Hamburg, Germany’s Ulysses Filmproduktion and Dublin, Ireland’s Cantilever Media have announced they are developing a new family-friendly animated film titled The Amazing Maurice, based on Terry Pratchett’s The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents, the 28th installment of the Discworld novel series and the first one to be written for children.

Terry Rossio (Shrek, Aladdin, Pirates of the Caribbean) is writing the screenplay, and Carter Goodrich (Ratatouille, The Croods, Brave) created character designers. Toby Genkel (A Stork’s Journey, Ooops! Noah Is Gone…) will direct the film with Emely Christians and Andrew Baker serving as producers. Roddy McManus and Robert Chandler are attached as executive producers.

Hamburg, Germany’s Studio Rakete and Quebec City, Canada-based Squeeze Animation will handle the animation production.

Pratchett’s novel was originally published by Doubleday in 2001. The adventure is inspired by the German fairy tale about the Pied Piper of Hamelin, and is a parody of the folk tale genre. The book earned Pratchett, who passed away in 2015, the Carnegie Medal, children’s literature’s highest award.

Here is the book’s synopsis:

Maurice, a streetwise cat, has the perfect moneymaking scam. He’s found a dumb-looking kid who plays a pipe, and his very own horde of rats – rats who are strangely educated, and literate, so Maurice can no longer think of them as “lunch”. And everyone knows the stories about rats and pipers… However, when Maurice and the rodents reach the stricken town of Bad Blintz, their little con goes down the drain. For someone there is playing a different tune. A dark, shadowy tune. Something very, very bad is waiting in the cellars. It’s not a game anymore. It’s a rat-eat-rat world down there and the educated rats must learn a new word…evil.

Producer Emely Christians, also the CEO of Ulysses Filmproduktion, says of the project, “‘If you don’t turn your life into a story, you become part of someone else’s story,’ says Melissa, the young female lead in The Amazing Maurice. I loved the way Melissa presented her attitude to life in this one sentence. When I read it, I knew we had to turn this amazing novel into an amazing film. The Amazing Maurice will be the first animated feature film ever made from a Terry Pratchett novel. It will get Ulysses’ complete focus and attention to detail to fulfil our promise: to make a wonderful movie from this very funny, unique, strong and awesome story.”

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