THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER - Gigapix Acquires U.S. Rights to 'OZ3D' Feature

April 6 2011

Gigapix commits $10 million from P&A fund to release Canadian animated feature on at least 1,000 screens.

TORONTO -- Gigapix Studios has picked up the U.S. rights to a Canadian stereoscopic 3D animated feature based on the classic Wizard of Oz classic book, and to be animated by Starz Animation Toronto.

The $20 million picture, with a working title OZ3D, is being produced by Toronto-based indie Multiple Media Entertainment, and will be directed by Starz Animation’s Rob Silvestri.

Gigapix Studios’ distribution arm, Gigapix Releasing, will release the animated feature stateside, using its P&A fund to commit at least $10 million for a theatrical roll-out on a minimum 1,000 screens.

“Working with Starz Animation and MME gives us an unparalleled combination of creative talent and executive experience that provides an excellent foundation for building a long lasting relationship to create and produce high quality animation for OZ3D as well as other projects to come,” David Pritchard, president of Gigapix Studios, said.

The Canadian animated feature is also the first major project for Starz Animation Toronto since U.S.-based Starz sold a majority stake in the Toronto studio to a local consortium, and completed work on the box-officer earner Gnomeo & Juliet for Touchstone/Rocket andElton John’s Rocket Pictures.

The U.S. company retains a minority stake in the Toronto cartoon and VFX factory now tapping public subsidies as a Canadian-controlled company.

No word on voice casting for OZ3D, which is billed as a comical and contemporary adaptation of the L. Frank Baum classic book, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.

Michael Taylor and Drew Craig of Multiplex Media Entertainment are executive producing the animated feature, and handling worldwide distribution. The script for OZ3Dcomes from Connor Pritchard, co-creator of the Comedy Central series Workaholics.