Lions Gate Family Entertainment (LGFE) is hoping to bottle some of the lightning that made William Steig’s 1993 children’s book, Shrek, into a blockbuster animated franchise. Daily Variety reports that the company has acquired the author’s Caldecott Medal-winning 1969 kid lit title, Sylvester and the Magic Pebble, and plans to develop it as a computer-animated feature.
Sylvester and the Magic Pebble tells the story of a donkey who collects interesting pebbles and comes across one that can grant his every wish. However, things go wrong when a fierce lion comes by and Sylvester wishes he were a rock. Unable to grasp the pebble and wish himself back, he must learn to get by n his new form until he can be reunited with his family. The feature has gone into active development under the title Sylvester.
LGFE is currently working on its first animated co-production, Foodfight!, featuring the voices of pop star siblings Hilary and Haylie Duff. Being animated at Larry Kasanoff’s Threshold Animation Studios, Fooodfight! is directed by Kasanoff from a script by Brent Friedman, Rebecca Swanson and Sean Derek. The film, slated for theatrical release in the fall of 2006, will explore what goes on in a supermarket after closing time, as familiar characters such as Mr. Clean and Charlie the Tuna come to life.