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Magic Tree House Books' 2012 Film Confirmed as Anime

posted on 2011-03-08 09:56 EST
Azumanga Daioh director, writer adapt Mary Pope Osborne's fantasy adventure for children

The Japanese film distributor Gaga confirmed during the Tuesday press conference for its 2011-2012 movie lineup that the Magic Tree House fantasy adventure film is being produced by Japanese animators. Since 1992, American author Mary Pope Osborne has been writing the original children's books about Jack and Annie, two siblings who go on adventures throughout time with a mysterious tree house. The film will open nationwide in Japan on January 7, 2012.

As previously reported, the anime film will be based on Ayana Amako's illustrations for the Japanese edition of the book series, as opposed to Salvatore Murdocca's illustrations for the orginal American edition. Hiroshi Nishikiori (Azumanga Daioh, Toaru Majutsu no Index, Kaiketsu Zorori) is directing off a screenplay written by Ichiro Okouchi (Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion, Azumanga Daioh, Negima!, Brave Story).

Yoshiaki Yanagida (Genshiken, You Are Umasou, Spirit of Wonder) is designing the characters and supervising the animation process, and Toshiharu Mizutani (Akira, The Piano Forest, Space Adventure Cobra) is serving as art director. Akira Senju (Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, Mobile Suit Victory Gundam, live-action Rampo) is composing the music.

92 million copies of the franchise's 45 books have been sold in 33 countries, including 3.3 million in Japan alone. 29 volumes have been published in Japan since 2002, although the first 14 Japanese volumes each contained material from two American volumes. The books are a major part of "morning reading time" in many Japanese elementary schools.

Sources: Cinema Today, Oricon

Image © Mary Pope Osborne/Magic Tree House Production Committee


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