CULVER CITY, Calif., Oct. 6, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Sony Pictures Animation, the studio behind this year's worldwide hit THE SMURFS®, continues to advance its development slate with the hiring of veteran animation writer/director Kelly Asbury. Asbury has been set to write POOCH CAFE for Sony Pictures Animation, it was announced today by Michelle Raimo-Kouyate, president of production for Sony Pictures Animation. Kelly Asbury most recently directed and co-wrote GNOMEO AND JULIET and was the co-director of SHREK 2, the highest grossing animated film in U.S. box office history. POOCH CAFE will be executive produced by Gil Netter, Bridget McMeel, and John Glynn.
"Kelly's wit and cinematic sensibility pairs wonderfully with the irreverent characters and wry comedy in the 'Pooch Cafe' comic strip," says Michelle Raimo-Kouyate. "We've been looking for something to do with Kelly, and this was a perfect match."
The CG-animated feature is based on Paul Gilligan's popular syndicated comic strip, Pooch Cafe. The strip stars Poncho, a cheese-loving, squirrel-fearing, toilet-drinking mutt who joins his canine friends at the Pooch Cafe, a neighborhood hangout where dogs can be dogs – comparing notes on such weighty issues as avoiding baths, zebra-flavored kibble, and the construction of a giant catapult with which to hurl all the Earth's cats into the Sun. The strip was nominated for the National Cartoonists Society's Reuben Award for Best Comic Strip in 2008.
Asbury is a multi-talented artist. He co-directed SPIRIT: STALLION OF THE CIMARRON and, during his twenty-seven-year career in animation, has served in a variety of creative capacities on many of Hollywood's most beloved animated features including SHREK, TOY STORY, TIM BURTON'S THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST and THE LITTLE MERMAID. Asbury also provided character voices for GNOMEO AND JULIET, SHREK 2 and SHREK THE THIRD. In addition to his work in film, Kelly Asbury is a noted author and illustrator of several published children's books and wrote the off-beat non-fiction book DUMMY DAYS: AMERICA'S FAVORITE VENTRILOQUISTS FROM RADIO AND EARLY TV.
Kelly Asbury is represented by Jeremy Zimmer at UTA and Nancy Newhouse Porter at NewhousePorterHubbard.
About Sony Pictures Animation
Sony Pictures Animation produces a variety of animated entertainment for audiences around the world. The studio is following its worldwide comedy hits, the 2011 hybrid live action/animated family blockbuster, The Smurfs (3D) and the 2009 mouth-watering Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (3D), with the family comedy Hotel Transylvania (3D) in Fall 2012. The division is also in production with Aardman Animations on two feature films, the CG-animated family comedy Arthur Christmas (3D) in theaters November 2011 and the stop-frame animated high-seas adventure, The Pirates! Band of Misfits (3D) in March 2012. Open Season 3, the third adventure in Sony Pictures Animation's successful Open Season franchise, was released on DVD and Blu-ray January 2011. In 2007, Surf's Up received an Academy Award®-nomination for Best Animated Feature Film. Sony Pictures Animation is an operating unit of Sony Pictures Digital Productions.
SOURCE Sony Pictures Animation