Venice, California-based Exodus Film Group has tapped three-time Oscar-winning visual effects wizard Jim Rygiel to direct the feature film, BUNYAN AND BABE, reports HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. Based on the Paul Bunyan legend, the family film follows Paul Bunyan and a group of kids as they attempt to save Bunyans pet ox Babe from an evil circus owner. Eddie Griffin will provide the voice of Babe the Blue Ox. The script was written by Michael A. Nickles (THIS IS NOT A FILM) and Julia A. Wall. Exodus' animation team, ElectroAge, will be handling the CG work.
"The Paul Bunyan story is a true American classic tale," Rygiel said. "I grew up in the Midwest and have always been fascinated with the tales of Bunyan and Babe. I am thrilled to be bringing this modern-day tall tale to the big screen."
"In addition to the phenomenally successful LORD OF THE RINGS films, Jim has been responsible for some of the best visual effects," said producer Tarquin Gotch, exec producer on HOME ALONE and CURLY SUE. "We are excited to have him take the helm of this film."
"With this film, it's essential that the blending of CGI animation with live-action is seamless, and this is clearly Jim's area of expertise," Exodus president John D. Eraklis said.