Netflix today announced that it will produce the animated feature film, Escape from Hat, from two time Academy Award nominated director Mark Osborne (Kung Fu Panda, The Little Prince) together with writer Adam Kline (Artemis Fowl, The Clockwork War). Production will commence this month in New York.
Escape From Hat joins Netflix's growing slate of original animated event programming designed for kids and families around the world. Osborne will direct and produce with Jinko Gotoh, who worked with Osborne on the critically-acclaimed feature The Little Prince and serves as producer on the 2019 Netflix animated feature film Klaus, from director Sergio Pablos. The screenplay is by Adam Kline and Osborne, based on the book of the same name by Kline, a new middle-grade novel that will be published by HarperCollins in Winter 2020.
Escape From Hat brings light to the ancient mysteries of magic. In a fairy tale where black cats are bad and magic rabbits are good, balance is threatened when one such rabbit is cast into a mysterious realm of danger and shadow. There, our desperate hero rallies an unexpected band of allies and undertakes an impossible quest to escape from inside a magician's hat, and return to the human boy he dearly loves.
Said Melissa Cobb, vice president of kids & family at Netflix.
"Escape From Hat tells a story about friendship and magic, which perfectly mirrors how I feel about getting to reunite with my friend Mark at Netflix after ten years. I cannot wait for audiences around the world to immerse themselves in our fantastical magic trick gone awry, where they will find an epic and imaginative world of good versus evil."
"Netflix is shaking up the animated feature world in highly inventive ways, including offering filmmakers the rare opportunity to turn their dream project into a reality. I'm thrilled that Escape From Hat is now one of them."
"Creative people are the luckiest people on the planet. I'm thrilled to reunite with Mark, Adam, Melissa, and the entire team at Netflix."
"Every original screenplay needs a little magic. This one has it on pretty much every page."
Netflix expects the film to be released in 2022. Osborne most recently directed and executive produced the first-ever animated feature film adaptation of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's beloved classic The Little Prince. Mixing stop-motion animation and CGI, the film featured a cast of voice talents led by Jeff Bridges, Rachel McAdams and Mackenzie Foy.
Premiering Out of Competition at the Cannes Film Festival, the film garnered remarkable worldwide acclaim and won the 2016 French Cesar Film Award for Best Animated Feature. Osborne's breakout was DreamWorks Animation's critically acclaimed animated blockbuster Kung Fu Panda, which premiered Out of Competition at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature.
Osborne's other credits include the stop-motion animation short film MORE, which was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film and a Special Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival, among other distinctions. Osborne has also worked in live action film, including on The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie and on the first three seasons of the popular TV series.
Kline previously adapted Artemis Fowl and his novel The Clockwork War, based on his blacklisted script With Kind Regards From Kindergarten, was released by Insight Editions this year. Harper Collins will publish Escape From Hat in 2020. This news comes from Netflix streaming.