Snowman Producer Coates Warms Up To Jack Frost

To oversee its upcoming animated half-hour Christmas special, Jack Frost, BA20′s Alastair Swinnerton has brought on legendary producer John Coates (The Snowman, Yellow Submarine, Famous Fred, The World Of Peter Rabbit And Friends) as exec. producer. Stardust Pictures is lined up to produce, and will do all animation in its London studio.

Jack Frost is a beautiful book,” says Coates, “and will make a wonderful film. It has the same classic feel I saw in The Snowman all those years ago, and I’m sure it will be around for just as long.”

The special is based on a children’s book by writer/illustrator David Melling, to be published by Hodder Headline Ltd. for Christmas 2003. Stardust will be charged with matching the quality of the book’s lavish illustrations. Best known for sequence work on DreamWorks’ The Road to El Dorado and Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron, the studio is owned by animator/director Dino Athanassiou, director of Carlton’s BAA-winning The Legends Of Treasure Island.

The special will be produced for Christmas 2004, in conjunction with Hodder’s launch of the paperback edition of Melling’s book. BA20 is currently considering a number of different offers to fund the special, and are talking to licensing and distribution companies about home video, computer games and other merchandising opportunities.