Touchstone Pictures has just announced their next animated film - Strange Magic. Earlier this week, folks speculated that Strange Magic would be the sequel to Disney's hit film, [Frozen](movie:411685), but it looks like our aim was directed at the wrong Disney studio. A press release detailed the team behind the film, and while scanning some very familiar names (including the legendary Alan Cumming, broadway star Kristen Chenoweth, Alfred Molina, who you might know better as Doctor Octopus, and comedienne Maya Rudolph, who voiced Aunt Cass in Big Hero 6) one in particular stood out to me as, well, astounding:
That's right, folks: George Lucas, creator of that one sci-fi franchise that I keep yammering on about, is writing an animated musical.
Here's a little more on the movie, which is based on my favorite Shakespearean play, A Midsummer Night's Dream:
“Strange Magic,” a new animated film from Lucasfilm Ltd., will be released by Touchstone Pictures on January 23, 2015. “Strange Magic” is a madcap fairy tale musical inspired by “A Midsummer Night's Dream.” Popular songs from the past six decades help tell the tale of a colorful cast of goblins, elves, fairies and imps, and their hilarious misadventures sparked by the battle over a powerful potion. Lucasfilm Animation Singapore and Industrial Light & Magic, which created the CGI animation for 2011’s Academy Award®-winning film “Rango,” bring to life the fanciful forest turned upside down with world-class animation and visual effects.
While the prospect of a pop song musical might not sound ideal to some, it's definitely interesting to see Lucas attached to a film like this, given his long-but-limited resume. His hands aren't exactly tied with Star Wars, thanks to a new team taking on almost all of the upcoming films series' heavy work, so this might be an opportunity for him to branch out and take on projects of a variety that he hasn't really touched before.
Strange Magic premieres on January 23, 2015 and stars Alan Cumming (CBS’ “The Good Wife,” Broadway’s “Cabaret”), Evan Rachel Wood (“The Ides of March”), Kristin Chenoweth (Broadway’s “Wicked”), Maya Rudolph (“Big Hero 6,” “Bridesmaids”), Sam Palladio (ABC’s “Nashville”), newcomer Meredith Anne Bull, Alfred Molina (“Chocolat”), Elijah Kelley (“Hairspray,” “The Butler”), Bob Einstein (HBO’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm”) and Peter Stormare (“Fargo”).