The Weinstein Co. has acquired North American rights to the French animated musical film Piccolo, Saxo and Company, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The CG family feature is an adaptation of Marco Villamizar’s best-selling children’s tale of the same name, which was inspired by musician Andre Popp’s 1950s album Les Aventures de Piccolo Saxo.
In the film Piccolo, Saxo and other brass and string instruments team up to form a symphonic orchestra and undertake a quest to find musical notes and other instruments stolen by an evil doctor bent on creating the perfect instrument. The pic will begin its theatrical run in France next month.
Following its success with the 2005 indie toon feature Hoodwinked, The Weinstein Co. has been snatching independently produced and foreign animated features left and right. On Dec. 15, the company will release French director Luc Besson’s Arthur and the Invisibles in select U.S. theaters. In 2007, the Weinsteins plan to release Exodus Film Group’s Igor, a CG movie featuring the voices of Steve Buscemi, John Cleese, Christian Slater, Jeremy Piven and Molly Shannon. Next year will also see the company team with Warner Bros. to release the animated Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie being animated at Imagi Animation Studios in Hong Kong.
It’s not known if the English-language version of Les Aventures de Piccolo Saxo will get a theatrical release or if it will become part of The Weinstein Co.’s home video operation, which includes the Unstable Fables series of animated DVDs being co-produced by The Jim Henson Co., Flame Ventures and Prana Studios. The entities plan to begin production in September, tackling first the enduring tales of Goldilocks, The Three Little Pigs and Three Billy Goats Gruff.