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(Mondbaer, Der)

Scene from “Der Mondbaer” (photo © Coppenrath Verlag)

Production Report featured in
German Films Quarterly 04/2007

Has the moon fallen from the sky or has it *gasp* been stolen??!! The hunt for whoever is behind its disappearance is exciting and full of adventure. Der Mondbaer (“The Moonbeam Bear”) and his forest friends, rabbit, ladybird and others, refuse to give up and fight to the very end for the moon and its light.

Four simple sentences is all it takes to describe Der Mondbaer, an enchanting animated feature film developed, says Caligari Film producer and co-writer Gabriele Walther, “from the incredibly popular short stories of the same name. They have a very special look, unusual artwork and are very strong in their own right.”

“As with our other project, Prinzessin Lillifee,” says Gabriele Walther, “we based the look of the film on that of the books. This time it’s a flat 3D animation process, which keeps us very close to the original.”

“Whereas US animation can originate a project from scratch,” Walther continues, “we take a book which already has strong characters. The financial dictates of the business here in Europe mean we need to take already well-known characters. You need known brands to succeed, as well as having a product that is compatible internationally. It’s very hard to place an unknown character.”

Fortunately, Der Mondbaer, thanks to already being a hugely popular series of books as well as public broadcaster ZDF property, is already widely known and loved by the film’s target audience.

As with Prinzessin Lillifee, Der Mondbaer sees Walther continuing her long-time relationship with co-production partner ndF: neue deutsche Filmgesellschaft. It’s a relationship that the latter’s Frank Piscator describes as “very symbiotic. But then when you’re both enthusiastic, it works. Our last projects have all been very successful: it works and it’s fun!”

With Walther’s animation and other production credits a given, as are Piscator’s, Der Mondbaer’s direction and storyboard are the responsibility of Michael Maurus, who has worked for, among others, Disney, Warner Bros., ProSieben and Hahn Film.

Genre Animation
Category Feature
Year of Production 2007
Director Michael Maurus
Screenplay Mark Slater, Gabriele M. Walther, John Patterson
Danny Chang
Producers Gabriele M. Walther, Frank Piscator
Production Companies ndf:Neue Deutsche Filmgesellschaft/Unterfoehring, Caligari Film, in co-production with Beta Film, Universum Film
Format 35 mm, color
Sound Technology Dolby SR
Festivals Sprockets Toronto 2009, Shanghai 2009
With backing from German Federal Film Board / FFA Filmförderungsanstalt, FilmFernsehFonds Bayern
German Distributor Universum Film

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