It’s been said that the movie industry today is bigger than it has ever been. Budgets are growing exponentially, while in many cases a $40,000,000 opening weekend is considered to be a failure. I know there’s solid reasoning behind such claims, but I can’t help but wonder if there’s really a point in having such obscene budgets. Despicable Me 2 had a production budget of around $80,000,000 dollars and yet it’s on pace to beat out Monsters University, which was reported to have a production budget of around $200,000,000.
If money can’t buy happiness, then maybe it can’t buy results either. It doesn’t matter how much money you spend if you have stagnant ideas, and lately the big animation studios have had stagnant ideas. People don’t view DreamWorks and Pixar as the tour-de-forces that they once were and I believe the time is right for smaller studios to step forward and show the world what they’re capable of. That’s why I’m looking forward to ToonBox Entertainment and Redrover Co. Ltd’s The Nut Job.
ToonBox Entertainment is a Canadian animation studio based in downtown Toronto. According to their website, they pride themselves on the ability to produce Hollywood-quality content on an independent production’s budget. From what I’ve seen of their work there is truth in what they say, but their first true challenge is going to be The Nut Job. It’s a theatrical feature film scheduled to be released on January 17th, 2014, with distribution being handled by Open Road Films. While we don’t have a whole lot of information about it at the moment more is promised to be released in the coming weeks, including the movie’s first trailer.
The film’s setting is the fictional town of Oakton in the 1950s. The story revolves around a mischievous squirrel named Surly, voiced by Will Arnett, as he plans a convoluted nut heist. He will be joined by his rat friend, Buddy, along with a female squirrel named Andie who is voiced by Katherine Heigl. Other big names attached to the project include Liam Neeson, Brendan Fraser, Jeff Dunham, Sarah Gadon and Stephen Lang.
While this isn’t a teaser trailer for the movie per se, this animated short was meant to build up expectations for what the movie will deliver. According to the studio’s own comments the movie will look better than the short, but this is hardly a slouch in terms of visuals. I really liked the look of it, and despite no dialogue being spoken the comedy is very well timed. Suffice it to say that I’m looking forward to seeing what the movie will be like when it’s released next year, and I’ll be following its developments closely via the movie’s official facebook page.