'The Shrinking Of Treehorn' Will Be Ron Howard's First Animated Movie

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Even though Imagine Entertainment has tackled blockbuster family fare before with the adaptations of Dr. Seuss books How the Grinch Stole Christmas and The Cat in the Hat, they've yet to dive deep into animation. Sure, they're the company behind the animated Curious George movies, but those were hardly huge hits. However, Imagine is hoping to beef up their animated content with co-founder Ron Howard's next project.

Ron Howard has dabbled with family films like How the Grinch Stole Christmas and Parenthood, but he's yet to dive into that territory in animation. That will change with the director slated to be at the helm of an adaptation of The Shrinking of Treehorn, a children's book from 1971 by Florence Parry Heide with illustrations from Edward Gorey. And that's not the only animated project in the works at Imagine Entertainment. Find out more below.

Variety has word on The Shrinking of Treehorn movie in the works at Paramount Pictures. The project will team Imagine Entertainment up with Animal Logic, the Australian production banner behind The LEGO Movie and Happy Feet. Zareh Nalbandian, Animal Logic's entertainment CEO, says:

"I've long had this passionate point of view that Ron Howard should make a tentpole animated movie. That's how this started. It was serendipitous that Imagine was sort of evolving and growing, and Animal Logic was more and more committed to the development and production of our own intellectual property. We have a shared vision of what that space can be."

If you've never heard of The Shrinking of Treehorn, here's the official synopsis:

A small boy finds himself shrinking in this oddly offbeat, surreal, and funny story, illustrated with Edward Gorey's signature pen and ink drawings.

No one around seems to appreciate what Treehorn's going through–his parents are busy, his friends laugh at him, and he gets sent to the Principal's office for shrinking. Or was it shirking? Clearly, the adults in his life have no clue and can't help.

In the end, Treehorn figures it out on his own, and all is well. At least until he turns green.

However, the book is only 64 pages long, so it remains to be seen how the movie will be filled out to fit a feature length running time. But that's up to Rob Lieber (Peter Rabbit, Alexander and the Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day), who is writing the script. There are a coupe other Treehorn books that could be used to beef up the movie. At the very least the visuals should be striking since the animation style will follow Gorey's unique illustration aesthetic.

Other Animated Projects at Imagine Entertainment

Besides The Shrinking of Treenhorn, there are three other animated projects in the works at Imagine Entertainment. Two of them are additional collaborations between Imagine and Animal Logic.

First, there's Zero, described as a buddy comedy that explores the connection between family and technology and is said to be in the same vein of Pixar's Inside Out. It's being directed by Carlos Stevens, written by Jonathon Stewart and Eyal Podell (The Angry Birds Movie 2), and it's set up at Warner Bros. Pictures.

Then Imagine has Rainbow Serpent from Pirates of the Caribbean franchise writer Stuart Beattie. This one is geared towards a more global audience with a creation story that is "deeply rooted in Australian aboriginal culture." That one is set up at Paramount Pictures.

Finally, the production company will head to space with Muttnik, which is actually a live-action/animation hybrid about a dog launched into space by the Russians, who crosses the space-time continuum and returns home to his family an evolved creature. That sounds like it could be fun, but no studio has picked it up for distribution yet.

Lately, Imagine Entertainment has struggled to make great films, but perhaps a stretch into animation will help them get back on their feet. Hopefully they've got some tricks up their sleeve to craft original stories in the medium instead of just trying to craft easy cash grabs for families who will take their kids to see anything colorful