The Ninjabot

Disney and Lucasfilm to Release STRANGE MAGIC January 23, 2015; Based on a Story by George Lucas

Posted on November 11, 2014 at 11:46 am by David "Snackbar" Edmundson

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Last week, Disney registered the domain name “Strange Magic”.  There was speculation that the name could relate to Frozen since the phrase is used twice in the hit film.  However, it turns out that Strange Magic has nothing to do with Frozen, is coming very soon, and has a surprising author.

Disney has announced that Strange Magic is set to open on January 23, 2015.  The animated fairy tale musical comes from a story by George Lucas and is inspired by William Shakespeare‘s A Midsummer’s Night Dream.  The movie will use “popular songs from the past six decades” and features animation by Lucasfilm Animation Singapore and Industrial Light & Magic, the latter having worked on Rango. The movie features the voices of Alan Cumming, Evan Rachel Wood, Kristin Chenoweth, Maya Rudolph, Sam Palladio, Meredeth Anne Bull, Alfred Molina, Elijah Kelley, Bob Einstein, and Peter Stormare.

It’s surprising for an animated movie with George Lucas behind it to fly so low under the radar and then pop up a little over two months before its release date.  It’s a bit disconcerting that they’re rushing it out, and January is kind of a dumping ground. Nevertheless, I’m curious about this project, and it’s also encouraging that the movie is directed by Gary Rydstrom, who helmed the charming Pixar shorts Toy Story Toons: Hawaiian Vacation and Lifted.

Here’s the first image and press release [via Disney]:

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“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.

With a story by George Lucas, “Strange Magic” is directed by Gary Rydstrom (“Toy Story Toons: Hawaiian Vacation,” “Lifted”), produced by Mark S. Miller (associate producer “Mars Attacks!”) and executive produced by George Lucas, with a screenplay by David Berenbaum (“Elf”), Irene Mecchi (“Brave,” “The Lion King”) and Rydstrom. An extraordinary roster of film, television and Broadway stars lend their voices to “Strange Magic,” including 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”). Well-known music producer Marius de Vries (“Moulin Rouge”) serves as both the musical director and composer.

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