Lupus releases the dragon in Book of Beasts
It’s been more than a century since Edwardian author E. Nesbit penned The Book of Beasts, and London, England’s Lupus Films figures the time is ripe to transform the classic tale into a 2006 live-action/CGI Christmas special for Channel 4 in the U.K. Tapping into the popularity of magic and mythology that’s been fuelled by blockbuster franchises including Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter, the 50-minute one-off stars a 10-year-old boy who inherits a powerful wizardry legacy and a centuries-old monarchy when his grandfather dies. While visiting his new castle home, Lionel comes across a dusty copy of The Book of Beasts, an extraordinary tome that transforms animals from illustrations on the page into real live creatures. Unfortunately, he releases a dragon bent on terrorizing the Kingdom. Without fully developed magical powers of his own, Lionel must use his wit to force the Dragon to return to the book. Channel 4 is the main broadcast and financial partner, but Lupus is talking to Canadian studios to raise as much as 50% of the budget, which is valued at roughly US$1.5 million.
Nothing will keep The Secret Show under wraps
This slick-looking, retro-inspired 2-D toon from London, England’s Collingwood O’Hare Entertainment received a standing ovation at Cartoon Forum in September, so it’s definitely one to watch. At first, the series appears to be a cutesy preschool program called The Fluffy Bunny Show. But it soon becomes apparent that two secret agents – Victor Volt and Anita Knight – have hijacked the time slot to deliver high action-comedy for seven- to 12-year-olds. In the pilot episode, Victor and Anita combine forces to fight the genetically favored villain Lucky Leo. By always managing to be in the right place at the right time, Leo has evaded capture for years. But Victor beats this bad guy at his own game by volunteering for a dangerous experiment that gives him a synthetic lucky gene for 24 hours. Collingwood O’Hare is looking for international co-pro partners, and deals are currently in the works to bring the 52 x 13-minute toon to air by early 2006 for roughly US$7.5 million.