Next year’s animated feature slate continues to look better and better. With The Simpsons Movie, Brad Bird’s latest from Pixar, and Shrek The Third leading the pack, I’ve got high hopes for 2007. Even the independent and foreign releases look promising.Sony Pictures Classics (who did a great job distributing The Triplettes of Belleville a few years ago) has picked up another interesting foreign animated film. PERSEPOLIS is a hand drawn, black and white animated feature described as “a coming-of-age story of a precocious and outspoken young Iranian girl that begins during the Islamic Revolution”. It is based on Marjane Satrapi’s best-selling and award-winning comic book autobiography. The film started production in October 2005, at Bibo Films, Bibo Bergeron’s (The Road to El Dorado) studio in Paris. Author Satrapi and cartoonist Vincent Paronnaud (aka Winshluss) wrote and are co-directing the film, which is being executive produced by Kathleen Kennedy (Who Framed Roger Rabbit, An American Tail, etc.). Satrapi has started a production blog to document her experience with the animation process. Still pictures from the film are posted here. Sony Pictures Classics plans to release the film in the US in the fall of 2007.