Feature Film

‘Trolls’ Director Mike Mitchell Signs On To ‘Puff the Magic Dragon’ for Fox

Dreamworks has How to Train Your Dragon, Disney has Pete’s Dragon, and now Fox has Puff, the Magic Dragon.

Trolls director Mike Mitchell is developing a new movie with Fox Animation based on the 1963 Peter, Paul & Mary folk song “Puff the Magic Dragon.” Puff, an ageless dragon, will come to life in a live-action/animation hybrid movie.

The project is being overseen by Fox Animation president Vanessa Morrison, and exec Nate Hopper, who moved last fall to Fox from Sony Pictures Animation specifically to spearhead a plan to launch more family live-action/cg hybrid movies. Safehouse Pictures’ Tory Tunnell and Joby Harold and Weed Road’s Akiva Goldsman will produce, according to Deadline, which first reported the news.

Puff was previously adapted into a series of animated tv specials in the late 1970s and early 1980s by Murakami Wolf Swenson, but the character is known today as a pop culture reference more than anything. In that sense, it’s understandable why a director like Mitchell would come on board.

“What was exciting [about Trolls] was that there was no mythology to these things,” Mitchell told Cartoon Brew earlier this year. “For a studio to own a property where nothing is attached—I’ve never felt so free.” Perhaps Mitchell will be able to put his unique stamp on this bare-bones IP in the same way that he did with Trolls.