Brazilian filmmaker Walter Salles (Central Station, The Motorcycle Diaries) is teaming with Sao Paulo studio Gullane to produce the animated feature Noah’s Ark, according to a report by Variety.
Sergio Machado (Lower City, The Two Deaths of Quincas Wateryell) is attached to write and direct, adapting the evergreen children’s songs and lyrics of Vinicius de Moraes. A towering, eclectic figure in last-century Brazil, Moraes composed “The Girl From Ipanema,” and co-wrote the first Bossa Nova songs. Machado is developing the story in collaboration with filmmaker Suzana de Moraes, the artist’s daughter.
Noah’s Ark marks Salles’ first incursion into animation. Gullane produced Luiz Bolognesi’s Rio 2096: A Story of Love and Fury, which last year won the Annecy Animation Festival’s top Cristal Award.
Noah’s Ark is set up as a co-production between Salles’ Rio-based VideoFilmes, Gullane, and Daniel Greco’s Nucleo Independente de Producao (NIP). Financing is provided by Rio de Janeiro investment fund RioFilme, Globo Filmes, the film arm of Brazil’s TV giant, and Brazil’s Fundo Setorial do Audiovisual (FSA), which is Brazil’s biggest film-TV subsidy fund, as well as VideoFilmes and Gullane.
“Noah’s Ark holds a very dear place in the memory of Brazilian children,” Salles reportedly said. “Several generations of Brazilians have been informed by the unique intelligence and poetry of Vinicius de Moraes’ songs for his Noah’s Ark. The fact that each song is so original is probably what allowed Moraes’ Noah’s Ark to defy time, and be so dear to us.”
Noah’s Ark turns on two bohemian mice who witness God’s telling Noah to save one male and one female of each animal species. While Tito embark on the Ark, Vivinho ends up on a clandestine small ark, along with animals that exist on the fringe of the animal kingdom. Destiny reunites them on Noah’s Ark where they battle a raging storm, lack of food and the maneuvers of a tyrannical lion with their capacity for invention, music and poetry.
The animated feature will include Moraes’ songs, performed by top Brazilian artists.