Exodus Film Group, an entertainment company developing a slate of CG-animated productions, has tapped veteran licensing exec Bruce Auerbach to head its newly formed consumer products division. He will oversee all licensing and merchandising efforts beginning with the live-action/CG feature film, Bunyan and Babe. Reporting to Exodus president John D. Eraklis, Auerbach will also be working to strike video-game, publishing and toy deals for the company’s toon movies Igor, The Hero of Color City and Amarillo Armadillo.
Over the course of his 25-year licensing career, Auerbach’s has been involved with such major franchises as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Jurassic Park, Star Wars, Batman, Cabbage Patch Kids, Dragonball Z, The Simpsons, Looney Tunes, Star Trek, Power Rangers, Sesame Street and Pokemon. He previously served a president of consumer products for Entertainment Business Group (EBG), where he oversaw worldwide third party film licensing. Most recently, he directed the worldwide merchandising and marketing efforts for the upcoming Warner Bros.’ film and animated series, The Runelords.
Igor, Exodus’ first CG-animated film, is now in production and will be preceded by the animated short film Igor: Unholy Frijoles, set for release in the fall of 2007. The short and feature will play on the Frankenstein story by focusing on the eager lab assistant, who has big dreams of becoming a mad scientist in his own right and winning the coveted first place award at the annual Evil Science Fair. Actor Christian Slater will star as the voice of Igor in both films, leading a cast that includes Jay Leno, Steve Buscemi and John Cleese. Igor, The Hero of Color City and Amarillo Armadillo are being exec produced by veteran animation exec Max Howard (The Lion King, Aladdin, The Little Mermaid, Space Jam).
Directed by three-time Academy Award-winning visual effects director Jim Rygiel (The Lord of the Rings films, 102 Dalmatians) Bunyan and Babe will feature a CG-animated Babe the Blue Ox voiced by actor/comedian Eddie Griffin.