Roadshow, Warners see Logic of team-up


SYDNEY -- Sydney-based digital production studio Animal Logic will make its second digitally animated feature, "Guardians of Ga'hoole," with Village Roadshow Pictures and Warner Bros., the company announced Wednesday.

Based on Kathryn Laskey's best-selling children's book series, from a script by John Orloff and John Collee, the big budget, fantasy CGI feature will cover the first three installments of the books, which follows a young barn owl and his friends as they escape the evil clutches of a band of rogue owls and embark on a journey to reunite with their families.

The feature, which is hoped to be first of a new "Ga'hoole franchise, will be helmed by Zack Snyder, who teamed with Animal Logic on "300," and will use the talent and production pipeline Animal Logic created for "Happy Feet."

It will employ about 300 digital artists at the company's Sydney studio over the course of production.

"With 'Guardians of Ga'Hoole,' we are aiming to reinforce the foundation for a robust animation business here in Australia," said Zareh Nalbandian, Animal Logic managing director and "Ga'Hoole" producer. Ga'hoole has received a provisional certificate as a qualifying Australian film for the new 40% producer rebate.

The announcement of "Ga'hoole" represents a boost for the Australian sector, which saw George Miller's "Justice League of America" pulled from production here last month, when the government ruled the Warner Bros. pic did not qualify for the 40% producer rebate.