Husband-and-wife filmmaker team Jared Hess and Jerusha Hess are adapting the spunky fantasy novel Thelma the Unicorn by Aaron Blabey into a musical animated extravaganza for Netflix. The feature-length project will be directed by Jared (Masterminds, The Last Man on Earth) who is writing the screenplay with Jerusha (Napoleon Dynamite, Nacho Libre); Blabey and Patrick Hughes of Foundation Media Partners are executive producing.
“We are huge fans of Aaron’s work. The lovable misfits in his books feel right at home for us,” the Hesses commented. “It is a dream come true to be collaborating with him and Netflix on an animated feature of Thelma the Unicorn.”
The story relates what happens when a rare pink and glitter-filled moment of fate makes Thelma the Pony’s wish to be a unicorn come true. This magical makeover helps propel her to international pop superstardom, but at an unexpected cost. Thelma’s is a joyful tale about learning to love who you are, even if you don’t have sparkles.
“I’m beyond excited that my beautiful phoney unicorn is going to sparkle her way onto the screen in a big, glittery Netflix film,” Blabey enthused. “Thelma is SO ready for her close-up!”
Thelma the Unicorn has sold over 1.6 million copies to date and has been distributed in 14 countries around the world. The success of Blabey’s novels has landed him on The New York Times bestselling list for 32 weeks.
Blabey’s many best-selling children’s books have earned numerous accolades, including 10 REAL Awards, an INDIE Book Award for Children’s Book of the Year, a Children’s Book Council of Australia – Book of the Year Award, a NSW Premier’s Literary Award for Children’s Literature, twoAustralian Book Design Awards and a Children’s Peace Literature Award. His series The Bad Guys has been optioned for feature film development by DreamWorks Animation.
Thelma the Unicorn joins Netflix’s growing feature animation slate, which includes Pachamama (June 7) as well as upcoming titles Klaus from director Sergio Pablos and SPA Studios, The Willoughbys from director Kris Pearn and BRON Studios, and Over The Moon from director Glen Keane and Pearl Studios, as well as the award-winning adult animated feature I Lost My Body from director Jérémy Clapin and Xilam Animation, which Netflix recently acquired at Cannes.