You guys! You guy! Ohmigod! Cartoonist Tony Millionaire and animator Matt Danner are trying to make a hybrid CGI/live action movie based on Millionaire’s Sock Monkey books. Danner—WWE Slam City, Hotwheels—has penned a script and the duo re attempting to line up financing for the film.
Sock Monkey is the star of several children’s books by Millionaire, the most recent, Sock Monkey Into The Deep Woods,
co-written by Danner, is a pilot for the film. All of them feature Millionaire’s intricate retro artwork and hauntingly wistful, sad and eerie stories that suggest loss and sorrow even when things seem to be going well. Just like all great kids books. And if you watch the test above, you can see that tone is lovingly captured—and good call on the Saint-Saens clip from “The Aquarium.”
Story follows stuffed hero Uncle Gabby as he and his doll pals venture across sea, land, and air to save their human, Ann-Louise, whom they fear has been kidnapped by a vicious monster. The Sock Monkey project was initially envisioned as a film, but when Danner wrote the treatment as a children’s book, Millionaire’s publisher Fantagraphics caught wind of it and agreed to publish it in print form first. The book hits shelves November 16.
Danner and Millionaire are going out to studios and financiers with the script and teaser, which Danner shot on his own over the course of one day with a small crew. Using five different “digi-nette” puppets on a practical set, they shot live-action footage which was later blended with CG to create a surreal look and feel.
Deadline suggests the film would have a “Coraline” feel to it—a nice log line for Hollywood.
Millionaire’s comic strip Maakies was previously adapted into the more raucous and alcohol-fueled Drinky Crow Show which aired on Adult Swim for a couple seasons.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.