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Lupus Films Drops ‘Kensuke’s Kingdom’ Trailer

The 3-time BAA Award-winning animated film directed by Neil Boyle and Kirk Hendry follows the saga of a young boy swept overboard on a family sailing trip who washes ashore on a remote island; the feature will screen at Marche du Film/Festival des Cannes in May.

Lupus Films has released a trailer for the award-winning hand-drawn animated feature Kensuke’s Kingdom. Directed by Neil Boyle and Kirk Hendry, the film is based on the best-selling novel by Michael Morpurgo (War Horse) and adapted for the screen by BAFTA Award nominee Frank Cottrell-Boyce (The Railway Man, Hilary and Jackie).

Kensuke’s Kingdom follows the epic adventure of Michael, a young boy who sets off with his family on the sailing trip of a lifetime. Excitement turns to terror when a violent storm erupts, and Michael and his dog, Stella, are swept overboard. They are washed up onto a remote island, frightened and struggling to survive. Michael soon discovers he is not alone when confronted by Kensuke, a mysterious Japanese man who has secretly lived on the island since World War II and is angry at Michael’s arrival. However, when poachers threaten their fragile island paradise and the animals that live there, Michael and Kensuke join forces to save their secret world.

The highly lauded animated feature garnered three 2024 BAA awards, including Best Feature, the Writers Award for Frank Cottrell-Boyce, and Best Original Music for composer Stuart Hancock. It was also honored at the International Children’s Film Festival (NYICFF) with the Grand Prize - Audience Award. The awards follow considerable commercial success in France following its February 7 release.

“We are thrilled with the recent commercial and awards success for Kensuke’s Kingdom,” shared Lupus Films producer and co-founder Camilla Deakin. “The New York International Children’s Film Festival Audience Award is particularly special as it is voted for by an audience of children of all ages and their parents, proving that the film is an absolutely perfect viewing experience for the whole family.”

The star-studded voice cast includes BAFTA and Academy Award winner Cillian Murphy (Oppenheimer, Inception) as Dad, BAFTA-winner and Academy Award-nominee Sally Hawkins (The Shape of Water, Happy Go Lucky) as Mum, Raffey Cassidy (The Killing of a Sacred Deer, Vox Lux) as Becky, Aaron MacGregor (Puffin Rock and the New Friends) as Michael and Academy Award-nominee Ken Watanabe (Letters from Iwo Jima, The Last Samurai) as Kensuke. 

Kensuke’s Kingdom’s producers include Emmy Award-winning Lupus Films founders Deakin and Ruth Fielding, Melusine Productions Academy Award-nominee Stephan Roelants, Working Title co-founder Sarah Radclyffe, Emmy and BAFTA Award-winning producer Barnaby Spurrier, Le Pacte’s award-winning producers Jean Labadie and Anne-Laure Labadie, and co-founder and CEO of Align Adrian Politowski and senior vice president, Martin Metz. Executive producers are Nadia Khamlichi, Nessa McGill, Sierra Garcia, Bill Godfrey, Nick Miller, Tim Morris, Courtney Pledger, Sam Wright, Stephen Kelliher, Natascha Wharton, Kimberley Warner and Bizzy Day.

“All of us involved with the film get such a kick from watching it connect with audiences from all around the world,” said Boyle. “It's rather lovely that a film which talks about making connections across different cultures and different generations is managing to do the same thing in the real world! We're all very proud of it.”

Kensuke’s Kingdom is presented by BFI (awarding National Lottery funding), Film Fund Luxembourg, and Align. It is a Lupus Films production in association with Kensuke’s Kingdom, Jigsaw Films, Melusine Productions, Le Pacte, and Bumpybox, with the support of FFILM CYMRU Wales and Welsh Government via Creative Wales.

International Sales Agent, CMG will host several screenings during the Marche du Film/Festival des Cannes in May.

Source: Lupus Films

Debbie Diamond Sarto's picture

Debbie Diamond Sarto is news editor at Animation World Network.