Sony Germany pitches in for 'Yoko'

Yeti tale set for production this summer

Sony Pictures in Germany has signed on for a duet with "Yoko," the new live action/animated feature from Blue Eyes Fiction, the makers of hit German children's film "Lilly the Witch."

"Yoko" the family-friendly story of a playful Yeti, is set to go into production this summer with a likely 2012 release date. The budget is estimated to be in the lower double-digit millions.

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Munich-based Blue Eyes has set up the project as a German-Swedish-Austrian co-production with "Lilly" Austrian co-producers Dor Film and Sweden's Fido Film, the sfx house that did the visual effects for "Let The Right One In."

"For this film, because of the technical difficulty of designing realistic-looking hair, we needed to go to real sfx experts," Blue Eyes managing director Martin Husmann told THR.

Sony has experience bowing German product locally. Sony release "Friendship!," a German comedy set just after the fall of the Berlin Wall, has already grossed some $15 million in just four weeks.

"Lilly," a Walt Disney release in Germany, grossed about $8.5 million in that territory alone. Telepool has sold the title to some 46 countries worldwide. Disney will bow the second "Lilly" film in Germany in January 2011.