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Disney does Wilbur

01.12.2004

In a move that signals the gradual transition from 2D to 3D animation at Disney, the studio has greenlit the computer animated flick A DAY WITH WILBUR ROBINSON, based on the popular children's book by author William Joyce. The announcement of WILBUR also comes as Disney closes the Orlando-based animation studio that housed over 250 artists and turned out projects like LILO & STITCH and BROTHER BEAR. Those employees will either be laid off or transferred to Disney's Burbank studio. WILBUR is being prepped for a summer 2006 release, possibly pitting it up against Pixar's planned 2006 film (an interesting possibility whether Pixar stays with Disney or not). The film follows a boy genius who invents a machine which enables him to visit the future and a family full of eccentrics and their house full of futuristic gadgets. Author Joyce is no stranger to the world of CG animation - his ROLIE POLIE OLIE is a series on the Disney Channel and he's working with Fox and Blue Sky Studios (ICE AGE) on their film ROBOTS. Disney hopes to eventually franchise WILBUR into sequels, a TV series and more books, but those rights lie with the publisher, HarperKids. Next up for Disney is HOME ON THE RANGE, followed by CHICKEN LITTLE, currently in development and prepping for a 2005 release. Also figured into Disney's schedule are their two remaining films under the current contract with Pixar, THE INCREDIBLES and CARS.

Source: Variety
Tags: Hollywood

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