CARTOONS/The Great Beauty of Bears in Sicily

The year of Expo could not go by without an animation title dedicated to the themes of the international exhibition staged in Milan.
“Young Leonardo”, realized especially for Expo 2015 in collaboration with the UN-FAO and the Venice office of UNESCO, was launched in Venice last April during the 18th edition of Cartoons on the Bay, the television animation festival organized by Rai Com, Gruppo Alcuni of Treviso and Rai Fiction.
Written by Francesco and Sergio Manfio, the episodes recount the adventures of the young Leonardo da Vinci and his inseparable group of friends, already the protagonists of the animated series of the same name who, this time are trying to find a balance between the availability and consumption of resources.
Every episode tackles a subject linked to the Expo themes like nutrition, sustainable development, renewable energy and the water heritage.

With regard to feature movies, Indigo Film is (also) behind “The Bears’ Famous Invasion of Sicily”.
After the Oscar for “The Great Beauty”, the Roman production company has entered the world of animation with this story from ‘45 written and illustrated by Dino Buzzati, that Lorenzo Mattotti has brought to the attention of the public by making a 19 million Euro 3D GCI movie.
A fairy-tale for children directed at adults – and vice versa – an inspiring text that has more or less been forgotten in school anthologies, which marks the feature debut of this famous Italian illustrator who has lived and worked in Paris for many years, and follows his various theatrical experiences which include his collaboration on “Pinocchio” animated by Enzo d’Alò.
Co-produced by France’s Prima Linea Productions, “The Bears’ Famous Invasion of Sicily” was one of the most acclaimed proposals at the last Cartoon Movie in Lyon.
Like “The Great Beauty”, the film will be distributed by Pathé, arriving in movie theaters in 2018, whilst the 3D stereo pilot will be ready for the Cannes Film Festival. “It is a very ambitious movie”, Mattotti tells us, “with lots of scenery, landscapes of forests and mountains, loads of battles, big masses, ghosts.  That is why we chose to use 3D. I analyzed all Buzzati’s drawings in order to be as respectful as possible of his graphics although you sub- sequently realize that betrayal is compulsory. However the structure of the novel is identical. I had been thinking of turning it into a film for years”.
A story with a disarming topicality which, using the metaphor of the bears – who go down to the valley and spend 13 years living with humans, taking on their worst faults – makes it possible to understand how subject the human soul is to corruption, and its weakness for power and wealth.
A research project was also launched in Lyon aimed at mapping out the panorama of the animation industry in Europe, promoted and funded by Creative Europe – the European Union Media Program, which will be realized by the European Audiovisual Observatory with the help of Cartoon in Brussels and Citia of Annecy. The preliminary results will be presented at Mifa in Annecy in June, and the completed research, the first of its kind, at the end of the year.

Nella sezione: Focus on italy