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(doppelte Lottchen, Das)

Sketch from "Das doppelte Lottchen" (courtesy of TFC Trickompany)

Production Report featured in
German Films Quarterly 01/2006

Erich Kaestner's children's classic from 1949 – Das doppelte Lottchen – has been a firm favorite with filmmakers around the globe. The story about two twin sisters who never knew about each other's existence until they suddenly meet in a holiday camp has also enchanted generations of children for more than half a century.

The first adaptation by Josef von Baky appeared a year later in 1950 based on a screenplay penned by the author himself who also assumed the role of the narrator, and more than half a dozen other versions followed in the next 50 years.

The English child actress Hayley Mills played both twins in Walt Disney Pictures' 1961 version called The Parent Trap which the US studio then re-made in 1998 with a young Lindsey Lohan reprising the duo with Dennis Quaid and Natasha Richardson playing her separated parents.

Five years previously, Munich-based producer Peter Zenk of Lunaris Film made his first outing into Kaestner country with an updated version of Das doppelte Lottchen as Charlie & Louise with Joseph Vilsmaier directing. Encouraged by the success of this first film, Zenk and partner Uschi Reich produced another three live-action Kaestner adaptations: Puenktchen & Anton, Emil und die Detektive, and Das fliegende Klassenzimmer.

Now it is the turn of the animation world to give their twish on the children's classics, a start being made with Michael Schaack's Das doppelte Lottchen which is now in the final stages of production at the Hamburg animation studio TFC Trickompany.

Indeed, Zenk had been toying with the idea of Kaestner in cartoon form for some time: at the Cartoon Forum in Garmisch-Partenkirchen in September 2001, for example, there was a presentation of a 45-second trailer from a planned 13-part series based on Emil und die Detektive. It was intended to also produce a 13-part series based on Puenktchen & Anton, Das fliegende Klassenzimmer and Das doppelte Lottchen.

The TV series did not go into production, but Zenk instead found collaborators in one of Germany's leading animation studios – TFC Trickompany, whose credits include Werner - Beinhart!, Felidae, Pippi Langstrumpf, Das kleine Arschloch, and Momo, and the German office of the US major Warner Bros. (Der kleine Eisbaer, Lauras Stern) to embark on a series of animated feature films based on the most famous Kaestner classics.

First up is Das doppelte Lottchen which will retain the setting in the 1950s although some new scenes are being introduced to the story to increase the suspense as the twins try to bring their estranged parents back together again. In addition, the film's 'look' will be influenced by the illustrations for the original editions of Kaestner's novels, which were undertaken by the esteemed illustrator Walter Trier.
Genre Animation
Category Feature
Year of Production 2006
Directors Michael Schaack, Toby Genkel
Screenplay Rolf Dieckmann
Cinematography Graham Tiernan
Sascha Wolff-Taeger
Producers Peter Zenk, Willi Geike, Thomas Walker
Production Company Lunaris Film- & Fernsehproduktion/Munich, in co-production with Warner Bros. Pictures, TFC Trickompany/Hamburg, Pandora Film Produktion
Format 35 mm, color
Shooting Dates Hamburg (TFC Trickomany), January 2005 - March 2006
Sound Technology Dolby Digital
With backing from German Federal Film Board / FFA Filmförderungsanstalt, MOIN Filmförderung Hamburg Schleswig-Holstein
German Distributor Warner Bros. Pictures

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