A little over two years after the project was originally announced, Fox Animation has recommitted to producing “Leaf Men,” Chris Wedge’s (“Ice Age,” “Robots”) latest animated movie. Based on an illustrated children’s book by William Joyce, “Leaf Men” centers on a group of bugs who turn to the mythical Leaf Men in order to save their garden from an evil spider queen. In other words, it is “A Bug’s Life” but waaaay better. Find out who watches the leaf men after the jump.
According to Variety’s report, Fox initially agreed to co-produce the film alongside Wedge’s own Blue Sky Studios, Wedge was later allowed to try and find a new home for his project. Enter Pixar, where John Lasseter (who worked with Wedge as animators on the original “Tron”) was all too happy to bring his friend into the fold. Before the final deal with Pixar was struck, Fox decided to keep the property and gave it the official greenlight.
Why the about face? Aside from the fact that the movie has an easily pun-able title (“Leaf Men” rakes in $32 million, etc.) Fox Animation may have been taking a look at the recent numbers-“Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs” just became the fifth animated movie this year to bow with a $30+ million. Really, why would Fox let an accomplished director (the original “Ice Age” was nominated for Best Animated Feature at the Oscars) with whom they have an established relationship jump ship for a rival studio and take a valuable property along for the ride? Now, Wedge has his movie and Fox can wait for the ticket receipts to start pouring in.