Locksmith Animation, the studio behind Ron’s Gone Wrong, is back for more! The studio has announced its second animated feature film, as well as its second collaboration with DNEG Animation. The film will be called That Christmas.
That Christmasformerly titled The Empty Stockingwill be based on a trio of children’s books by filmmaker Richard Curtis and featured illustrations by Rebecca Cobb. The three books in question are The Empty Stocking, Snow Dayand That Christmas. The books center around the effects of upending Christmas traditions and how the craziness can bring a family together. Curtis spoke with Variety about his excitement on the project, as this will be his first animated film project.
“When I was young ‘Charlie Brown’s Christmas’ was my favorite Christmas thing – and I love the idea of making something that might be a joy at Christmas. I hope we can make it funny and touching and conjure up some of the magic that Christmas movies have always done for me and my family. ”
An Animated Christmas
That Christmas will also be a first for Simon Otto. The animator is probably best known for his role as Head of Character Animation in the How to Train Your Dragon trilogy. While Otto has directorial history in television, That Christmas will be his first theatrical directing role. Locksmith Co-Founder Julie Lockhart had this to say in a statement about Otto joining the project.
“Simon Otto is one of the pre-eminent artists working in the feature film animation arena today. His superb taste and his ability to endow animated characters and stories with heart, humor and pathos is in a class by itself. We are overjoyed that he will be making his feature directing debut on this Locksmith project. “
Curtis will be writing the screenplay along with Peter Souter. Both Curtis and Cobb will be serving as executive producers, joining them will be Elisabeth Murdoch, Sara Smith, Julie Lockhart, Bonnie Arnold, Peter Souter, and Colin Hopkins. Also serving as producers are Nicole P. Hearon (Moana) and Adam Tandy (The Thick of It). Joining the crew are Doug Ikeler (Open Season) as VFX Supervisor.
Serving as Head of Story will be Ashley Boddy (Ron’s Gone Wrong). Dave Edwardz (Star Wars IX: The Rise of Skywalker) will be serving as Head of Layout with Sim Evan-Jones (The Chronicles of Narnia) serving as Editor. Justin Hutchinson-Chatburn (Black Mirror) will be Production Designer and Kapil Sharma (Trolls) will be Animation Director. Tom Jacomb, the president of DNEG Animation, stated with Collider about the excitement of working with Locksmith a second time after having collaborated with them previously on Ron’s Gone Wrong.
“We are thrilled to be working with Locksmith again for their second project, following the success of Ron’s Gone Wrong. I’ve been a huge fan of Simon Otto and all his work on the How To Train Your Dragon series, so I’m very excited to now be working with him in the director’s chair! ”
Currently, there is no release date for That Christmasbut all the more reason to keep one’s eyes and ears open for more updates!
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