Mike Fleming

Czech animation director Jiri Barta and Paris-based Eurocine Films are targeting the U.S. market with an adapation and English-dubbed version of Barta’s newest stop-motion-animated feature, Toys in the Attic. Forest Whitaker, Joan Cusack and Cary Elwes will provide the voices for the US theatrical release that will be handled by Hannover House and is scheduled for April 6, 2012 release. Originally produced in the Czech language, the animated film is set in a magical world of toys and knick-knacks stored in the attic of a home in Prague. Following the symbolism of the Cold War era that impacted Barta and the Czech Republic, the world of the attic is divided into the land of happy toys in the West and the land of evil in the East. The despotic Head of State rules over the evil empire of the East with a band of sinister minions, insects and rotted vegetables. When the lovely Buttercup is kidnapped and held prisoner by The Head, it is up to her friends – a teddy bear (Whitaker), a mechanical mouse (Cusack) and marionette puppet (Elwes) – to cross the international boundary and attempt their daring rescue. The Czech language version has won several film festivals, including the New York International Children’s Film Festival, the Sitges Festival and Anima Basauri Festival.

The English-language version is being written, produced and directed by Vivian Schilling, with recording under way at Post Haste Sound in Los Angeles, and BAM Studios in Chicago. The film is scheduled for completion in late January, with a market screening at the Berlin festival. WME repped Whitaker and Cusack; AKA Entertainment repped Elwes.

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