Film Inspired by Heartwarming Real-Life Story featuring Mattel Toys
Mattel, Inc. (NASDAQ: MAT) announced today plans to develop the family drama Christmas Balloon into a live-action motion picture. Rising talent Gabriela Revilla Lugo (A Million Little Things) will write the original screenplay based on a true story.
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The film follows a young girl, Dáyami, living in a Mexican border town who tries to send her Christmas list to Santa tied to a balloon. The balloon is found by Randy and Marcella Heiss, a couple in Arizona grieving the loss of their own child, who make it their mission to fulfill the girl’s touching Christmas wishes. Mattel worked with the couple and donated toys to fulfill Dáyami’s wish towards a brighter future.
“Much like Dáyami’s balloon itself, the journey of this touching story and Mattel’s direct role in fulfilling her real-life wishes made it a must-do for us,” said Kevin McKeon, VP of Mattel Films. “We were immediately struck by this little girl’s spirit and the story’s positive message. We also knew there was no one better to tell her story with passion and sensitivity than Gabriela. We are proud to work with her, along with Vital Pictures, to bring this touching family drama to audiences around the world.”
McKeon and Ivan Sanchez, Creative Executive, will lead the project for Mattel Films. Chris Lemos and Luis Guerrero (Beneath Us, The War Below) of Vital Pictures will produce.
"Randy and Marcella’s story exemplifies the holiday spirit and shows the miraculous way small acts of kindness can change lives, bring families together, and inspire entire communities on both sides of the border. We can’t think of better partners than Mattel and Gabriela to bring this wonderful true story to audiences everywhere,” said Lemos on behalf of Vital Pictures.
Christmas Balloon marks the 14th Mattel Film in development and the first film based on all-new IP. Mattel Films’ Robbie Brenner and Kevin McKeon are reuniting with Revilla Lugo, having previously worked together on Tribes of Palos Verdes.
“I am honored to bring Dáyami’s journey to life in a time when it’s clear we all need to believe in hope and magic,” Revilla Lugo commented.
Writer/producer Revilla Lugo is best known for executive producing Hulu/Neon’s Palm Springs and Netflix’s The Starling, starring Melissa McCarthy.
Christmas Balloon joins other Mattel Films projects in development including movies based on American Girl®, Barbie®, Barney®, Hot Wheels®, Magic 8 Ball®, Major Matt Mason®, Masters of the Universe®, Polly Pocket®, Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots®, Thomas & Friends®, UNO®, View Master® and Wishbone™.
Mattel is a leading global toy company and owner of one of the strongest catalogs of children’s and family entertainment franchises in the world. We create innovative products and experiences that inspire, entertain, and develop children through play. We engage consumers through our portfolio of iconic brands, including Barbie®, Hot Wheels®, Fisher-Price®, American Girl®, Thomas & Friends®, UNO®, Masters of the Universe®, Monster High® and MEGA®, as well as other popular intellectual properties that we own or license in partnership with global entertainment companies. Our offerings include film and television content, gaming, music, and live events. We operate in 35 locations and our products are available in more than 150 countries in collaboration with the world’s leading retail and ecommerce companies. Since its founding in 1945, Mattel is proud to be a trusted partner in empowering children to explore the wonder of childhood and reach their full potential. Visit us online at mattel.com.
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