Box Office: : ‘The Boy And The Heron’ Becomes First Original 2D Animated Film To Top The U.S. Box Office Since 2009’s ‘The Princess And The Frog’

Fun Academy Motion Pictures, a Columbus, Georgia outfit, has released a short teaser for its first animated feature, Sgt. Stubby: An American Hero — and it looks promising.

The historical family film is based on the true story of America’s most decorated military dog and follows his adventures abroad during World War I.

An independent cg animated feature is a rarity in the U.S. marketplace, especially one that carries a price tag of $25 million. The film is being produced through a combination of private investment and production tax credits.

While Fun Academy doesn’t have a track record of producing animation, the company has surrounded itself with considerable talent on the production side, most notably hiring the French production company, Mikros Image, which is also responsible for animating Dreamworks’ latest feature, Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie. (Mikros also animated Asterix: The Mansions of the Gods and Mune: Guardian of the Moon, and was involved in the production of The Little Prince.)

Richard Lanni (The Americans in the Bulge) directs from a script written by himself and Mike Stokey. Bibo Bergeron (director of Shark Tale, The Road to El Dorado, and A Monster in Paris) is head of story, and production design duties are split between Celine Desrumaux (co-production designer on The Little Prince) and Klepper-Bayle Pierre-Nicolas (character designer on Mune and set design on The Little Prince).

Key voices are provided by Logan Lerman, Helena Bonham Carter, and Gérard Depardieu, and the score is composed by Patrick Doyle (Brave, The Emoji Movie, Cinderella, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire ).

Sgt. Stubby is due in U.S. theaters on April 13, 2018.

Fun Academy Pictures was founded by Lanni. Its president is Joseph B. Wilkinson, Jr., who was elected for eight terms to the Georgia House of Representatives before retiring earlier this year. Wilkinson also served 26 years in the United States Naval Reserve, and worked in the White Press press office during the terms of Presidents Ford and Reagan.

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