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Animated 'Kirikou and the Sorceress' Transitions to Stage Musical

The award-winning French animated film, KIRIKOU AND THE SORCERESS, is making the transition to a stage musical this fall in a new production, KIRIKOU AND KARABA.

Michel Ocelot, creator/writer/director of the film, has written the musical's libretto and additional lyrics. The project is taking the majority of his time he told a press gathering at the Annecy Festival, during a Q&A session after a screening of his latest film, AZUR ET ASMAR.

Youssou N'Dour and Rokia Traoure, who contributed music for the animated version, are also involved in the stage adaptation, report PLAYBILL.

Victor Bosch, who also produced the French musical spectacle NOTRE DAME DE PARIS, will produce the production with Didier Brunner, according to VARIETY.

Based on a West African legend, this film follows a miraculous infant who single-handedly saves his small village from a sultry yet evil wizard, and has an original score by Senegalese music artist N'Dour.

The film spawned a sequel, KIRIKOU AND THE WILD BEASTS, in 2005. Both films combined have grossed more than $27 million in France.

The animated version stirred controversy when distributors refused to release it in some areas because of the natural nudity depicted in the films. Ocelot claimed the nudity was an essential element in portraying African culture and refused any changes to the film. There is no word on whether the stage adaptation will include nudity.

Before launching a national tour, KIRIKOU AND KARABA will play a limited run at Casino de Paris beginning Oct. 3, 2007.