Magic Roundabout Launched Online

Forty years after it debuted on TV in the U.K., The Magic Roundabout is back with a CG-animated feature set for theatrical release in the U.K. and France in February. A trailer for the film and more can be found at www.the-magic-roundabout.com. The site was created and launched by creative agency Greenroom Digital.

Directed by Jean Duval, Frank Passingham and Dave Borthwick, The Magic Roundabout movie tells the story of four unlikely heroes and their quest to recover three magic diamonds, reverse the onset of a brutal winter and return the evil ice sorcerer Zeebad to his prison beneath the ground.

The original series was created by Frenchman Serge Danot in the late 1960s, then adapted into English by Eric Thompson. Along with the digital makeover, the classic puppet property has attracted top British talent for its leap to the big screen. Sir Ian McKellen (the Lord of the Rings and X-Men sagas) will provide the voice of Zeebad (aka Zebedee). Other celebrities on board include pop stars Robbie Williams and Kylie Minogue, as well as acclaimed actors Ray Winstone (King Arthur, Sexy Beast) Bill Nighy (Love Actually, the upcoming Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy) and Jim Broadbent (Moulin Rouge!, Vanity Fair).

In addition to the trailer and a synopsis of the film, the web site’s content includes a number of games, video downloads, character sections, competitions and a chatroom.

The Magic Roundabout movie is a co-production of Pathé, France’s Films Action and the U.K.’s Bolex Bros./SPZ. French studio Action Synthése handled the animation using Softimage|XSI. Miramax will distribute the kid pic in North and South America.