Dygra Offers Midsummer Peek at Cannes

Shakespeare gets animated with Midsummer Dream, the latest CG animated feature from Dygra Films, the Spanish toon studio behind the European hit, The Living Forest. Daily Variety reports that today’s festivities at the Cannes Film Festival included a sneak peek at some scenes from the English-language version featuring the voices of popular British actors Brian Blessed, Bernard Hill, Rhys Ifans and Miranda Richardson.

Released theatrically in 2001, The Living Forest sold roughly 1 million tickets in Europe, but failed to significantly crack the English-language market. Dygra and distributor Lumina Films hope casting well-known English actors will help Midsummer fare better on that front. The new pic has so far been pre-sold in 61 countries and has attracted more than a dozen merchandisers.

The characters from The Living Forest will return in a sequel titled The Spirit of the Forest. Also in the pipeline at Dygra are features titled Holy Night! and The Golden Ass. The films are scheduled to hit theaters in 2006, 2007 and 2008.

In addition to launching an aggressive production slate, Dygra will focus on restructuring both financially and physically, bringing its many, dispersed studios together in a new facility.

Midsumer Dream is directed by Dygra president Manolo Gomez and Angel de la Cruz.

Variety notes that 20 minutes of Michel Ocelot’s French toon feture, Kirikou and the Wild Beasts, is also scheduled to preview at Cannes.