Ron Howard to Direct His First Ever Animated Film

After an acclaimed career in live-action, Ron Howard has officially boarded his first ever animated property. The filmmaker will be directing The Shrinking of Treehorn, an animated/live-action hybrid from Howard and Brian Grazer's Imagine Entertainment and the Australian-based Animal Logic (The Lego Movie, Happy Feet).

The Shrinking of Treehorn is an adaptation of Florence Parry Heide and Edward Gorey's children's book of the same name, first published in 1971. The film is going to be one of four ambitious films for the partnership between the production studios and Paramount, with other films including Rainbow Serpent, Zero, and Muttnik.

"Treehorn" is being penned by Rob Lieber (Alexander and the Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day) and is said to largely follow the aesthetic of Gorey's artwork from the initial book.

“I’ve long had this passionate point of view that Ron Howard should make a tentpole animated movie. That’s how this started,” Animal Logic chief executive Zareh Nalbandian said in a statement to Variety. “It was serendipitous that Imagine was sort of evolving and growing, and Animal Logic was more and more committed to the development and production of our own intellectual property. We have a shared vision of what that space can be."

“This is a company that’s known, as are Brian and Ron, for having original storytelling at the highest level, be it features, television or documentaries,” Imagine Features president Karen Lunder also said of the partnership. “These divisions have been evolving. To work with Animal Logic so closely, where they have such ingenuity and expertise, has been really exciting.”

In addition to serving as the production studio behind the entire Lego Movie franchise, Animal Logic has also done Happy Feet on top of visual effects for many live-action films, including many movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

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The Shrinking of Treehorn has yet to receive a release date from Paramount Pictures.