Back in 2014, the success of The Lego Movie showed us proof that movies can be made out of everything. Now another popular toy brand is aiming for a piece of that high concept pie, coming from Lego’s direct competitor out of all things. This is Playmobil: The Movie, where we now have our first look in the new teaser trailer relased by StudioCanal UK.
Playmobil: The Movie centers on Marla and her epic quest to rescue her brother Charlie after both are transported from our world (filmed in live-action) to the animated universe of Playmobil. Marla will then join with many allies including Del the food truck driver, secret agent Rex Dasher, and much more inhabitants to travel across various worlds and find her missing brother.
Anya Taylor-Joy (Split) and Gabriel Bateman (Lights Out) play as Marla and Charlie respectively in both the live-action segments and their animated Playmobil counterparts. Joining them is an all-star cast featuring Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter himself) as Rex Dasher, Jim Gaffigan (Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation) as Del, Meghan Trainor (Smurfs: The Lost Village) as a fairy-godmother, and American Idol runner-up Adam Lambert as Emperor Maximus.
The film is being constructed at On Animation Studios, the company which previously worked on The Little Prince, and Mune: Guardian of the Moon. Leading the project in his directorial debut is former Disney animator Lino DiSalvo, who worked there as a supervising animator on Bolt and Tangled, as well as the Head of Animation on Frozen.
Thanks to DiSalvo and his team of animators, they have created a visually-pleasing world that’s faithful to the construction toys, sticking true with the limited figure movements, while also taking liberties to give the character very expressive faces. However, the movie still needs to prove it’s not entirely capitalizing on The Lego Movie‘s success due to the similar concepts.
While this is the first movie based on the German toy sets, there do exist past screen adaptations, including the interactive DVD The Secret of Pirate Island and several video games (including three released for the Nintendo DS). There was also a computer-animated Playmobil TV series titled Super 4, which coincidentally was also animated by On Animation under the Method Animation brand.
Europe will the first to screen the cinematic world of Playmobil, starting with France on August 7, 2019 (via Pathé), followed by the United Kingdom two days later (via StudioCanal) and around the continent throughout that same month. StudioCanal will then release the movie in Australia and New Zealand in late-September.
A similar release date was originally assigned for the United States but the film is currently without a distributor due to the bankruptcy of Global Road Entertainment. DiSalvo recently announced via Twitter that a US date is still being finalised.