Lionsgate may be the world’s biggest loser when it comes to gaining a strong foothold in the feature animation business. All of their animated features have either been critical stinkers, box-office bombs, or sometimes both. But the fact that they were picked as the distributor and home for the upcoming My Little Pony animated film might be a sign that the company is interested in trying a little harder when it comes to their feature animation output, and this newest development may help solidify that thought.
In an exclusive report from Deadline, Lionsgate announced that it has acquired the US distribution rights to StudioCanal’s CG-animated film Robinson Crusoe. Lionsgate will release the film sometime in 2016 under its Summit Entertainment label.
As you can probably tell from the title, the film will bring Daniel Dafoe’s 1719 novel – generally credited for creating the literary genre of realistic fiction – into feature animation for the first time and will tell the story from the point-of-view of the hero’s companions, including his parrot Tuesday, who wants to explore the world.
The film is directed by Ben Stassen and Vincent Kestleloot, and produced by nWave Pictures.
“Robinson Crusoe is a timeless adventure classic that has enthralled families since it was first published and the exceptional quality of Ben and Vincent’s 3-D animation will help introduce the story to a new generation,” said Lionsgate motion picture group president Steve Beeks. “StudioCanal has become an important supplier of high profile, branded event properties for our pipeline, and we’re thrilled to continue expanding our relationship with them on a diverse and commercially exciting roster of films.”
“Once again, we’re very excited by the opportunity to tap Lionsgate’s marketing prowess and distribution expertise in the U.S., and we know that they will be the perfect home for our fresh take on the Robinson Crusoe story,” said StudioCanal president of international distribution & marketing Rodolphe Buet. “Our relationship has continued to grow since we partnered on The Last Exorcism, and we believe that our current line-up of films will resonate with audiences for years to come.”
Oddly enough, this is the second animated film to be released under Lionsgate and StudioCanal’s expanding partnership. The first film was Aardman’s Shaun the Sheep Movie. That movie bombed in the US in its initial release, but has made enough to for StudioCanal to greenlight a sequel. It’s quite odd that StudioCanal would trust Lionsgate with another animated film after that, but judging on what we know about the project thus far, there’s a good chance that history might not repeat itself with this project.
What do you think? Do you trust Lionsgate with animation? Are you looking forward to an animated adaptation of Robinson Crusoe?
Edited by Kajsa Rain Forden