Warner Bros Pictures Animation To Adapt Animal Planet Series ‘Meerkat Manor’ For Big Screen

EXCLUSIVE: Warner Bros Pictures Animation is heading to the Discovery vault to adapt its Animal Planet series Meerkat Manor into an animated feature. Think Happy Feet: That George Miller-hatched franchise, which centered around tap-dancing penguins, raked in over a half-billion dollars at the global box office.

Warner Bros. Discovery’s Animal Planet first aired Meerkat Manor in 2005, with the series becoming the network’s highest-rated show over its four seasons. The Emmy-nominated series reached 204 million households in more than 160 countries on the Animal Planet platform alone.

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The docuseries followed the Whiskers, a family of meerkats, as they struggled to survive in South Africa’s Kalahari Desert. Similar to Happy Feet, Warner Bros Pictures Animation will use photoreal animation to capture the Whiskers for their feature film debut.

The Meerkat Manor movie will be produced by Seth Green and Tracy Falco of The Green Room. Pic’s EPs are original series creator Caroline Hawkins as well as Clare Birks of Oxford Scientific Films. OSF is owned by ITV Studios.

“As we continue to grow our animated feature film slate, we are excited to bring the beloved Meerkat Manor from WBD’s Animal Planet to the big screen,” said Bill Damaschke, President of Warner Bros Pictures Animation. “Along with our partners Tracy, Seth, OSF and ITV Studios, we look forward to creating a photoreal animated family adventure for the next generation and seeing our meerkat friends make their feature film debut in way they’ve never been seen before.”

Said Hawkins, “It’s 20 years since we experimented with a wildlife soap opera in a London basement, and now here we are. What greater evidence could there be of the enduring appeal of meerkats? I am sure they would be thrilled at attaining stardom in Hollywood! Warner Bros is the natural home for this movie, and I am delighted to be partnering with Tracy, Seth and Bill whose visionary expertise is second to none.”

Said producers Green and Falco, “Meerkats have been secondary characters in animated feature films and it’s time they get the star treatment they’ve deserved. We believe that the heartwarming and entertaining story of Meerkat Manor, replete with all the drama, emotion and humor of the human experience, will resonate with audiences of all ages. We couldn’t be more excited to bring these lovable characters to life in a new and exciting way, with the perfect partners in Bill Damaschke, Pam Abdy, Mike De Luca and Warner Bros Pictures Animation.”

“We are honored to embark on this new adventure with the series’ brilliant creator Caroline Hawkins and Clare Birks to share the magic of Meerkat Manor with the world, both for diehard fans of the global phenomenon series and an entirely new generation of meerkat lovers.”

Green is represented by UTA, Untitled Entertainment and Lon Sorenson and David Weber of Sloane/Offer/Weber/Dern. OSF and ITV Studios are repped by attorney Stuart Rosenthal.


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