For the first time, the famous Pettson and Findus stories by Sven Nordqvist are made into a live action film. Major parts of the film were shot on the world’s tallest sound stage, MMC’s stage 53 in Cologne, Germany.
Based on the children’s books of the same name by Swedish author Sven Nordqvist, this live action film tells the story of a grumpy old recluse called Pettson and his only friend, the talking cat Findus, who appears here as a computer-animated character.
Old Pettson (played by Ulrich Noethen) lives on a picturesque little farmstead and spends his days doing simple manual jobs about the place, fishing, and looking after his hens. In fact, he has all that he needs. But he does get a bit lonely some times.
Then his neighbor Beda Andersson (played by Marianne Saegebrecht) gives him a little tomcat as company. Pettsson calls him Findus and rears him with considerable affection.
When the little cat begins to talk to him, Pettson’s happiness is complete. Soon they turn into an apparently inseparable couple. But then a rooster moves in at the farmstead, winning the undivided attentions not only of the hens, it seems, but also of Pettson. Findus is worried that he has lost his best, indeed his only friend to the rooster…
Pettson and Findus – A Little Nuisance, A Great Friendship is a production of Tradewind Pictures in co-production with Senator Film Munich, Network Movie Cologne, and ZDF. World sales are handled by ZDF Enterprises.
The film was directed by multiple-award-winning director Ali Samadi Ahadi. Thomas Springer adapted four Pettson and Findus children’s books by Sven Nordqvist for the screenplay for this film. Cinematography was in the hands of Mathias Neumann. The talking cat Findus was animated by Academy and Emmy Award-winning VFX company PIXOMONDO (Head of Animation: Chris Stenner).
Major parts of the film were shot on the world’s tallest sound stage, MMC’s stage 53 (height: 85 ft) in Cologne / Germany.
To transfer the phantastic look of the original picture books to the film, the entire farm of grumpy Pettson was rebuilt at this sound stage.
To create a 360-degree-horizon at the sound stage, the largest photo-realistic backdrop ever produced in Europe was installed. Wrapping artist Christo would have loved it: He could have used the 56 x 509 ft backdrop to wrap one of the towers of the huge Cologne cathedral.
Author Sven Nordqvist was enthused by the set built by MMC’s art department. When he visited the film set he said several times that he is very happy with it.
Pettson and Findus – A Little Nuisance, A Great Friendship is one of the most elaborate children’s films ever produced in Germany. The combination of live action with computer-animated characters required a total budget of 8.4 million Euros (11.6 million USD), financed completely by Tradewind Pictures and German partners.
The film was funded by Film- und Medienstiftung NRW, Mitteldeutsche Medienfoerderung, Hessen Invest Film, MFG Filmfoerderung Baden-Wuerttemberg, Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, Filmfoerderungsanstalt (FFA), the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media, German Federal Film Fund (DFFF), MEDIA program of the European Union and Kuratorium junger deutscher Film.
On behalf of MMC, the shooting in Cologne was supervised by Bastie Griese, Managing Director of MMC Studios‘ sister company MMC Movies. The set construction for Pettson and Findus – A Little Nuisance, A Great Friendship on MMC’s stage 53 was supervised by MMC Studios‘ construction manager Hendrik Labuhn.
On March 13th, 2014, Senator Film Verleih will release the movie in Germany.
Photo: Pettson and Findus: This scene with Pettson (Ulrich Noethen) was filmed on MMC’s stage 53 in Cologne. The cat Findus later was added by Pixomondo. © Senator Entertainment