SLIPP JIMMY FRI (FREE JIMMY) is Norway’s first CG animated feature, and also the country’s most expensive film production to date, with a budget of approximately $16 million USD. The film is written and directed by underground cartoonist Christopher Nielsen and premieres in Norway on April 21. There’s a teaser trailer for the film HERE and the film’s WEBSITE has a production timeline with some interesting visuals. The animation looks serviceable, if not exactly Pixar/DreamWorks quality, but the grungy production design and offbeat story set this film apart from anything currently being produced in the States. Like many animated films coming out in the US this year, FREE JIMMY riffs on the animals-on-a-grand-adventure formula. This time though the animals are a drug-addicted circus elephant and a moose. But there’s a lot more to the story. From a synopsis found online:
Four stoners, five vegans, three mobsters, four hunters and a million reasons to free one elephant. Roy Arnie has a dream. One day he will run his own circus and conquer the world. Today, however, he is a stable hand working in the Circus Stromowski, a miserable Russian big top, run by a hopeless alcoholic fourth generation circus director, Igor Stromowski, and full of useless has-beens and tired animals that will only perform under the influence of narcotics. Roy Arnie invites his old buddies Gaz and Odd, and their sidekick Flea, to come and work at the circus, and while work is an alien concept to Gaz and Odd, the appearance of an irate criminal who they are indebted to decides the issue. At the circus, Roy Arnie introduces the trio to the star attraction: Jimmy the elephant. Jimmy is the key to Roy Arnie’s dreams. The elephant carries a secret, a secret of enough value to bankroll Roy Arnie’s circus. All he has to do is free Jimmy and his dreams will come true.
The English screenplay for the film was penned by British actor/comedian Simon Pegg, and the English-version voice cast sounds promising, with an eclectic mix of Brits and Americans on board including Woody Harrelson, Kyle MacLachlan, Samantha Morton, Simon Pegg, and Jim Broadbent.
(Thanks to the person who told me about this and whose email I’ve misplaced.)