Spain’s Kandor Graphics studio in Granada and UK outfit Timeless Films are set to co-produce an English-language 3D family animation film called Justin And The Knights Of Valour, voiced by Freddie Highmore, Mark Strong and Antonio Banderas among others.

Manuel Sicilia is directing and co-writing the original script with UK writer Matthew Jacobs (The Emperor’s New Groove) for the film, which will follow the adventures of a young boy who wishes to fulfill his dream with the help of some friends.

“It will be of the same quality and market potential as the big US animation studios, with the same target audience, but with a more European flavour,” Spain based producer Kerry Fulton told ScreenDaily. Fulton is helping put together the whole project for Kandor Graphics.

Former Icon CEO Ralph Kamp’s production, sales and finance company Timeless Films is a partner on the project and has acquired the worldwide distribution rights, excluding Spain. The film is slated for release in 2013.

The voice cast will feature some of the biggest names in cinema, thanks to the help of casting director Gail Stevens, including Freddie Highmore, Julie Walters, Alfred Molina, Mark Strong, Rupert Everett, Saoirse Ronan, Barry Humphries, Charles Dance, James Cosmo and Antonio Banderas, who is a partner in Kandor Graphics.

“Kandor are very excited to be working on this production,” says Marcelino Almansa, president of Kandor Graphics. “It marks a huge technological and creative leap forward for us and we are optimistic the audience will fall in love with Justin. We are excited to be working with the team at Timeless.”

“Timeless is thrilled to be a partner with Kandor on this amazing project as we continue to try to bring the best independent animated films to our distribution partners worldwide,” says Kamp, CEO of Timeless Films.

Kandor Graphics has grown rapidly as an animation studio with around 100 staff now who have already put together the Goya award-winning film Missing Lynx, co-directed by Manuel Sicilia, and the 2009 short The Lady And The Reaper, which was nominated for an Oscar.  

Kandor works in collaboration with Antonio Banderas’ outfit Green Moon, the studio is well funded thanks to a partnership with local bank Caja Granada, and it is working with the University of Granada to offer Spain’s first Masters in animation program.

Timeless’ slate includes Wickie The Mighty Viking, a Michael ‘Bully’ Herbig film from Germany, which became a $65m box office hit across Europe, its sequel, Wickie And The Treasure Of The Gods (3D), which hits cinemas across Europe from September 2011, Animals United, a 3D animated production from Constantin Film which has so far grossed over $54m across 22 countries, Troll: The Tale Of A Tail , another 3D animated feature film presently shooting in Illinois, Postman Pat: The Movie (3D), and The Moon And The Sun, a $55m fantasy adventure film from producer Bill Mechanic (former CEO and Chairman of Fox Studios), starring Pierce Brosnan.