Disney to release Lucasfilm's animated film

Project is based on an idea by George Lucas

Disney will release Lucasfilm’s animated feature “Strange Magic” on Jan. 23, 2015. The toon, based on a story by George Lucas, was in production when Disney purchased Lucasfilm in 2012 for $4 billion. It will be released through the Touchstone Pictures banner, used by Disney to distribute DreamWorks Pictures’ films. Directed by Gary Rydstrom (“Toy Story Toons: Hawaiian Vacation,”), “Strange Magic” is described as a madcap fairy tale musical inspired by “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” with popular songs from the past six decades used to 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.

Alan Cumming, Evan Rachel Wood, Kristin Chenoweth, Maya Rudolph, Sam Palladio, Alfred Molina, Elijah Kelley, Bob Einstein, Peter Stormare and newcomer Meredith Anne Bull provide the voices for the characters. Marius de Vries (“Moulin Rouge”) serves as both the musical director and composer. Rydstrom wrote the script with David Berenbaum (“Elf”) and Irene Mecchi (“Brave,” “The Lion King”).

Lucasfilm Animation Singapore and Industrial Light & Magic, which created the CGI animation for “Rango,” worked on “Strange Magic.”

Mark Miller (associate producer “Mars Attacks!”) produced the film while Lucas serves as executive producer. The announcement of the project comes just days after Disney secured the Internet domain name for “Strange Magic,” which caused Disney observers, the blogosphere and media outlets to speculate that the title was the name of a “Frozen” sequel.

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