The Oscar-winning Louisiana animation studio Moonbot recently announced that it is developing multiple feature-length film projects. It has acquired the film rights to two YA book series: the Olivia Kidney trilogy by Ellen Potter, which it plans to do as a live-action/animation hybrid; and The Extincts by Veronica Cossanteli.

Shreveport, Louisiana-based Moonbot was founded by Brandon Oldenburg, Lampton Enochs, and children’s book author/illustrator Bill Joyce. The headliner amongst that trio, Joyce, has a long history of animation experience as the production designer of the Blue Sky features Robots and Epic, and the creator of the children’s series Rolie Polie Olie. His books also served as the basis of the Disney feature Meet the Robinsons and DreamWorks feature Rise of the Guardians.

Since launching in 2009, Moonbot has won an Oscar for its short The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, as well as created the children’s app The Numberlys and the much-buzzed about Chipotle “Scarecrow” campaign.

Between Moonbot and Dallas-based Reel FX, which has made Free Birds and the forthcoming Book of Life, the American South is emerging as an unlikely hub for feature animation. It’ll be interesting to watch how that scene develops over the next few years.

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