Emeryville, Calif.-based animation studio Athena Studios has signed Nate Hopper as co-producer of the company’s stop-motion animation feature film project Auntie Claus, which is currently still in development.
Hopper previously served as senior vice president of creative affairs at Sony Pictures Animation.
Athena Studios obtained the feature film rights to the popular children’s Christmas book by author Elise Primavera and is planning to develop it into a 90-minute, stop-motion musical feature.
“Since the moment that I conceived of Auntie Claus I hoped the book would be adapted into an animated musical,” said Primavera. “The talented people at Athena Studios share this vision and I couldn’t be happier to hear that Nate Hopper… will now be co-producer on the film.”
“The Auntie Claus character is something truly fun and different,” said Hopper. “I also think the time is right for a great female-centric film about Christmas. The film is quite unique in its vision, and the use of stop-motion animation harkens back to the wonderful Rankin/Bass holiday classics we all remember fondly from our childhoods.”
Other animation veterans committed to the project include Pete Kozachik, director of photography; Tom Proost, art director, and Kat Alioshin, line producer.