Open Road Films has acquired all U.S. distribution rights to the animated feature ‘Playmobil’ based on the German toy line. Directed by Disney veteran Lino DiSalvo, the film is produced by Aton Soumache, Dimitri Rassam, Alexis Vonarb, the creatives behind the recent animated hit, ‘The Little Prince’, along with Axel Von Maydell and Moritz Borman, and is set for release on Jan 18, 2019.
Playmobil is a line of toys produced by the Brandstätter Group that include the signature 3 inch tall human figure as well as a wide range of accessories, buildings, vehicles, and animals that make up line’s 2.9 billion figurines produced in more than 100 countries.
The deal was no doubt inspired by the runaway success of Warner Bros. 2014 film ‘The Lego Movie’, based on the Danish toy line, that grossed over $460 million worldwide. With three more Lego movies on their way, as well as Sony’s upcoming ‘Trolls’ film, toys are becoming popular trend among the animation world, beyond the ‘Toy Story’ franchise.
DiSalvo will be making his directorial debut on ‘Playmobil’ after 17 years at Disney Animation, having served as head of animation on ‘Frozen’ and animation supervisor on “Tangled” and “Bolt.” Fellow Disney great Blaise Hmingway will be writing the screenplay.
“The creative team behind ‘Playmobil’ has crafted a wildly inventive, hilarious and heart-warming story that is certain to be exciting for the whole family,” said Open Road chief Tom Ortenberg. “We are thrilled to get to work – or should I say ‘play?’ – with Lino and his team.”
“‘Playmobil’ has conquered children’s hearts worldwide, growing beyond cultural and language barriers,” saidBorman. “Animation is the perfect medium to pay tribute to this cult toy and we’re very excited to launch this franchise with Open Road.”