CTHE sets Swan free… finally
Columbia Tri-Star Home Entertainment will release Trumpet of the Swan on home video and DVD on July 31. The movie, which is based on the classic E. B. White story about a frog-throated Swan who uses a stolen trumpet to attract a mate, features such voice talent as Jason Alexander and Joe Mantegna. Though at one time scheduled for a Christmas release in 2000, due to scheduling conflicts, CTHE’s sister company Tri-Star Pictures opted to hold the project back until this month, when it will release the film theatrically in 12 U.S. markets for a limited run.
Suzanne White, VP of marketing at CTHE, is hoping the limited release will help spur Trumpet’s popularity and, ultimately, its video and DVD sales. The movie, which was also featured in the Kids First! Film Festival, has been trailered for the last year on CTHE home video releases including Dragon Tales and Stuart Little. At press time, White was finalizing agreements with several promotional partners to tie in with the film. Though HarperCollins is doing books based on CTHE’s version of the movie, the studio is not planning to assemble a Trumpet merchandise program.
Porchlight revisits The Night Before Christmas
L.A.-based Porchlight Entertainment (Jay Jay The Jet Plane) has begun production on an original direct-to-video title called The Night Before Christmas: A Mouse Tale. Based on the classic Christmas poem of the same name, Porchlight’s one-hour film focuses on two mouse children who, on Christmas Eve, lose their home in the field to construction developers and must find refuge in a new house inhabited by humans.
Penned by screenwriter Earl Hamner Jr., who adapted Charlotte’s Web for TV, Porchlight expects to deliver The Night Before Christmas for Q4 2002. Porchlight is now looking for a studio to distribute the cel-animated film, which is budgeted at less than US$5 million, and is also shopping it to U.S. broadcasters, says company president Bruce Johnson. Johnson adds that Porchlight will likely launch a small merch program, which will include Christmas ornaments and toys.