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The Weinstein Company Takes a ‘Leap’ into Animation with New Mizchief Label

First two animated features to be distributed under the new label will be L’Atelier Animation’s ‘Leap!’ and Light Chaser Animation’s ‘The Guardian Brothers.’

L’Atelier Animation’s ‘Leap!’

Art house film distributor The Weinstein Company is leaping into animation with the launch of a new division called Mizchief, according to a report by Indiewire.

The new label kicks off with L’Atelier Animation’s Leap!, which arrives in North American theaters on August 30. The second film that will carry the Mizchief label is Gary Wang and Light Chaser Animation Studio’s The Guardian Brothers. Also known as Door Guardians and Little Door Guards, The Guardian Brothers was released in January 2016 in China and currently does not have a U.S. release date.

Light Chaser Animation’s ‘The Guardian Brothers.’

“I named the label Mizchief because that’s how my son pronounces mischief,” TWC co-chairman Harvey Weinstein commented. “Animation is a playful new direction for us and I’m thrilled to expand the TWC repertoire into a whole new category of films for our kids to enjoy and for us to enjoy with them. All of these films will share incredible stories that most importantly both inspire and entertain our kids.”

Leap! -- known in other territories as Ballerina -- was directed by Eric Summer and Éric Warin, who previously served as animators on director Sylvain Chomet’s The Triplets of Belleville. Produced in Montreal by Quad Productions, L’Atelier Animation‘s Main Journey and Caramel Film, Leap! stars Elle Fanning as the voice of Félicie alongside supporting talent Dane DeHaan, Maddie Ziegler and Carly Rae Jepsen. Set in Belle Époque Paris, the CG-animated feature follows Félicie, an 11-year-old orphaned girl who arrives in the city with nothing but a driving passion to become a ballet dancer.

Here’s the official synopsis:

Paris, 1884. An orphaned girl arrives in Paris from Brittany. Félicie Milliner is 11 and has no money but one big, passionate dream: to become a dancer. With nothing left to lose, Félicie takes a big risk: she ‘borrows’ a spoiled brat’s identity and enters the Opera Ballet School. But how long can she be someone else? Mentored by the tough and mysterious cleaner, Odette , Félicie learns that talent is not enough – it takes hard work to be better than her ruthless, conniving fellow students. That and friendship. Felicie’s inventive, exhausting and charismatic best friend Victor also has a dream: becoming a famous inventor. Together, they both encourage each other to reach for the stars.

This isn’t the first time The Weinstein Company has released an animated film. The studio previously distributed two Hoodwinked films along with Escape from Planet Earth and Doogal, but now plans to develop animated features under the Mizchief label.

Jennifer Wolfe's picture

Formerly Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network, Jennifer Wolfe has worked in the Media & Entertainment industry as a writer and PR professional since 2003.