ByHeather Snowden, writer at
Lover of bad puns, nostalgic feels and all things Winona. Email: [email protected] Tweet: @heathbetweetin
Heather Snowden

There sure ain't no slim pickings when it comes to the wealth of animated movies heading our way over the next 18 months, and while all our attention is generally lumped toward the big boys — hi, Moana (latest trailer below), Sing and The LEGO Batman Movie — or scoffing at some pretty terrible concepts — hi, The Emoji Movie — there's one upcoming animated flick that'll probably be worthy of your attention. I'm talking about Blazing Samurai.

Hailing from Open Road Films, Blazing Samurai tells the story of a madcap pup called Hank and his mission to rescue his town from a big, fat cat — presumably the ass you can see in the movie's cover pic up top — and, while intricate deets are still thin on the ground (as the movie isn't released until early 2017), we do know what the cast looks like. And, because they knit together to form a basket load of comedic genius, they're probably reason enough to get your bums in theater seats the minute this comes out. See for yourself:

1. Hank

  • Who is Hank? Hank is a scrappy pooch who dreams of becoming a true samurai and saving his town, Kakamucho, from becoming the dumping ground of a wicked warlord called Ika Chu.
  • Voiced by: Michael Cera
  • Where you'll know him from: Juno, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, Superbad, Arrested Development

2. Jimbo

  • Who is Jimbo? A cat, who was once a great warrior.
  • Voiced by: Samuel L. Jackson
  • Where you'll know him from: Pulp Fiction, The Hateful Eight, Django Unchained

See also:

3. Emiko

  • Who is Emiko? She's a feisty kitten and thus a natural warrior.
  • Voiced by: Heavenly Joy Jerkins
  • Where you'll know her from: America's Got Talent, stealing the show with a rendition of "In Summer" from Frozen. Check out her audition in the clip below:

4. Yuki

  • Who is Yuki? The over-protective mother of Emiko.
  • Voiced by: Michelle Yeoh
  • Where you'll know her from: Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Tomorrow Never Dies, Marco Polo

5. Ika Chu

  • Who is Ika Chu? He's a sneaky, nefarious cat with a grand plan to rid the town of Kakamucho of its inhabitants.
  • Voiced by: Ricky Gervais
  • Where you'll know him from: The Office (OG), Extras, The Ricky Gervais Show

6. Shogun

  • Who is Shogun? A well-meaning but slightly misguided leader.
  • Voiced by: Mel Brooks
  • Where you'll know him from: Blazing Saddles, The Producers, Spaceballs

7. Ohga

  • Who is Ohga? He's the enforcer of the villain.
  • Voiced by: George Takei
  • Where you'll know him from: Star Trek, Mulan, Heroes

Blazing Samurai will swing into theaters August 4, 2017. Are you excited?


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