Culver City, Calif. - Sony Pictures Animation, the studio behind 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 Café for Sony Pictures Animation, it was announced by Michelle Raimo-Kouyate, president of production for Sony Pictures Animation. 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 Café 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 Café" 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 Café. The strip stars Poncho, a cheese-loving, squirrel-fearing, toilet-drinking mutt who joins his canine friends at the Pooch Café, a neighbourhood 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 27-year career in animation, has served in a variety of creative capacities on many of Hollywood's most beloved animated features. 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.