Moana’s head of animation, Hyrum Osmond, is teaming up with ON Animation Studios for an animated feature based on Winsor McCay’s fantasy-adventure comic series, titled Little Nemo in Slumberland.
Osmond will take the helm on the project which ON Animations’ Aton Soumache described as a cross between Alice in Wonderland and Hook, and said “it was ideal for present-day animation. The strip is truly an unlimited source for astonishing adventures”.
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The $70 Million dollar budget film centres on a young boy who journeys through the land of dreams. The project will be produced by Aton Soumache and Dimitri Rassam, plus Alexis Vonarb and Emmanuel Jacomet, between Paris and Montreal, where the company has offices.
The comic series, Little Nemo in Slumberland ran in the New York Herald from October 15, 1905, until July 23, 1911. The full-page weekly strip depicted Nemo having fantastic dreams that were interrupted by his awakening in the final panel. The strip is considered McCay’s masterpiece for its experiments with the form of the comics page, its use of colour, it’s timing and pacing, the size and shape of its panels, perspective, architectural and other detail.
This won’t be the first time Nemo has been brought to life on the big screen, in 1984, Arnaud Sélignac produced and directed a film called Nemo or Dream One, starring Jason Connery, Harvey Keitel and Carole Bouquet. It involves a little boy called Nemo, who wears pajamas and travels to a fantasy world, but otherwise the connection to McCay’s strip is a loose one. In 1989 A joint American-Japanese feature-length film Little Nemo: Adventures in Slumberland was released with contributions by Ray Bradbury, Chris Columbus and Moebius, and music by the Sherman Brothers.
Osmonds work outside of Moana includes Tangled and Wreck-It Ralph.