Playmobil is about to get into the movie business. Variety reports ON Entertainment, Wild Bunch and Pathe have signed on to bring the popular toy line to the big screen, with the latter two co-developing the feature.
With a budget of $80 million, the animated film will be developed by Bob Persichetti, who previously worked on Monsters vs. Aliens, Shrek 2 and Puss in Boots. Persichetti's previous ON Entertainment project, the animated feature The Little Prince, is scheduled for release in France in October 2015. ON head Dimitri Rassam has said that the Little Prince creative team will return for the Playmobil feature.
While not explicitly mentioned in the announcement, it seems fairly safe to assume that the wild success of The LEGO Movie has played a part in Playmobil's impending big screen debut. While Playmobil is not a brick-based building toy like LEGO, the two companies are often viewed as competitors because of the similarities between their diverse assortment of playsets and similarly stylized figurines. The Playmobil movie is tentatively scheduled to open in 2017.