29 Apr – After five years in the making, KRU Studios and Mumbai-based Crest Animation Studios Ltd's animated 3D film "Ribbit", will be hitting local cinemas in September, with Sean Astin, Tim Curry and Russell Peters named as the voice cast.
According to News Straits Times, the movie is an international venture with actors such as Sean Astin ("The Lord Of The Rings"), Cherami Leigh ("Fast Food Nation"), Tim Curry ("The Rocky Horror Picture Show") and comedian Russell Peters ("New Year's Eve") leading the voice cast. Even the movie itself is made in Malaysia, the U.S., India, Germany, and Hong Kong.
"Ribbit" tells the story of a frog with an identity crisis. Not only does he hate water and hopping, he also thinks he is a human prince trapped in a frog's body. This leads him to go on a soul-searching journey with his friend, Sandy the squirrel.
The concept and story for the movie came from executive producer Norman Abdul Halim, "In 2009, my first mission was to get a director and scriptwriter and I met Chuck Powers. After we completed the script, we looked for a co-production partner who understood animation production and the business aspects of global distribution. Yusry (Abdul Halim) and our creative team visited a few studios in India and found Crest to be the most suitable partner. We formulated our understanding with Crest Animation in 2010."
Norman has high hopes for the movie, considering that the movie has captured the interest of more than 18 buyers in North America and had garnered praise such as "the best animation film produced in Asia".
The film has also been picked up for distribution in over 80 countries including U.K., Germany, Australia, Japan, China and Brazil.
"I think we are quite advanced in the Southeast Asia region. A lot of Malaysian animation films and TV shows are being distributed worldwide. Many Malaysians do not know about the success of our animation productions compared to action films and music. Apart from collaborating with more advanced nations in animation productions, local animation studios should do more to publicise their success and activities."
Aside from "Ribbit", KRU Studios has five more 3D animation films and three animation TV series in development.