The Weinsteins Get Animated

Three new CGI 'toons in the works

We haven't seen much in the way of animated movies from The Weinstein Company, bar the Hoodwinked films and the company picking up Luc Besson's Arthur movies for distribution. But the Weinsteins have now announced three new CGI cartoon projects for release in 2013, alongside the already-revealed Escape From Planet Earth.

Escape is first out of the gate next February, and as previously reported, tells the story of alien astronaut Scorch Supernova, tricked into coming to Earth after he picks up a fake SOS from dastardly military types. Brendan Fraser is the voice of Scorch, with further vocal stylings provided by Sarah Jessica Parker, Jessica Alba, James Gandolfini, and Rob Corddry.

After that, in August, we'll get Leo The Lion, about the titular jungle predator who decides to turn veggie and has to deal with the scorn of the rest of his pride.

Then things get seasonal, with The Trick Or Treaters set for Hallowe'en, and Santapprentice for Christmas. The Trick Or Treaters involves thieves terrorsing the countryside until their hearts are melted by an orphan girl. And Santapprentice, which sounds a bit like a mash-up of Terry Pratchett's Mort and Hogfather (without the grim reaping, and with a dash of Arthur Christmas), revolves around another orphan, chosen to replace Santa when he retires.

Way back in the summer of 2007, The Weinstein Company announced a new deal between itself, The Gotham Group (The Spiderwick Chronicles) and the Chungcheongnam-do Government of South Korea, to develop a new slate of animated movies. These would appear to be the result. Hey, animation takes ages.

"Following the continued achievements of some of the industry's most successful animated filmmakers, we are producing animation with comedic stories that the entire family can enjoy," says Harvey Weinstein. "We will be utilising all of our relationships with top talent across the board to deliver the appropriate comedic tone and entertainment."

The Company is also developing something called Cricket In Times Square, which is being written by The Lion King's Evan Spiliotopoulos. "A-list voice talent" will be announced for the other three new films at some point in the future.