GKIDS has released the trailer for the mixed-media anthology feature Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet, which it will debut in New York and Los Angeles on August 7, followed by a national expansion:
Spearheaded by the Mexican/Arabic actress Salma Hayek and directed and written by The Lion King co-director Roger Allers, the $12-million-budgeted film is based on Lebanese writer Kahlil Gibran’s beloved 1923 poetry classic The Prophet.
As evidenced by the trailer, the film’s anthology approach feels almost like watching a mini-animation festival. The film’s “chapters” were created by nine animation directors, each working in their own unique style: Tomm Moore (Song of the Sea), Joan Gratz (Mona Lisa Descending a Staircase), Bill Plympton (Guard Dog, Cheatin’), Nina Paley (Sita Sings the Blues), Joann Sfar (The Rabbi’s Cat), Paul and Gaetan Brizzi (“Firebird Suite” in Fantasia 2000), Michal Socha (Chick) and Mohammed Harib (Freej). Allers’s wrap-around narrative was created with cel-shaded CGI designed to look illustrative.
The Prophet will be the opening night film of the Annecy animation festival next month. Its voice cast includes Hayek, Liam Neeson, John Krasinski, Alfred Molina, and Quvenzhane Wallis, with musical contributions by Damien Rice, Glen Hansard, Yo-Yo Ma, and Lisa Hannigan.