Dreamworks Animations has recently announced its next big budget CGI extravaganza, Larrikins, and surreally it’s going to be an outback infused musical with comedian and award winning musician, Tim Minchin, in charge of the score, soundtrack and musical direction for the film. For anyone in the know, the news might not necessarily be that much of a surprise, but for anyone out of the children’s musicals loop you might be wondering how the crazy haired comedian with a piano managed to get a gig with one of Hollywood’s biggest animation cinematic studios.
To quickly clear up the confusion, in addition to prancing around on stage telling jokes and singing funny songs as a part of his stand-up sets over the last few years, Minchin also managed to find the time to co-write Roald Dahl’s Matilda the Musical with Dennis Kelly. With the musical pulling in 7 Olivier Awards in 2012 and being a massive West End and Broadway hit, Tim is now the go-to guy for all things children’s musical.
The title for the movie is currently Larrikins, which is an Aussie slang term for a mischievous kid, although Dreamworks haven’t 100% committed to it as of yet. It’s set in the outback and with the musical direction it looks like the film could be a big foot on the Disney singalong stranglehold, especially with the film featuring all animal characters.
Larrikins follows the story of a straight-laced desert-dwelling marsupial, called a bilby, who has lived his entire life in the safety and security of family’s home burrow. However, when incidents conspire to send him out into the world above, he discovers a dangerous secret, which sends him on a mad-cap one-bilby Aussie exodus of musical proportions across the exciting and wild outback.
It’s an original story written by Harry Cripps (Supernova) and produced by Christina Steinberg (Rise of the Guardians), bringing a whole new set of characters to the growing Dreamworks make-believe. As well as writing the music and lyrics for the film, it has also been announced that Minchin will more than likely take on a larger creative role in the production of the new animated adventure.
Tim Minchin comments on Larrakins, “I was lucky enough to grow-up in Western Australia and know that the Australian outback is vast and spell-binding 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.”