"April and the Extraordinary World." (Click to enlarge.)
“April and the Extraordinary World.” (Click to enlarge.)

Indie animation distributor GKIDS has announced at the Annecy animation festival that it has acquired U.S. rights to two animated features: April and the Extraordinary World and Extraordinary Tales.

Based on Jacques Tardi’s graphic novel, April and the Extraordinary World is a promising steampunk adventure starring Marion Cotillard as the title character navigating a dystopia whose scientists have all been imprisoned as technological development has stalled.

Directed by Persepolis animator Christian Desmares and Boyster producer Franck Ekinci, and set in an alternative Paris during 1941, the sci-fi exploration screened in competition at Annecy and, thanks to GKIDS, will arrive early next year in America in French and English versions.

The film is a France-Canada-Belgium co-production between Je Suis Bien Content, Studiocanal, Kaibou Production UMT, Need Productions, Arte France Cinéma, Jouror Distribution, RTBF (télévision belge), Proximus and Tchack.

"Extraordinary Tales."
“Extraordinary Tales.”

GKIDS has also acquired the North American rights to Extraordinary Tales, an animated anthology of the seminal works of Edgar Allen Poe — including “The Tell-Tale Heart,” “The Pit and the Pendulum,” “The Fall of the House of Usher,” “The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar,” and “The Masque of the Red Death.”

The stylish CGI-animated anthology also features voice-overs from some of the most notable figures in horror cinema history, including directors Guillermo Del Toro and Roger Corman, as well as the late, great Bela Lugosi and Christopher Lee — whose work in “The Fall of the House of Usher” was memorialized last week on Cartoon Brew by the film’s director Raul Garcia. Extraordinary Tales screens out-of-competition this week at Annecy, and will arrive day-and-date in both American theaters and VOD platforms on October 30, 2015.

Having so far scored six Oscar nominations for best animated feature, second only to Disney, and having distributed instant international classics like Song of the Sea and Ernest & Celestine, not to mention the works of Studio Ghibli, GKIDS is certainly pulling its weight when it comes to broadening the spectrum of animation for all ages.

Latest News from Cartoon Brew