Urban Sales, KMBO Board Cartoon Movie Buzz Title ‘The Hermit and the Bear’ (EXCLUSIVE)
Urban Sales and KMBO have boarded the 2D family film “The Hermit and the Bear,” with the Paris-based exporter handling international sales for the animated title as Gallic distributor KMBO covers the domestic release.
This joint distributor/sales agent deal marks a dual show of faith for a development title that recently pitched to substantial buyer interest at the Cartoon Movie pitch and co-production forum in Bordeaux — where KMBO was voted distributor of the year.
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Adapted from a 1990s tome, the film follows the long apprenticeship between a lonely bear and an irascible hermit. Beginning as an awkward pupil and a rusty teacher, the pair’s bond soon develops into an unusual and life-affirming fellowship. The duo then set off into the forest, singing the benefits of friendship to all the woodland critters.
Director Marine Blin will make her feature debut with this adaptation of a children’s book written by John Yeoman and illustrated by Quentin Blake. A longtime Roald Dahl collaborator, Blake delivered iconic illustrations for first editions of “Matilda” and “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” among several others; his artistic voice will guide this new project as well.
“Quentin Blake’s drawings enchanted our childhoods,” says Blin. “Always at the service of atypical characters that nourish our imaginations, his drawings are powerful, funny and alive. They share singular and recognizable style, and with this film we hope to pay tribute to his wonderful work, and to the magnificent characters John and Quentin created.”
Blin authored this adaptation with collaborators Anne-Claire Lehembre and Delphine Maury. Maury’s Tant Mieux Productions banner will co-produce alongside Franco-Danish studio Sun Creature, which had a leading role ushering the animated documentary “Flee” onto the global stage.
Founded in 2004, Urban Sales has signed on to a number of upcoming animated features, with a roster that includes production projects like “Into the Wonderwoods” from directors Vincent Paronnaud and Alexis Ducord and “Fox and Hare Save the Forest” from director Mascha Halberstad. Both projects are slated for 2024.
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