Animated Wizard of Oz begins production

The Wizard of Oz, the classic novel by L. Frank Baum first brought to life on film in 1939, is getting animated. Starz Animation Toronto, Multiple Media Entertainment (MME) and Gigapix Studios recently announced they are set to begin production on the stereoscopic CG animated feature film with the working title OZ3D.

“We’re thrilled to now step into the producing role and maximize the strength of our studio on all levels.” said Starz Animation EVP Jeff Young. “Creatively, the OZ3D project is hilarious, perfect for the modern audience and at the same time is respectful of the underlying material.”

The humorous and contemporary adaptation has a budget of $20 million. Michael Taylor and Drew Craig of MME are Executive Producers, The deal was brokered by Young. Connor Pritchard, the co-creator of Workaholics, the new series on Comedy Central, wrote the script.

Starz Animation’s Rob Silvestri will be directing. Previously Rob created and directed the multiple award-winning animated short Ormie and worked extensively on Gnomeo & Juliet and the Tim Burton produced animated film “9”.

Worldwide distribution for the film will be handled by MME. MME and Gigapix have entered into an U.S. representation agreement with Gigapix Studios’ distribution company, Gigapix Releasing, securing through its newly formed P&A fund, a minimum commitment of $10MM for a theatrical release on a minimum 1,000 screens.

“Working with Starz Animation and MME gives us an unparalleled combination of creative talent and executive experience that provides an excellent foundation for building a long-lasting relationship to create and produce high quality animation for OZ3D as well as other projects to come,” said David Pritchard, President of Gigapix Studios.

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