Liam Neeson, multi-award winning A-list actor, has used his voice talent in movies such as Narnia (as Aslan) and the upcoming animated film, Lego. Now, Neeson is set to play a malicious leopard in South African animated film Khumba.
Khumba is the second animated feature produced by Cape Town-based Triggerfish Animation Studios, which has seen a successful global release with Adventures in Zambezia.
The movie tells the story of a half-striped zebra that is blamed for the drought by his superstitious herd. He leaves his home in search of the magic waterhole where legend has it the first zebras got their stripes. He teams up with an overprotective, sassy wildebeest and a self-obsessed ostrich and meets a variety of wacky characters in an unforgettable adventure through the Great Karoo to “earn his stripes’.
Triggerfish writers Raffaella Delle Donne and Anthony Silverston wrote the original story with Jonathan Roberts, co-writer of The Lion King.
Silverston, who is also the director, is proud to have Liam Neeson on board in the role of the villain. “He brought a real menacing gravitas to this key character with his powerful, distinctive voice. The fact that he took part in our movie is a testament to the quality of animation produced in South Africa and I am immensely proud of what our team has produced,’ says Silverston.
The rest of the cast to date includes rising starts Jake T. Austin (Rio, New Year’s Eve), Anna Sophia Robb (The Carrie Diaries, Soul Surfer) and Joey Richter (A Very Potter Musical) as well as Emmy winner Loretta Devine (Grey’s Anatomy, Crash), Richard E. Grant (The Iron Lady, Corpse Bride) and British comedy actress Catherine Tate (The Catherine Tate Show, Doctor Who).
The film is distributed by LA-based sales agent CMG and will be theatrically distributed by Millennium Entertainment in the US later this year.