Simon Otto to make feature directorial debut on ‘That Christmas’ – deadline
Winner of the VES How to train your dragon Franchise former Simon Otto set to debut as an animated feature director on Locksmith Animation This Christmas. Based on a trio of children’s books by writer / director Richard Curtis, and previously known as The empty bottom, the film is currently in development at Locksmith Animation studios in London.
Elisabeth Murdoch, Sarah Smith, Julie Lockhart and Bonnie Arnold are the executive producers This Christmas. Curtis is writing the screenplay with Peter Souter and will also be executive producer with Colin Hopkins and book illustrator Rebecca Cobb.
The three Curtis books in the series – The empty low, snowy day and This Christmas – tell charming family stories that unfold as Christmas approaches. The movie Locksmith places these stories in a small English seaside town and interweaves them to create what the studio describes as “Love in fact for kids. ”This is the first animated feature film project for Curtis whose blockbuster films include Yesterday, love in fact, four weddings and a funeral, Notting Hill and About the weather.
Locksmith Animation appoints Natalie Fischer, former CEO of Illumination, as CEO
In addition to supervising the animation on the How to train your dragon films, Otto was instrumental in the design and development of the character’s appearance, personality, and overall animation style, while working in the story department. He joined DreamWorks in 1997 to work on The prince of Egypt and served as a supervising animator in both hand-drawn animation and CG on many studio features, including Spirit: Stallion Of The Cimarron, Over The Hedge and the Aardman co-production Distant. Otto won a Visual Effects Society award for Outstanding Animation in a Feature Film for the first HTTYD film in 2010 and was nominated again in 2015 for HTTYD2.
While at DreamWorks, Otto directed several episodes of various Netflix animated series including Dragon – Race to the Edge and Troll Hunters: Tales of Arcadia. After 21 years at DreamWorks Animation, Otto left the studio to pursue various short, series and feature film projects. Most recently, he directed the episode “The Tall Grass” of Love, Death and Robots, Volume 2 for Netflix.
Locksmith’s first feature film, Ron has gone wrong, will be released worldwide by Disney on October 22, 2021.