Kensuke’s Kingdom

Source: Lupus Films

‘Kensuke’s Kingdom’

Animated feature Kensuke’s Kingdom, which includes Sally Hawkins and Cillian Murphy among its voice cast, has secured fresh finance and animation partners as it goes into production.

UK-based Lupus Films, whose credits include Ethel & Ernest, will receive backing from the BFI, Ffilm Cymru, Creative Wales and Film Fund Luxembourg on the adaptation of Michael Morpurgo’s bestselling children’s novel.

Cardiff-based firm BumpyBox has come on board as the production’s Welsh animation partner. Previously announced production partners include Luxembourg-based Melusine Productions and French production company Le Pacte. UK outfit Bankside Films handles international sales.

The story centres on a young boy named Michael, who is taken by his family on a round-the-world sailing trip. When a storm strikes, he and his dog are washed overboard and end up marooned on a remote island in the Pacific. Unable to find food or water, he doesn’t expect to last long, until he discovers that a mysterious figure is watching over him.

The voice cast includes Hawkins, Murphy, Ken Watanabe and Screen Star of Tomorrow Raffey Cassidy.

The Railway Man screenwriter Frank Cottrell-Boyce has adapted Morpurgo’s novel for the screen.

The film is directed by Neil Boyle, whose credits as an animator include Sherlock Gnomes and Ethel & Ernest, and Kirk Hendry, whose short animation Junk was nominated for a BIFA in 2011.

Producers are Lupus Films co-founders Camilla Deakin and Ruth Fielding; Sarah Radclyffe, who co-founded UK powerhouse Working Title; and Barnaby Spurrier (Somers Town). Co-producers are Stephan Roelants (Ernest & Celestine) and Jean Labadie.