Odin’s Eye to Build 'Sanctuary City' Animated Franchise

Courtesy of Odin’s Eye Entertainment

The franchise will start with 'The Wishmas Tree' in December 2019, followed by films released semiannually, with the potential for spinoffs and consumer products.

Odin’s Eye Animation has begun production on a three-picture animated feature franchise, Tales of Sanctuary City, coming from award-winning studio Like a Photon, with backing from Screen Australia and Screen Queensland. 

The animation specialists have secured a number of presales on the pictures, including Korea (Cinema Republic), Poland (Kino Swiat), former Yugoslavia (Blitz), Bulgaria (Tandem) and the Middle East (Phoenicia), with other territories under negotiation. 

Set in a self-contained universe, the Tales of Sanctuary City films star walking and talking animals inspired by Australia’s diverse fauna and natural landscapes. The franchise will see a standalone yet interconnected film — starting with The Wishmas Tree in December 2019 – released semi-annually, with the potential for spinoffs and consumer products.

The Wishmas Tree, about a young and rebellious possum, will be followed by June 2020’s Combat Wombat, centered on a crime-fighting wombat, and January 2021’s Daisy Quokka: World’s Scariest Animal (working title), set in an Olympics-style competition.

All three films are being produced by Like a Photon’s Nadine Bates and Kristen Souvlis and directed by Ricard Cusso, making his feature debut. Matt Everitt, whose animation credits include The Lego Movie, Lego Batman and X-Men: Days of Future Past, exec produces.

This story first appeared in The Hollywood Reporter's Nov. 2 daily issue at the American Film Market.