the lamb copy
Tim Reckart.
Tim Reckart.

Academy Award-nominated director Tim Reckart (Head Over Heels) will make his feature directorial debut with faith-based feature The Lamb, Sony Pictures Animation revealed today in a late-Easter Weekend announcement.

First announced in September 2014, The Lamb will be a fully CG-animated pic based on the Christian nativity story, telling the “inspirational story of a young lamb who will change the world” with an all-animal cast.

The film is based on an original pitch by Tom Sheridan (who has also been connected to a Chilly Willy movie at Universal), and will be produced by Sony Pictures Animation in partnership with Franklin Entertainment, owned by DeVon Franklin, the Seventh-day Adventist preacher and former Columbia Pictures executive who oversaw films like Heaven is for Real, The Karate Kid, and The Pursuit Of Happyness.

“I’m thrilled to be developing The Lamb with DeVon Franklin and the team at Sony Pictures Animation, who have been so supportive of my efforts to develop a bold, creative direction for the project,” said Reckart in a statement. “The Lamb is a powerful story with deeply felt emotions and gorgeous visuals, all coming through the humor and charm of our cast of animals. I can’t imagine a more exciting project for my animated feature debut.”

headoverheels-stillSEE ALSO: Tim Reckart Aims High For Online Release of Head Over Heels

“I’m beyond thrilled to be working with Tim to bring The Lamb to life,” said Franklin. “He’s truly one of the most talented new visionaries working in animation today and we are already blown away by his unique storytelling and the creative imprint he is bringing to this project.”

Speaking to The Wrap last year about the healing power of entertainment, Franklin said: “There is a desire for more uplifting content, and content that can inspire and challenge people in a way that makes us think more about our purpose, more about our destiny, and more about our history.”

The last big-studio faith-based animated feature was DreamWorks Animation’s The Prince of Egypt, released in 1998. The independent distributor Artisan distributed Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie in 2002.

Reckart was nominated for an Academy Award in 2013 for his stop-motion animated short Head Over Heels, which he recently released online in its entirety.

Jenny Marchick is the exec who will oversee The Lamb at Sony Pictures Animation.