GFM Animation has boarded animated feature comedy Molesworth to handle worldwide distribution sales, working with production studio Lupus Films and producers Camilla Deakin and Ruth Fielding on production financing. Based on the bestselling series of boarding school books by Geoffrey Willans and illustrated by Ronald Searle, the film will be directed by accomplished animator Uli Meyer (Space Jam, Mary Poppins Returns, Chip ‘N’ Dale: Rescue Rangers).
“Bringing to life this much-loved character, using Uli Myer’s fabulous 2D skills and great script, creates a great adventure story that we’re confident will appeal to a modern audience worldwide. We are delighted to partner with Lupus Films. It’s great to be working with a proven British animation studio,” said Sean Feeney, Head of Production for GFM Animation.
Molesworth tells the story of Nigel Molesworth, a self-confident, tousle-haired public school boy with a mischievous nature and a penchant for daydreams. It is a tale of adventure, mystery and just a touch of romance (much to Molesworth’s disgust!). But mainly it’s about the high japes he gets up to with his schoolfriends from St Custards School for Boys as they go head-to-head at an Interschool Festival with the pupils from St Moderns School for Girls.
Pitched against each other there is much more at stake than a gold cup to gather dust in a trophy cabinet. St Custards’ useless headmaster has gambled away the school funds and if new funds can’t be raised, the school will close. This could mean — horror of horrors! — merging with the girls school. Luckily, Molesworth has another plan. He has discovered that there is a fabled treasure buried under the school. All he needs to do is get past the headteacher, his evil henchwoman Matron, the gangsters, and the St Custards crocodile…. Easy!
The feature is being produced by multi-award-winning studio Lupus Films (Deakins and Fielding) and Luxembourg’s Mélusine Productions (Stéphan Roelants), which has credits on acclaimed hand-drawn features Ernest and Celestine, Song of the Sea, The Breadwinner, Wolfwalkers and Summit of the Gods. The screenplay is written by Keiron Self and Giles New (The Canterville Ghost, A Christmas Number One). The role of Molesworth himself will be voiced by Matt Lucas (Bridesmaids, Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland).
“The Molesworth series of books were among my favorites when I was growing up. The hilarious humor and wonderful illustrations by Ronald Searle cry out to be adapted as animation,” commented Deakin. “We’ve always been great admirers of Uli Meyer’s work at Lupus Films, so when he asked us to come on board this exciting project we jumped at the chance.”
Lupus Films recently celebrated their 20th anniversary, during which time they have created high-quality entertainment for families worldwide, including The Snowman & The Snow Dog, We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, The Tiger Who Came to Tea and the forthcoming feature adaptation of Michael Morpurgo’s novel Kensuke’s Kingdom.
“It has been a lifelong dream to bring Geoffrey Willan’s and Ronald Searle’s iconic characters from the Molesworth books to life in an original story,” added Meyer. “Teaming up with Camilla and Ruth from Lupus Film was a no-brainer. As any fule kno…”