsieur Hulot’s friendship with the mayor’s son is also threatened. Produced by Aubane Fillon of France’s TNZPV Productions, the project is based on David Merveille’s lovely graphic novel, with a script by Marc Rius. From what we’ve seen from the early art and development package, this is a definitely a holiday movie to keep an eye on.
You know exciting things are in the works when Emmy-winning producer Corinne Kouper (Yellow Bird, Jade Armor, Angelo Rules) and her excellent team at France’s TeamTO studio are involved with a project. The movie that she’s presenting at Cartoon Forum this year is Ninn, an eagerly anticipated animated adaptation of the graphic novel by Jean-Michel Darlot and Johan Pilet, directed by Salomé Chatelian. The fantastic tale follows the adventures of a young girl who was found as a baby in the Paris Métro and is protected by a magical origami tiger. Will she solve the enigma of her mysterious past, despite her two father’s many concerns? We’ll have to wait patiently until TeamTO brings the movie to the big screen in the years ahead!
The Roman of Renart
Is the world ready for a brand-new animated adaptation of Romance of Reynard (the fox), the classic medieval collection of animal fables by Bourvil? We hope so, because Léo Marchand and Anne-Laure Daffis (The Neighbors of My Neighbors Are Neighbors of Mine, Le Saint-Festin) are helming a top-notch adaptation based on Daffis’ graphic novel. Christian Pfohl of Lardux Films is producing the great-looking project, which mixes 2D animation and some live-action backgrounds.
Rosa and the Stone Troll
The new Danish movie Rosa and the Stone Troll is based on the popular children’s book series by Josefine Ottesen. The lovingly animated feature follows the adventures of a blue fairy who sets out on a dangerous journey to rescue her butterfly friend, who has been kidnapped by an evil stone troll (are there any other kind?). The fairy tale is directed by first-time helmer Karla Nor Holmbäck and produced by Marie Bro for Dansk Tegnefilm. Some fortunate Scandinavian territories have already released this lovely labor of love.
Yap Yap — The Secret Forest
Sometimes a single image from a movie can really sell it to the viewer. That’s certainly the case with Yap Yap — The Secret Forest, which follows a young girl who stumbles upon the titular forestland. Our heroine must stop the darkness threatening the magical creatures of the natural world in this beautiful adaptation of Kristina Gordon’s picture book. Directed by Jens Møller (The Ogglies, LEGO Star Wars series), this lush, CG-animated family movie is produced by Denmark’s Parka Pictures and co-produced by Sweden’s Milford. Parka Pictures has a great track record at Cartoon Movie, having presented titles such as Ark at 8, Granny Samurai and Latte and the Magic Waterstone in Bordeaux before. We’re sure this new pic will also be a hit with the attendees this year.