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Weinstein Co. Launches Mizchief Label For Children’s Animated Features

The Weinstein Company’s Leap! will be released on Friday under a new studio label, Mizchief.

TWC co-chairman Harvey Weinstein explained in a written statement that he plans to release other animated features under the label as well. Weinstein explained that he calls the label Mizchief “because that’s how my son pronounces mischief.”

Leap! is a France/Canada co-production that was distributed in other parts of the world as Ballerina. Directed by Eric Summer and Eric Warin, it performed well internationally, grossing over US$50 million to date.

Mizchief’s second film will be The Guardian Brothers, which is a reworked English-language version of the 2016 Chinese feature Little Door Gods, the debut feature production of Gary Wang and his Light Chaser Animation. The English cast includes Meryl Streep, Mel Brooks, Nicole Kidman, Edward Norton, Dan Fogler, and Bella Thorne.

Weinstein also announced that his new animation label is developing two other feature projects: adaptations of Philip Pullman’s The Firework-Makers Daughter and George Selden’s The Cricket in Times Square. It’s not clear if the other features will be developed and funded by Weinstein, or if they’ll follow the model of acquisitioning already-produced films like Leap! and The Guardian Brothers.

“Animation is a playful new direction for us,” says Weinstein, “and I’m thrilled to expand the TWC repertoire into a whole new category of films for our kids to enjoy and for us to enjoy with them. All of these films will share incredible stories that most importantly both inspire and entertain our kids.”

  • Wouldn’t it be funny if they cancelled Leap’s release at the last minute? I don’t trust them to put out anything animated after the Underdogs fiasco.

    • cetrata

      Its already out on sneak previews.

  • Cameron Ward

    Just a bunch of red flags here….They are arguably worse than Lionsgate in terms of animation distribution and hearing this announcement a few days back just made me cringe

  • Elsi Pote

    Gues we are witnessing some Freudian slip. Because that name clearly describes their attitude towards the audience and the artists.

    Points in case: Hoodwinked 1 and 2.

    • Mary

      When I was 8, my mom rented Hoodwinked on a Saturday night. Despite being the only time we watched it, my almost 5 year old sister and I loved it. Now I can see why the movie got bad reviews (horrible animation, Shrek ripoff) and my sister doesn’t remember it. I don’t like it very much but it’s a guilty pleasure. The first movie anyway.

      Mom rented Hoodwinked 2 for the weekend when we were 11 and 8 along with our 1 year old baby brother and we loathed it.

  • Andres Molina

    What a convincingly lovely article cover picture, don’t you think(Sarcasm)? The fact that the article pics for any Leap related news has these unappealing, and in some ways rather disturbing pictures probably hints that either someone at Cartoon Brew saw the film and didn’t like it, or have low confidence in it.

    Anyway, yeah, Leap is looking to be a gigantic flop, and the inspiration for the studio name really says it all. Mizchief sounds like a tacked on, and very uninspiring name for a first time company, and by god, I hope the Weinstein company doesn’t ruin the Guardians Brothers, but considering what they did to The Magic Roundabouts, they probably will.

  • cetrata

    Name of the label alome should tell you the lack of respect harvey has for animation.

  • Landon Kemp

    Judging from their past experiences with animation (trust me, this is NOT a new direction like they claim it is,) I think the Weinsteins should be kept as far away from the art form as possible. The whole Underdogs ordeal AND their abysmal treatment of The Magic Roundabout should be cautionary tales about their blistering incompetence when it comes to animation.

    • Milan P.

      You forgot the complete bastardization of Thief and the Cobbler (Arabian Knight).

      • Landon Kemp

        Was that the Weinsteins’ doing? I know that edit was distributed by Miramax, which they owned, but I didn’t think they had any major say in what was done to the Arabian Knight edit of The Thief And The Cobbler. I could be wrong, though. You never know with these guys.

        • Yeah, there’s two separate versions of that final cut, one Calvert did that was called “The Princess & The Cobbler”, seen in some parts of the world, while Miramax did a further revision of that cut to create “Arabian Knight” (later released on home video as “The Thief & The Cobbler”).

          • Landon Kemp

            I know about the different versions of the final cut, I just assumed Calvert was responsible for both cuts and that the Weinsteins only suggested more edits for the Arabian Knight version while otherwise not being very involved with it. I don’t know, I might need to look that up again, since I am a fan of The Thief And The Cobbler and I overall know a good portion about its history. Perhaps I was missing something when it came to the Weinsteins’ involvement, though.

          • You probably should. The big difference is in how the Miramax cut ads in extra narration meant to be Tack telling us what was going on while also adding in an internal monologue with the Thief that wasn’t in Calvert’s edition at all.

          • Landon Kemp

            Again, I do know about what the Miramax cut changed and added. I’ve seen all three different versions of the movie, the Recobbled version/workprint, The Princess And The Cobbler edit, and the Arabian Knight edit.

  • Inkan1969

    “Mizchief”. Uh, right.

    I totally forgot the new release date for “Leap!” and so the film snuck up on me. There actually were special previews of the movie this weekend. I still want to see this movie and so i hope it lasts at least for a few weeks.

  • JodyMorgan

    Harvey Weinstein is really focused on animation being for kids, huh?

    Fits right in with the USA in general, in that regard.

  • Jordann William Edwards

    Really? I think that should tell people about the respect these guys have for animation. No, thank you.

  • Cameron Ward

    So, that new Guardian Brothers film they have, THEY JUST PUT IT DIRECTLY TO NETFLIX

    I am not kidding here. I found out that it was just on Netflix for some reason. no advertising, no marketing, not even a trailer…