Little Vampire lives in a haunted house with a jolly band of monsters, but he’s terribly bored. He’s been ten years old for 300 years now, and it’s been a while since he enjoyed pirate ships and the film club. His dream? To go to school and make some friends. But his parents are having none of it: the outside world is far too dangerous. Accompanied by his loyal bulldog Fantomate, Little Vampire secretly escapes from the mansion, determined to meet other children…
Sfar’s debut feature was Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life, a live-action biopic of the titular French singer. He followed it up with The Rabbi’s Cat, an Annecy-winning animated feature based on his comics of the same name which he co-directed with Antoine Delesvaux. He also directed a segment of the animated anthology feature The Prophet.
The director described the genesis of the Little Vampire film in a recent interview with Animation Magazine:
A tv show [based on the comics] was made 15 years ago, which was quite funny and creepy, but it didn’t have great animation. So, about ten years ago, we started to talk about making a cg-animated movie based on the books. An American studio and Guillermo del Toro were also involved … But we weren’t able to raise enough money to make a cg movie on the level of a Pixar or Dreamworks feature. You know, I hate it when European studios do cheap cgi movies. I don’t hate cg, but you need to do it well. So, we decided to make it in 2d.
He went on to say:
I can tell you that we had a lot less money than we did with [The] Rabbi’s Cat (12.5 million euros), but we had more time to make it. Our movie is a love letter to classic animated movies. In the eyes of a child, there is no hierarchy between 2d and cgi.
In June, Sfar launched the studio Magical Society with veteran French animation producer Aton Soumache (Playmobil: The Movie). It has around a dozen animated, live-action, and hybrid projects in development, including a hybrid mini-series based on treasured family book The Little Prince.
Magical Society is a co-producer on this film, alongside Studio Canal, La Cie Cinematographique & Panache Productions, France 3 Cinéma, Story, and RTBF. No U.S. distributor has been announced.