French film studio Gaumont, whose animation production has consisted of dozens of TV series but no high-profile animated features, has released a French-language teaser for its most significant full-length film to date: Ballerina directed by Eric Summer and Eric Warin.

Budgeted at around US$30 million, Gaumont is co-producing with Quad and Caramels. The film marks the first animated feature for Quad producers Laurent Zeitoun, Yann Zenou, and Nicolas Duval, who were responsible for the 2011 French phenomenon Intouchables, which became France’s second-highest grossing homegrown film of all-time. L’Atelier Animation in Montreal, Canada is handling the animation production, working from a screenplay by Zeitoun and Carole Noble.

The Belle Époque-set film is geared toward young girls, telling the story of Félicie, an orphanage escapee who travels to Paris and trains to perform at the Paris Opera’s Palais Garnier.

The film has been picked up by the Weinstein Company for U.S. distribution. The Weinsteins have a shaky track record with animation. Their last major animation pick-up, the Argentine hit Underdogs by Oscar-winning Juan José Campanella, had a repeatedly-delayed theatrical release, before it was announced a few days ago that the film would be headed straight to DVD and on-demand.

“So many little girls dream at some point of becoming a ballerina,” said TWC co-chairman Harvey Weinstein, who is also working with the producers of Ballerina on an American remake of Intouchables. “This film beautifully pairs that dream of dance with the artistry of animation. It’s a thrill to be teaming up once again with Nicolas, Yann and Laurent on Ballerina, who bring a quality of elegance to all of their projects.”

Added Gaumont head of international Cecile Gaget: “I’m very glad that Gaumont teams up once more with TWC, especially on Ballerina now, since animation in the US market has become a key priority for Harvey and his team.”

In the American version, Elle Fanning, Carly Rae Jepsen, and Maggie Ziegler will provide voices. No U.S. release date has been set for the film yet, and reportedly, the title of the film may change for the U.S. market.

Ballerina will be released on December 14 in France by Gaumont. Other pre-sold territories include U.K. (eOne), Latin America (IDC), South Korea (Pan Cinema), Italy (Videa), Benelux (Belga/uDream), Eastern Europe (Monolith), Russia (Volga), Spain (A Contracorriente), Switzerland (Ascot Elite), and Greece (Odeon).

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