The Websters go to Germany
- The Slovak-Czech animated children's series is to be released in German-speaking territories on Amazon in March, while The Websters Movie enters theatrical distribution in Germany at Easter
The Websters Movie [+see also:
film profile], a Slovak-Czech animated feature for children directed by Katarina Kerekesova, which has sold more than 60,000 admissions in the two territories since its October release, will start its theatrical distribution in Germany at Easter, via Der Filmverleih.
The film follows a 13-episode series (see the news) that has been extremely popular in its home territories and which has, along with the feature, been picked up by OneGate Media, which has sold it to Amazon for Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Luxembourg and Liechtenstein, where it will start streaming in March. Another six episodes are ready for broadcast, and seven more are in production.
“The launch of international distribution for The Websters is very promising: it is exciting to see that they have caught the eye of a German sales agent that expressed interest in both the feature film and the series,” says producer Anna Vasova, of Prague-based 13ka.
The titular Websters are a family of spiders, with the youngest daughter, Lili, just starting school. A big new world full of wonders and challenges opens up to her, which the other five Websters help her out with. That is, until a human girl finds Lili’s kite. Humans are the biggest danger for spiders, but Lili wants her kite back at all costs.
The feature is a combination of Lili's five animated adventures, linked together by an action-packed storyline in which she follows the human girl. It addresses timely issues, such as family dynamics, the internet and not fitting in with other kids in school.
“We are very pleased to bring The Websters to German-speaking audiences,” says Susanne Freese, senior manager, Kids & Family, at OneGate Media. “Their adventures are told in a very charming way, and the detailed animation immediately captivated us. We believe that children will be able to identify with the characters, and see that both the small and the big everyday problems of the Websters are similar to their own.”
“Combining live action with 2D and 3D animation juxtaposes two realities. The differences in size and proportions not only offer a chance to use fascinating visuals and a unique artistic style, but also give us the opportunity to tell stories of cooperation and comprehension,” explains Kerekesova.
Following its world premiere at Zlín, The Websters Movie received the Second Prize for the Best Animated Movie at the Chicago ICFF and the Audience Award at the IFF Schlingel, as well as winning the Heart of Europe International Festival in Warsaw as the Best Movie for Children and Youth. Recently, Slovak film critics rated the flick as the second-best film in Slovak distribution for 2022.
The film was produced by Slovakia's Fool Moon and the Czech Republic's 13ka, and was co-produced by the Slovak and Czech national broadcasters as well as leading Czech post-production studio PFX. It was supported by the Slovak Audiovisual Fund and the Czech Film Fund.
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