Fox, Saldanha Developing Feature for Ferdinand

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Ferdinand, the flower-sniffing star of the classic children’s book, may be returning to animation as a CG-animated feature film.

According to a report at Vulture, Fox Animation has optioned the book for Carlos Saldanha — director of the Ice Age pics and the upcoming Rio — to develop and direct.

Animation fans remember, of course, that Ferdinand starred in an Oscar-winning 1938 short film produced by Disney. Vulture reports that Disney, unusually, did not acquire the rights to the book and character beyond that one-time use a short film, clearing the way for this new version at Fox.

The book, titled The Story of Ferdinand, was created by Munro Leaf and Robert Lawson and first published in 1936. It has become one of the best-selling children’s books of all time.