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ON Animation Studios To Spend $75 Million On A Playmobil Movie

If it worked for Lego, it can work for us. So goes the thinking for the execs behind The Little Prince who are setting up shop to make a movie based on Germany’s Playmobil toy line of miniature figures and playsets.

At $75 million, the price point for Playmobil: Robbers, Thieves & Rebels, currently scheduled to arrive in 2018 from Dimitri Rassam and Aton Soumache’s ON Animation Studios, is similar to their CGI/stop motion adaptation of author Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s classic novella, The Little Prince. The two movies share something else in common: Bob Persichetti. Animation vet Persichetti, who was the head of story for The Little Prince (and earlier, DreamWorks’s Puss in Boots), will write the Playmobil movie as well as make his directorial debut on the film.

Rassam and Soumache’s Parisian studio is launching production on Playmobil: Robbers, Thieves & Rebels with the backing of Pathe, which will co-produce the film and handle French distribution, and Wild Bunch, which will handle international sales. American distribution rights were acquired by Cross Creek Pictures (Everest, Black Mass), marking the distributor’s first animated feature.

Playmobil: Robbers, Thieves & Rebels follows on the heels of Phil Lord and Christopher Miller’s astoundingly successful The Lego Movie, which hauled in $468 million worldwide — although ON Animation Studios claimed to Variety last month that it has been developing a Playmobil franchise for years. The movie will be animated in Canada.

“We’re proud to bring a new cultural icon to the screen,” Rassam told Variety, adding that Playmobil: Robbers, Thieves & Rebels would be the first installment of a film trilogy that ON Animation is planning for the toy line. “These figurines have sparked the imagination and creativity of generations of kids worldwide.” Playmobil has sold nearly 3 billion figurines worldwide since inventor Hans Beck created the toy for the Brandstätter Group in the early ’70s.

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