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Netflix to Fund Three New Stop Motion Feature Films

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Netflix stop motion feature films

With the recent news that Guillermo Del Toro will be making his animation directorial debut with Pinocchio, this completes a trio of stop-motion animated film’s that Netflix have committed to; the others being Bubbles, a film about Michael Jackson’s pet chimpanzee, and Wendell and Wild, directed by Henry Selick.

Pinocchio

Pinocchio is a film that Guillermo Del Toro has been trying to get off the ground for some time, and after a failed deal with Amazon Studios in 2012, Netflix have stepped in and given the green light for the stop-motion musical version, which will be set in Italy in the 1930s, during the rise of fascism.  Del Toro said:

No art form has influenced my life and my work more than animation and no single character in history has had as deep of a personal connection to me as Pinocchio. In our story, Pinocchio is an innocent soul with an uncaring father who gets lost in a world he cannot comprehend. He embarks on an extraordinary journey that leaves him with a deep understanding of his father and the real world. I’ve wanted to make this movie for as long as I can remember.

Amidst all the Disney re-makes of recent years, it is worth noting that this film will NOT be connected to Disney in any way.

Pinocchio will be a co-production between del Toro, The Jim Henson Company and ShadowMachine, with the puppets being built by Mackinnon and Saunders.

Bubbles

Directors Taika Waititi (Thor: Ragnarok) and Mark Gustafson (Fantastic Mr. Fox) will be heading up Bubbles,  an offbeat story of Michael Jackson, from the perspective of his beloved chimp Bubbles. Waititi said:

It’s an idea that fascinates me and one I want to develop further. Most people know I’m a huge Michael Jackson fan, so the main thing for me is to make sure it’s respectful of him and his legacy. I’m not interested in making a biopic; I want to focus on telling a story that blends fact and fantasy, about an animal trying to make sense of the world. This film is not about Michael Jackson because that’s not a story for me to tell — or a story I’d be comfortable telling — it’s about a chimpanzee’s fascinating journey through the complex jungle of human life.

Wendell and Wild

Henry Selick, whose films include Coraline, James and The Giant Peach and The Nightmare Before Christmas, will be directing Wendell and Wild; which follows “two scheming, demon brothers, who face off against a nun and a pair of goth teens in order to earn their way out of hell” – based on an original idea by Selick.

The film, which will be financed and distributed by Netflix, will see the comedy duo Jordan Peele and Keegan-Michael Key voicing the two titular brothers; while Argentinian artist Pablo Lobato will be designing all the characters.

With the additional upcoming productions of Laika’s Missing Link, and the Aardman sequels Shaun The Sheep 2 and Chicken Run 2, the future is looking very bright for the stop motion industry.

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