Happy Feet lead animator Alex Weight has inked a deal with Flying Bark Productions to direct the 3D feature film of iconic ‘90s animated series Blinky Bill.

Weight, a respected animation talent, will sit in the director’s chair for the first time after having worked at Disney, Adelaide’s Rising Sun Pictures and Sydney’s Animal Logic.

Weight’s credits also include Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole (animation supervisor) and The Crocodile Hunter: Collision Course (3D animator).

Joining Weight on the Blinky Bill film, which was first reported by IF in April this year, is Marie-Cecile Dahan, who has signed on as line producer. Dahan has worked as a department manager on Avatar, a line producer on TV series Animalia, and as the VFX production manager on both Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and District 9.

The 3D film, based on the little koala with a heart of gold, is set to go into production later this year.

“Both Alex and Marie-Cecile bring a wealth of Australian and international animation expertise so we are thrilled to have their creative talent on board for Blinky Bill in 3D,” Flying Bark Productions’ managing director, Jim Ballantine, said in a statement.

“Blinky Bill is a timeless Australian classic character so it is an absolute honour for our team at Flying Bark Productions to be bringing the stories of Blinky Bill and his Australian bush friends to life in 3D for a new generation of children – and of course for parents that grew up with this national treasure.”

The last film based on the animated marsupial and his family and friends was Blinky Bill: The Mischievous Koala in 1992, which grossed $1.9 million for Roadshow, according to the Motion Picture Distributors Association of Australia.

Sydney-based Flying Bark Productions, founded by Yoram and Sandra Gross in 1968, finished work earlier this year on French/Australian co-production Santa’s Apprentice, which hits screens on November 10.

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