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Germans join CGI ranks

Germans join CGI ranks

BERLIN -- Just past the historic Oranienburger gate in the most chic quarter of East Berlin, a German company with Hollywood-sized ambitions is getting ready to take on the giants in the world of feature-length CGI. The Berlin Film Co. delivers its first film, the 3-D animated fairy tale Happily N'Ever After, on Feb. 28. Budgeted at $40 million and featuring the voices of Sigourney Weaver, Sarah Michelle Gellar and Freddie Prinze Jr., the family-friendly parody of well-known Grimm Brothers fairy tales is one of a throng of independent CGI projects hitting the marketplace. Like the Weinstein Co.'s Hoodwinked or such upcoming features as Foodfight! from Threshold and Yankee Irving from IDT, Happily intends to put paid to the notion that only Pixar or DreamWorks can make money with CGI cartoons.