Noah’s Ark… the cartoon… again… so soon…

Variety is acting weird tonight and won’t let me access their site without a user name and password, but offers the following summary of a story that Variety posted tonight:

Indie financer Unified Pictures (Bob Funk) is launching development of $35 million CG-animated feature Noah’s Ark — to be told from the point of view of the animals in the ark.

Variety says Unified has signed Philip LaZebnik (The Prince of Egypt, Mulan, Pocahontas) to script. The company’s relying on its private financing, and ElectroAge has already started on the animation.

Unified executive Keith Kjarval said improvements in CG technology will make it possible to give “Ark” the look and feel of a studio film. He anticipates that the movie will be completed over the next two years.

Evidently the poor returns for Evan Almighty aren’t scaring these people off, nor is the fact that there have already been many film versions of the Noah’s Ark story, some of them animated.

It will be interesting to see if this film actually comes to fruition. A number of Noah’s Ark cartoons have been announced over the years, but nothing has come of them so far. Among them:

  1. Promenade Pictures recently announced their intention to produce a Noah cartoon as part of the “Epic Stories of the Bible” series, which begins with their CG version of The Ten Commandments, which comes out in a few weeks.

  2. Three years ago, Walden Media and Creative Battery reportedly hired Quest for Camelot scribe William Schifrin to write a CG Noah cartoon that would be told from the point of view of “an unlucky camel”. (“Unlucky”? He was one of only two camels to survive the flood!)
  3. And nine years ago, Bill Cosby reportedly teamed up with MGM to develop a Noah cartoon based on his 1960s comedy routine (“Noah, how long can you tread water?”).

But like I say, none of these films have been produced yet. So I will take the news about this latest cartoon with a big grain of salt.

About Peter T. Chattaway

Peter T. Chattaway was the regular film critic for BC Christian News from 1992 to 2011. In addition to his award-winning film column for that paper, his news and opinion pieces have appeared in such publications as Books & Culture, Christianity Today, Bible Review and the Vancouver Sun. He has also contributed essays to the books Re-Viewing The Passion: Mel Gibson’s Film and Its Critics (Palgrave Macmillan, 2004), Scandalizing Jesus?: Kazantzakis’s The Last Temptation of Christ Fifty Years on (Continuum, 2005) and The Bible in Motion: A Handbook of the Bible and Its Reception in Film (De Gruyter, 2016).