After suffering from distribution limbo for years, indie animated fantasy Animal Crackers finally has its chance to shine with a brand new release date and trailer. This is all thanks to streaming giant Netflix (via Indiewire), who has rescued the movie and will stream it in almost 200 countries from July 24, 2020.
The brainchild of comic artist Scott Christian Sava, Animal Crackers started as a graphic novel inspired by his twin sons roleplaying as animal cookies. Sava would then team up with Mulan director Tony Bancroft after seeing the potential in a feature adaptation, and the two would direct the film under Sava’s Blue Dream Studios. Despicable Me character designer Carter Goodrich and composer Bear McCreary (Godzilla: King of the Monsters) are also noteworthy additions to the crew of this passion project
The film’s adapted plot (written by Sava and Arrested Development‘s Dean Lorey) centres around a run-down circus, and the hope of restoring its popularity through magical animal crackers. Chesterfield the clown (voiced by Danny DeVito of Disney’s Hercules) explains the wacky concept where “every time you eat an animal cookie, a human cookie appears in the box. To change back, you just eat it.”
“It’s a very family-based story… about sticking together as a family to accomplish something great and save this circus. There is a real value to what you [Sava] wrote that resonated with people.”Tony Bancroft, Director, Animal Crackers (via Variety)
Also among the extensive voice cast includes John Krasinski (Next Gen), Emily Blunt (Gnomeo & Juliet), Ian McKellen (Flushed Away), Sylvester Stallone (Antz), Patrick Warburton (The Emperor’s New Groove), Wallace Shawn (Toy Story), Gilbert Gottfried (Aladdin), Raven-Symoné (Kim Possible), Harvey Fierstein (Mulan), Kevin Grevioux (Young Justice: Invasion), Tara Strong (Teen Titans), and James Arnold Taylor (Ratchet & Clank), The film is also the feature debut role of newcomer voice actress Lydia Rose Taylor, the daughter of James Arnold Taylor.
Despite the obstacles in financing and creating an independent animated feature, the biggest challenge for Sava and Bancroft was getting the film released. Since premiering at the Annecy Film Festival in July 2017, Animal Crackers had burned through three failed distribution deals, including Relativity Media, Serafini Releasing, and Entertainment Studios. Thankfully, the new Netflix deal has put an end to this burden with the new release date, and the film’s comeback at the Annecy 2020 Online event.
“After everything we’d been through it was a miracle when Netflix came onboard and saved the film. I’m so excited to announce that it will be going worldwide on July 24, and I can’t wait for you all to watch it.”Scott Christian Sava, Director/Producer/Writer, Animal Crackers (via Variety)