“Inkas the Ramferinkas,” a story about a small flying dinosaur, is being adapted into an animated feature film.
Independent film producer Niels Juul and Sherman Theatrical Entertainment have teamed up to develop the project, which is inspired by music from the Sherman Brothers. It’s the first and final musical from the late Robert B. Sherman and Richard M. Sherman, the songwriting duo behind Walt Disney classics from “The Jungle Book,” “Winnie the Pooh,” “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang,” and “Mary Poppins.”
The Sherman brothers won Oscars for their work on “Mary Poppins,” including best song for “Chim Chim Cher-ee” and best score. They went on to earn nine Oscar nominations, two Grammy Awards, 23 gold and platinum records and have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Perhaps their biggest contribution to the pop culture landscape, however, is writing the song “It’s a Small World (After All).”
Before they met with Disney and teamed on timeless tunes from those films and more, the brothers were adapting “Inkas” into a film that never took off. Originally a 1951 children’s record, the tale follows a small, flying dinosaur who lived 150 million years ago and who protects his friends despite facing tremendous danger to himself.
In the mid-2000s, Robert’s youngest son, who goes by Robbie, optioned and acquired “Inkas” and, together with his father and uncle, expanded the project into a feature-length animation script. Around this time, the brothers augmented their score with an additional six songs, bringing the total to 10. The animatic storyboard team included animation veterans of Disney, Warner Brothers and DreamWorks. Though the draft was completed, the project was shelved during the 2008 financial crisis.
Then in 2020, Robbie Sherman co-founded Sherman Theatrical Entertainment, Ltd. with co-CEOs Bret Goldin and Andrew Kaplan. The company nabbed the ”Inkas” IP, which they are now resurrecting with Juul and his business partner Sofie Nordstrom.
“I grew up with ‘Inkas.’ I knew all the characters and their songs by heart. I always believed that if the rest of the world were introduced to them, they would fall in love with them too,” said Robbie Sherman.
Sherman Theatrical co-CEO Bret Goldin added, “It’s not every day that you can be a part of something immortal. Sherman Brothers’ musicals stand the test of time and as songwriters, they are the Mozarts of the modern age.”
“Inkas” is expected to release theatrically on a yet-to-be determined date.
“We couldn’t be more thrilled to be partnering with Niels Juul, Sofie Nordstrom and No Fat Ego,” Andrew Kaplan said. “Niels wants to be a part of something positive. And that’s really what we’re all about too.”
Juul, the CEO of Los Angeles and London-based production company No Fat Ego, added, “It’s hard to imagine my childhood without the brilliant and fantasy-inducing musical tapestry of the Sherman Brothers and for me, all these decades later to be able to help Robbie and his team bringing their first musical work to the screen is not just an honor, but an offer that my inner child could not refuse. The Sherman Brothers are truly timeless, and we look forward to exposing the world to even more of their iconic work.”
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