There's plenty of innovation(革新) among Europe's family cartoon movies, representing the continent's desire to distinguish itself from standard Hollywood fare. Below, we take a look at four features that'll be presented this year.
Calamity: A Childhood of Martha Jane Cannary
Following up on his unique and sadly overlooked film Long Way North, director Rémi Chayé is developing another mostly-drawn feature with a strong female main character. The setting this time is switched from the North Pole to the American West of the mid-19th century, and the story is an original take on an actual historical figure, Calamity Jane. French companies Maybe Movies and Sacrebleu Productions are leading the film's development.
Back in 2015, Cartoon Brew revealed exclusive concept art from this project by filmmakers Kirk Hendry and Neil Boyle. They were aiming for a mixed-media approach "using a box of tricks including hand-drawn characters, miniature landscapes and CG environment effects". The project, based on the bestselling novel by War Horse author Michael Morpurgo, is still following that vision. The companies behind Kensuke's Kingdom are Lupus Films, Jigsaw Films, Melusine Productions and Spirit Base.
Anthony Roux and Jean-Jacques Denis, directors of last year's Dofus — Book 1: Julith return with a new 2D digital idea for children called Princess Dragon. The project, from France's Ankama Animations, is being presented as a cross-media concept, not surprising considering that Ankama established its reputation based on its MMORPGs(massively multiplayer online role-playing games).