[featured image from the 1978 animated adaptation]
Fox Animation announced Trolls director Mike Mitchell will direct Puff, the Magic Dragon, a hybrid live action/animated film based on the song made popular by Peter, Paul, and Mary. Safehouse partners Tory Tunnell and Joby Harold along with Akiva Goldman from Weed Road will produce.
Mitchel recently directed Trolls for DreamWorks Animation. This is not his first experience with live action/animation films. He directed Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked as well as The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water. Other credits also include Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo, Sky High, and Shrek Forever After.
Fox acquired the rights to the song, which began as a poem by Lenny Lipton who was inspired by an Ogden Nash poem titled Custard the Dragon, about a “realio, tuilio little pet dragon.” His housemate Peter Yarrow then turned it into a song when he joined Paul Stookey and Mary Travers in the folk trio, Peter, Paul, and Mary. The song reached the number two spot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1962. Other songs by the trio include “If I Had A Hammer,” “Where Have All the Flowers Gone,” and “Blowin’ in the Wind.”
The poem is about Puff the Magic Dragon, an ageless dragon, who takes Jackie Paper, a shy child that has loss interest in the imaginary adventures of childhood, to the fictional land of Honalee.
In 1978, Burgess Meredith voiced Puff in an animated TV special and was followed by two sequels, Puff, the Magic Dragon in the Land of the Living Lies and Puff and the Incredible Mr. Nobody. In 1983, it was adapted for children’s pantomime and performed at Sydney’s Seymour Centre.
Tunnell and Harold produced the Guy Ritchie directed film King Arthur: Legend of the Sword staring Charlie Hunnam and will be released in May 2017.