Berenstain Bears to make big screen debut

Shawn Levy will produce via his 21 Laps banner

The Berenstain Bears are heading to the big screen.

Walden Media has picked up the movie rights to the classic children's book series with Shawn Levy and his 21 Laps banner on board to produce.

Nelvana, the animated division of Canada's Corus Entertainment, which has been producing the cartoon series airing on PBS, is also producing.

The aim is to make a family comedy that will mix live action with CG characters.

Created by Stan and Jan Berenstain in 1962, "Bears" follows a family of bears living in a place called Bear Country, with the books' goal of helping kids deal with life issues ranging from bullying to a mother's pregnancy.

There have been 250 titles to date with 260 million books sold.

There have been several NBC specials in the late 1970s and early 1980s as well as two animated series.

Billy Rosenberg will oversee the project for 21 Laps and Walden's Evan Turner will shepherd the project with the company's Michael Bostick. Doug Murphy and Irene Weibel will manage the project on behalf of Nelvana.

Levy is best known as the director of "Night at the Museum" and its sequel, "Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian."