Reel FX Creative Studios is going to make their mark in a couple of weeks with Free Birds, their debut theatrical animated feature. The Dallas-based studio has big plans, such as producing risky and experimental fare on smaller budgets. Book of Life (opening October 3, 2014), a Day of the Dead-flavored Romeo & Juliet story, looks to fulfill that promise. They’re also adapting the rather family-unfriendly graphic novel Beasts and Burden, which suggests that they want to get adult-oriented animation to do well with mainstream audiences. If that film comes out in 2015, we’ll be seeing a lot of eclectic animated features: Beasts of Burden, Sausage Party, Ratchet & Clank, High in the Clouds, Shaun the Sheep and several others.
Another project is now on their slate, a project that definitely doesn’t sound like your usual animated feature… W.I.S.H. Police.
Deadline got the news on the project weeks ago. Three directors are attached, all of which are associated with a 2007 Spanish/French hand-drawn animated film called Nocturna: Victor Maldonado, Adrian Garcia (they directed the film) and Alfredo Torres (background designer). Cyrus Voris and Ethan Rieff (Kung Fu Panda) will pen the screenplay based on a short story by Daniel Nayeri.
The story involves an organization called the Imaginary Crimes Unit, made up of a various creatures. Their task is to monitor and stop W.I.S.H. (Wicked Ideas Suddenly Human), the organization of criminals who make the evil and malevolent wishes spoken by everyday people when they are angry a reality. An envious young boy wishes that his sister was out of his life… On a star no less! On top of that, he made the wish when blowing out his birthday candles and holding a four-leaf clover! The force has now met their toughest challenge yet.
Basically it’s “Be careful what you wish for” in animated feature form! It definitely sounds interesting and different, and it looks like Reel FX is willing to experiment and do what the other big animation studios aren’t doing. The plot also has a hint of darkness to it; the concept of criminals trying to make people’s anger-driven wishes a reality? Definitely a unique idea that lends itself to animation. Nocturna didn’t stray from darker elements, so one would imagine that this wouldn’t.
Also, will it be a computer animated film? Or a hand-drawn one?