Many insiders in the animation business may know the names Miracle Mouse or his creator Tom Hignite. A few years back Hignite made headlines (not all in a positive light) when this artist and home designer decided to try to crusade into the animation business and begin production of an animated Disneyesque 2D feature. He began by hiring a staff of ex-Disney and ex-Warner Brother’s artists who had been recently laid-off in the economy of down-sizing large animation studios. Three years into the slow animation process the main funding for Hignite’s studio dried-up as the national market for housing made Hignite downsize his main Home Designing and building business.
Hignite’s micro-studio continued at an even slower pace, now using one remaining ex-Disney artist and a group of free-lancers. The multi-million dollar budget for Miracle Mouse became what seemed like an impossible mountain to climb, but still the process continued on a hope and a prayer. A big benchmark of the project came last Fall when Hignite’s studio had it’s Milwaukee premiere of a highly polished, condensed 27 minute version of the feature. The audience was filled with animation professionals , art students, and the general public. Hignite commented,” it was the most exciting night I could imagine as we got to hear the laughs or applause from a live audience for the first time. The years of work could be for nothing as in 27 minutes, will will know if the film will be a hit or a bust depending on audience reaction”.
Gathering the test audience surveys, and hearing the after-show Q&A comments, the show was a success and , with the newest 115 minute feature’s re-tweaked script in hand, a full feature version of Miracle Mouse-Cranky’s Miracle went forward to the next steps. 4 artists now sit at animation tables in Hignite’s studio and the free-lancers still are in the pipeline. New custom music has been added, and their original animatic’s scratch voice actors have been replaced 10 days ago during a week-long trip to Hollywood California. Hollywood’s Margarita Mix audio studio did the recording of some bigger name stars with were added to the production. This is the first public announcement for the new cast and news of Hignite’s Hollywood working visit.