Vanguard's first project for Disney, scheduled for release in 2004, will be VALIANT, a CG-animated comedy written by George Webster and George Melrod. The film, which will start pre-production this month in L.A. and moves to London's Ealing Studios for production, stars a misfit pigeon that enters boot camp during World War II. Co-producers are Eric M. Bennett of Vanguard and Barnaby Thompson of Fragile Films and Ealing Studios.
The deal calls for 4 films total, for which Disney will handle North American theatrical and home video distribution and worldwide licensing rights. Williams stated: "We will make these films for under $40 million each, and they will be delivered within two years of their start date. We will deliver TOY STORY-to-DINOSAUR-to-SHREK-level animation. We came to Disney with confirmed financing, completed scripts, completed budgets, multiple CG tests for each film, advanced character designs and production design concepts." After concluding a successful round of financing for Vanguard Animation, the company looks to scale up operations. Curtis Augspurger and Buckley Collum of Menace FX, who will also co-produce VALIANT, have joined forces with Vanguard Animation to oversee the establishment of the CG operation. The two have worked extensively on digital production with companies including Warner Bros., Disney and Electronic Arts.