Israeli studio sows ani 'Bunch'


Israel-based CGI animation studio Animation Lab has said that preproduction has started on its first animated feature film, which has the working title "The Wild Bunch."

The film marks the directorial debut of Alex Williams. Producing is Jim Ballantine. Animation Lab executive vp creative affairs Douglas Wood will executive produce the film.

"Wild Bunch" is described as a comedy adventure about a team of common wildflowers and plants who are attacked by an evil army of genetically modified cornstalks determined to take over their meadow.

Philip LaZebnik has been hired to write the screenplay for the first of the six features that Animation Lab plans to produce in the next eight years.

Based in Jerusalem and Los Angeles, Animation Lab aims to produce animated feature films and ancillary-branded content that targets the international family audience. The studio's midrange-budgeted features will be financed by a group of international venture funds led by Erel Margalit, chairman and founder of Animation Lab and managing partner of Jerusalem Venture Partners.

Williams most recently supervised animation on the Walt Disney Co.'s upcoming feature "Underdog." LaZebnik has writing credits on such films as Disney's "Pocahontas" and "Mulan."