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’

Click poster to enlarge.
Click poster to enlarge.

French animation studio Mikros Image is busier than ever. Not only will they release Mark Osborne’s Le Petit Prince next year, they’ve also just wrapped a second feature Mune, Guardian of the Moon. The film’s Italian trailer (above) was released yesterday. [UPDATE: Yahoo!, which had the trailer exclusively, has removed it from their site. See below for a newly released trailer.]

The fantasy film about a universe in which the sun and moon are protected by guardians is based on an original story idea by Benoit Philippon (director/screenwriter of the live-action feature Lullaby of Pi), who co-directed with Gobelins grad Alexandre Heboyan, a former DreamWorks animator on Kung Fu Panda and Monsters vs. Aliens.

Based on the trailer, Mune looks like a remarkably polished kids’ film, especially considering its modest $22 million (€18 million) budget.

Its quality probably has something to do with its A-list crew: longtime DreamWorks designer Nico Marlet (Kung Fu Panda, How to Train Your Dragon) designed the characters, and Aurélien Predal (Room on the Broom, A Monster in Paris) art directed. Other crew included animation sup Sebastien Bruneau (Hotel Transylvania and also a lead animator on The Little Prince), character technical supervisor Hidekata Yosumi (Tangled, Wreck-It Ralph), and storyboard artists David Berthier (Despicable Me) and Antoine Antin (The Illusionist).

Accrording to a Variety piece, the film was also “backed creatively” by Glen Keane; it’s unclear whether or not he had any direct creative involvement though.

Mune has already been picked up for distribution in Italy (Notorious Pictures), South Korea (Smile Entertainment, Middle East (Gulf Films), China (Domo Media), India (Zoom Entertainment), Russia (Volga Films), and Poland (Monolith Films), among other territories. As usual, no American distribution is in place.

Paramount Pictures France will release the film in its home country on April 22, 2015. Italians get the film first on February 6, 2015.

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