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Animation Lab to Produce First CGI Feature in Israel

Animation Lab has begun pre-production THE WILD BUNCH (working title), the first CGI animated feature film to be produced in Israel, according to Animation Lab president Ayelet Weinerman.

Alex Williams will make his highly anticipated directorial debut in the feature production, which will be produced by animation veteran Jim Ballantine (Annie award-winner BAMBI II, THE REN & STIMPY SHOW). Animation Labs evp of creative affairs, Douglas Wood (creative exec on Annie award-winners THE IRON GIANT and CATS DONT DANCE, and Emmy-winner TINY TOON ADVENTURES) will oversee the production for the company.

Animation vet Williams has animated, storyboarded and designed characters on more than 20 feature films for such major studios as Disney, Universal, Warner Bros, Fox, DreamWorks and Sony. He has dozens of credits, including WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT, THE LION KING and OPEN SEASON. Most recently, Williams supervised the animation on Disneys upcoming feature, UNDERDOG.

We are honored to partner with Alex, who is recognized by his peers as one of the industrys true talents, Weinerman said. As we move forward with this project, we are pleased to have assembled a team of the top animators and storytellers in our profession. Our goal is to reward passion and vision in a creatively friendly environment.

After reviewing more than 200 pitches, stories and scripts, Wood procured the original treatment of THE WILD BUNCH by Philip LaZebnik, who has written for Disneys Annie Award-winning POCAHONTAS and MULAN, DreamWorks PRINCE OF EGYPT and two STAR TREK television series. Wood hired LaZebnik to write THE WILD BUNCH screenplay, which is the first of six features Animation Lab plans to produce in the next eight years.

THE WILD BUNCH is an animated comedy-adventure about a ragtag team of common wildflowers and plants who are attacked by an evil army of genetically modified cornstalks determined to take over their idyllic meadow.

Phils unique story is set in a universe not yet explored in an animated feature, Wood said. Its funny and inventive, but also has high stakes and tackles important themes that will resonate throughout the world.

Animation Lab is Israels first fully equipped feature animation studio. Based in Jerusalem and Los Angeles, Animation Lab uses cutting-edge CGI technology to produce animated feature films and ancillary branded content that targets the international family audience. The studios mid-range budgeted features will be financed by a group of international venture funds led by the chairman/founder of Animation Lab, Erel Margalit, managing partner of JVP (Jerusalem Venture Partners).

Showcasing a forward-looking union of animation, new media and finely honed storytelling instincts, Animation Lab represents a new model of independent production. Through technology that simultaneously serves the needs of its storytellers and creative visionaries, Animation Lab aspires to have a significant impact on the international entertainment market and become a forerunner in the digital media arena. For further information email or phone (31) 566-7201.