Sorry, bit late on this one but wanted to share my thoughts on the subject regardless. I mean as far as news goes, this is as big as the announcement of when Kidrobot partnered with 3D animation studio Wildbrain, tho that didn't exactly turn out as planned. No such issues to be had with this partnership as everything is already at full steam ahead to make it happen...
David Horvath and Sun Min Kim struck massive with the Ugly Doll range, from gaining a small dedicated following of plush collectors, to really hitting the mainstream, and yet they still manage to tread a beautiful line of mainstream plush figures along with exclusive Vinyl toy releases and Kaiju exclusives that still appeal to the hardcore.
As you can see in the press release below Producers and writers have been assigned with David and Sun Min are on board as executive producers, and the apparent passion of the people involved indicates that the Ugly Doll world is in safe hands and there will be no Alan Moore style walk outs half way through production. The Animation company behind them are the people who made Despicable Me! and i really think they have struck gold with this team. Yes Pixar are untouchable, in my opinion Dreamworks hadn't made something of real quality and that had any longevity till How to Train your Dragon last year. Their previous attepmts relying too heavily on A list names to bring in the crowds. Even Kung Fu Panda was guilty of this. Despicable Me was a real gem of a film and showed alot of talent and love had gone into it. I think that Illumination could do great things with UglyDolls.
So the big question? Will it work? Should they talk? Well i will not profess to be an authority on the Ugly Doll universe, I will leave that mainly to others but my personal opinion would be that the Ugly Dolls don't talk. Maybe they have their own language, like the little dudes in Despicable Me, and the rest is communicated by bondy language and incinuation. But thats just me and you have to think that Ugly Dolls main fan base must be getting younger and younger, but i really don't want to see star names appaearing as voices of ugly dolls characters. Not unless Clint Eastwood and Harvey Keitell Sign up.. lol
PRESS RELEASE: Illumination Entertainment chief Chris Meledandri has acquired rights to turn the Uglydoll franchise into an animated feature film. Universal Pictures and Illumination will develop the film based on the global line of Uglydoll characters launched by husband-wife artist team David Horvath and Sun-Min Kim. Meet the Fockers scribe Larry Stuckey will write the script, inspired by the dolls and stories created by Horvath and Kim. Meledandri will produce, and Horvath and Kim will be executive producers through their Pretty Ugly LLC banner. The plan is to start with the feature and then branch into a wider range of media opportunities.
Meledandri told me he first started seeing the designs at the Giant Robot store near his home over a decade ago, and "I remember the immediate appeal and connection that the characters had for me. They are simple in design, expressive in personality, and once I got to know David and Sun-Min, I learned there was a mythology and a world behind this," he said. "The personality and level of wit reminded me of the illustrated work I saw from Matt Groening before he did The Simpsons. The characters have a cult following, and they've been very restrictive in where and how they've sold them. It has been a small cottage industry, but it seems just right for us in terms of the potential for a growth curve. Most importantly, the strength cuts to the heart of our strategy, which is, to start from the perspective of characters we feel have unique appeal to audiences, regardless of age."
Illumination, whose first release Despicable Me is being turned into a Universal theme park attraction, followed with Hop and is also developing a stop-motion film based on the original Addams Family characters created by Charles Addams, with Tim Burton directing. Illumination recently cast Taylor Swift, Danny DeVito, Ed Helms, Zac Efron, Rob Riggle and Betty White to provide the principal voices for The Lorax, the film based on the Dr. Seuss book. Meledandri's also got a CG-animated feature in the works, based on Ricky Gervais' book series Flanimals. On the personnel front, Illumination yesterday hired Universal Pictures marketing president Eddie Egan to head its marketing.
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