LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Fox Animation has secured the motion pictures rights to the iconic Mr. Men Little Miss characters. The deal was announced today by Fox Animation President Vanessa Morrison and Janet Hsu, President and COO of Sanrio, Inc. Fox Animation is the studio behind the ICE AGE and RIO movie franchises. Sanrio Entertainment Division, based in North America, develops brand extensions and experiential initiatives for U.S. and global distribution.
“The Mr. Men and Little Miss characters have delighted readers from around the world for decades,” commented Morrison. “We are thrilled to work with Sanrio and 21 Laps on this beloved property.”
“Sanrio Entertainment Division aims to connect fans with our properties beyond the standard retail license model,” said Hsu. “Partnering with Fox Animation will bring the Mr. Men Little Miss characters to life and evolve the storytelling for their multi-generational global fan base.”
Shawn Levy - the producer and director of the blockbuster family franchise NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM, among others - will produce through his Fox-based 21 Laps Entertainment. There is no director or writer yet attached to the project. Fox Animation Production VP Ralph Millero is overseeing Mr. Men Little Miss for the studio. Will Rack and Emily Morris are overseeing for 21 Laps.
Commented Levy: "I loved reading these books as a kid, and now I love reading them to my own kids. Their humor, wit and uniquely specific tone make this a truly classic series. I can't wait to help shepherd them to the big screen.”
The Mr. Men Little Miss series of timeless characters originated in books created by Roger Hargreaves in 1971 in the U.K. Each of the 85 characters is named after his or her unique personality traits, giving them wide appeal as they synch seamlessly with the personalities of their fans. Mr. Men Little Miss is a classic, evergreen brand whose colorful characters are woven into the lives of millions of children and adults worldwide. A Mr. Men Little Miss book is sold every 2.5 seconds across the world.
“In addition to Sanrio’s ‘kawaii’ character family, the Mr. Men Little Miss characters are the perfect blend of self-expression, humor and nostalgia in a classic, contemporary brand. We are excited to take Roger Hargreaves’ creations to a new level for their loyal fans from around the world and continue to expand our global business with this portfolio,” said Ray Hatoyama, CEO of Mister Men Limited and Managing Director of Sanrio Co., Ltd.
About 20th Century Fox Film
One of the world’s largest producers and distributors of motion pictures, 20th Century Fox Film produces, acquires and distributes motion pictures throughout the world. These motion pictures are produced or acquired by the following units of 20th Century Fox Film: Twentieth Century Fox, Fox 2000 Pictures, Fox Searchlight Pictures, Fox International Productions and Twentieth Century Fox Animation.
Sanrio is the global lifestyle brand best known for pop icon Hello Kitty, who recently celebrated her 40th Anniversary. Home to many endearing characters including Chococat, My Melody, Badtz-Maru and Keroppi, Sanrio was founded on the 'small gift, big smile' philosophy - that a small gift can bring happiness and friendship to people of all ages. Since 1960, this philosophy has served as the inspiration for the broad spectrum of unique products and experiences. Today, more than 50,000 Sanrio-branded items are available in over 70 countries and upwards of 15,000 U.S. retail locations including department, specialty, national chain stores and Sanrio boutiques. For more information please visit www.sanrio.com and www.facebook.com/hellokitty.
About 21 Laps
Founded in 2005 by director/producer Shawn Levy, 21 Laps Entertainment produced the billion-dollar Night at the Museum franchise. In the last year, Levy and 21 Laps produced the third Night at the Museum film starring Ben Stiller for Fox which has already made over $300 million and counting at the worldwide box office, Disney’s Alexander And The Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day starring Steve Carell, and This Is Where I Leave You starring Jason Bateman and Tina Fey for Warner Brothers. The company is producing the upcoming Denis Villeneuve-directed sci-fi thriller Story Of Your Life, which stars Amy Adams and which Paramount acquired at Cannes in a record deal, and the Fox Searchlight wedding comedy Table 19 directed by Jeff Blitz and starring Anna Kendrick. Previously, 21 Laps produced the Levy-directed worldwide hits Real Steel starring Hugh Jackman and Date Night starring Steve Carell and Tina Fey, along with the Sundance award winner and critically acclaimed The Spectacular Now, directed by James Ponsoldt and starring Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley.
About Mr. Men Little Miss
Mr. Men Little Miss is an iconic lifestyle brand that features the beloved family of over 85 boldly illustrated characters with unique personalities. The characters, including Mr. Tickle, Mr. Happy, Mr. Bump, Little Miss Sunshine and Little Miss Princess, have multi-generational appeal and blend self-expression, humor and design in a classic, evergreen property. Created in 1971 by British Author Roger Hargreaves, the brand has evolved through books, TV series and a variety of consumer products released with worldwide distribution. Mr. Men Little Miss was acquired by Sanrio Co., Ltd. in 2011. For more information, please visit www.mrmen.com and www.facebook.com/mrmenlittlemiss.