October 1, 2013 - 13:02 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - A children's book written by Paul McCartney, Geoff Dunbar and Philip Ardagh is heading to the big screen. Titled "High in the Clouds" and centering on a squirrel's quest to find a fabled animal sanctuary called Animalia, it will be released in 3D in 2015, AceShowbiz said.
The former member of The Beatles will be involved in composing several original songs for the upcoming kiddie-friendly pic. Tony Bancroft ("Mulan") is tapped as the director with a screenplay penned by Josh Klausner ("Shrek Forever After"). Calling it a "passion project" for him, former Fab Four star McCartney is looking forward to creating "a warm, funny and moving animated film that will resonate with worldwide audiences."
Unique Features partners with RGH Entertainment to produce the animation. One of the producers Michael Lynne says in statement, "We know how special this project is for Sir Paul and how excited he is to be a part of this wonderful, creative collaboration."
“This tale of Wirral the Squirrel (a good-hearted woodland creature whose forest home is destroyed by developers and thus resolves to find the island of Animalia, where all animals live free and unthreatened by bulldozers) is the work of three creative talents. Geoff Dunbar is an award-winning animator and supplies dynamic, film-like illustrations; Philip Ardagh is a highly acclaimed children’s author and creator of the muchtranslated Eddie Dickens series; and Paul McCartney is an international megastar.
Whatever one thinks about the trend of the celebrity-fronted children’s book, McCartney’s creation is at least consistent with his interests and appears to have grown out of his previous collaborations with Dunbar on projects such as Rupert and the Frog Song. It is fast paced and colourful, with a strong environmental and pro-animal message (albeit animals who drive cars and wear baseball caps). There are several arresting verbal and visual images (woodland creatures assembled on a tree branch resemble ‘notes on sheet music’, while a crocodile uses her snout as a sort of drawbridge to help rats across the sewer). Yet both the story and characters tend towards the generic; there is the beautiful, bushy-tailed love interest Wilhamina and Ratsy, a city dweller who turns out to be a double-crossing, well, rat. The book also suffers from a somewhat breathless narrative style, where everything happens in the present tense. Coupled with the illustrations this gives it the feel of a film novelisation more than a stand-alone book, and although diverting and well presented it is ultimately rather forgettable,” a revew published at Inis Magazine said.