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Vicky the Viking coloring pages

vicky-the-vikingVicky the Viking coloring pages

Michael “Bully“ Herbig, Germany’s most successful director, will next shoot a live-action adaptation of the beloved Japanese-German animated series “Vicky the Viking” for the big screen.

Originally based on the children’s book by Swedish author Runer Jonsson and produced by Japanese animation studio Zuiyo Enterprise Company (which later morphed into Nippon Animation), “Vicky the Viking” became a huge hit in Germany and Austria when it premiered on ZDF and ORF in 1974 and later went on to similar success throughout much of Europe.

Herbig’s adaptation will be produced by Christian Becker (“The Wave“) of Rat Pack Filmproduktion, a subsidiary of Constantin Film, which is co-producing along with Herbig’s HerbX Film.

“Vicky the Viking” is set to hit theaters in 2009 as a Constantin release.

Herbig’s last three films have grossed more than $190 million combined, making him Germany’s most profitable director. His most recent pic, the animated “Lissi,” a spoof of the hugely popular “Sissi” trilogy from the 1950s, which starred Romy Schneider as the 19th-century Bavarian princess who became empress of Austria, has underperformed compared with the helmer’s earlier pics, but the film’s $20 million cume nevertheless made it one of last year’s most successful local productions.

For North American audience “Herbig” probably brings to mind a certain Dolores Herbig and “her big brown eyes” from Dead Like Me. (Oh, how I miss that show…) To German audiences however, it’s Michael “Bully” Herbig — a German filmmaker behind the likes of Bullyparade, who also happened to voice characters in The Emperor’s New Groove and Robots. According to Variety, the director’s next gig will be a live-action adaptation of Vicky the Viking — an old Japanese-German animated series. It’s actually the brainchild of Swedish author Runer Jonsson, but it’s neither a big Japanese cartoon, nor the new incarnation of Pippi. It’s just an old-school cartoon that was huge in German and Austria in the ’70s.

Vicky is, as Wikipedia describes it, “a young Viking boy who uses his wits to help his Viking fellows.” He also has a nose fetish just like Wiley Wiggins in Dazed and Confused: “Every time Vicky ponders about a difficult problem, he touches his nose with his index finger.” This Peanuts-looking Viking also has some pretty spiffy music and animation, which you can check out here. It should be a pretty wacky fantasy, since Vicky has taken on the likes of polar bears, whales, and scary dudes, and also seems to have a flying ship that sails with the help of kites. It’s strange, but I imagine if anyone could pull it off in Germany, it’d be Herbig. He’s the country’s most profitable director, and he’s also had some experience with retro fare — he recently adapted Lissi, a spoof on a 1950s trilogy.

The movie will hit theaters in 2009, courtesy of Constantin.

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