Larrikins was an American computer-animated musical comedy film to be produced by DreamWorks Animation and distributed by Universal Pictures. Sadly, the movie was cancelled in March 2017, though its characters and assets were used in the 2018 short film Bilby[1].

Plot

When Perry, an uptight bilby gets kicked out of his sheltered life of his family burrow, he finds himself on a musical adventure across the mystical Australian outback. He also befriends a kangaroo named Red and cane toad named Andrew, who together must save the empire.

Cast

  • Dee Bradley Baker as Perry the bilby
  • Hugh Jackman as Red a kangaroo
  • TBA as Andrew the toad
  • Margot Robbie as a Dingo
  • Naomi Watts as TBA
  • Rose Byrne as TBA
  • Ben Mendelsohn as Howard a crocodile
  • Jacki Weaver as TBA
  • Josh Lawson as TBA
  • Damon Herriman as TBA
  • Ewen Leslie as TBA

Development

In June 2013, it was announced that Tim Minchin would compose the songs and score for Larrikins, which was based on an original concept by Harry Cripps[2]. Minchin said, "I was lucky enough to grow up in Western Australia and know that the Australian outback is vast and spellbinding and heart-stoppingly beautiful, and the characters that inhabit it are unique and hilarious and tough and cheeky. I am hugely excited to be working with Harry and the DreamWorks Animation team in their mission to capture some of this unique aesthetic and quirky, iconoclastic culture on film. It's going to be bloody good fun." DWA chief creative officer Bill Damaschke said, "Our whole team is incredibly excited about this project. We've been looking to work with the immensely talented Tim Minchin on something for a while, and there is no doubt that this project is a perfect fit. He and Harry Cripps will be a fantastic team." Cripps started working on the script in 2011, after DreamWorks Animation decided to make a film set in Australia. The story was about a desert-dwelling bilby named Perry who leaves his burrow to go on a road trip with a music band in Australia. Minchin, who liked classical Disney animated musicals such as Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin, made a deal with DWA after complaining to Will Davies, one of the writers of How to Train Your Dragon, that no one had been making such musicals anymore. Waiting for almost four years for the right screenplay, DWA gave Minchin Cripps' script, which he approved of: "...it's a bit Star Wars, a bit Gods Must Be Crazy, a big road journey... It's really funny and cheeky and Australian, without being parochially, nationalistically Australian." Minchin and Cripps reworked the story with songs, successfully setting the project in motion.

Pre-Production

By 2014, Minchin's role expanded to director, with Chris Miller joining him by 2016. In June 2014, 20th Century Fox announced that the film would be released on February 16, 2018[3]. Following NBCUniversal's acquisition of DreamWorks Animation in 2016, Universal Pictures took over the distribution rights for the film.

Production

In June 2016, it was officially announced that Minchin and Miller were to co-direct Larrikins while Margot Robbie, Hugh Jackman, Naomi Watts, Rose Byrne, Ben Mendelsohn, Jacki Weaver, Josh Lawson, Damon Herriman, and Ewen Leslie were to voice characters for the film.

Cancellation

In March 2017, Minchin announced on his personal blog that that Larrikins had been cancelled. Minchin wrote on his blog, "I've recently been working in 3 different continents, missing my kids a lot, sleeping too little and not playing piano enough. And then a couple of days ago, the animated film to which I've dedicated the last 4 years of my life was shut down by the new studio execs. The only way I know how to deal with my impotent fury and sadness is to subject members of the public to the spectacle of me getting drunk and playing ballads."[4] Peter de Sève said, “Very sad to hear DWA killed LARRIKINS, their Aussie project. I was the first designer on that and had high hopes. Silly me. Fun though!” According to Deadline, the reason for the cancellation was that "creatively it just wasn't working out well."

Gallery

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DreamWorks Wiki has a collection of images and media related to Larrikins.

Videos

The videos shows the storyboards for the film completed by animator and storyboard artist Rune Brandt Bernicke and animation reels for the movie by animators Garret Lewis, Scott Lemmer, Alexis Wanneroy and Dave Weatherly,

Arjun_Gedam_Larrrikins_mod_reel

Arjun Gedam Larrrikins mod reel

Trivia

  • Due to Larrikin's cancellation, no DreamWorks Animation feature films were released in 2018, the first time DWA skipped a year since 1999.
  • This would have been the first DreamWorks Animation film to be released in February.
    • It would have also been Universal Pictures' second animated theatrical film released in February, after 2006's Curious George.
    • This would have been DWA's fourth musical after The Prince of Egypt, The Road to El Dorado, and Trolls.

References

  1. Wolfe, Jennifer (December 10, 2018). VIDEO: DreamWorks Animation Short 'Bilby' A Testing Ground for New Production Tools. AWN. Retrieved on May 5th, 2020.
  2. Kemp, Stuart. "DreamWorks Ani Picks 'Matilda' Musical's Tim Minchin to Score 'Larrikins'", THR, Lynne Segall, June 7, 2013. Retrieved on May 5, 2020. 
  3. Busch, Anita (June 1, 2016). 'Larrikins' Sings With Aussie A-Listers For DreamWorks Animation. Deadline. Retrieved on May 5, 2020.
  4. Shell (March 5th, 2017). NEW YORK! TIM – GETTING DRUNK AND PLAYING BALLADS AT FEINSTEIN'S/54 BELOW TOMORROW NIGHT!. timminchin.com. Retrieved on May 5th, 2020.
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