Mosley, an independent cg feature that marks the first feature co-production between New Zealand and China, has released a teaser trailer ahead of its launch at the European Film Market in Berlin next month.

Produced by Huhu Studios and China Film Animation, the USD$20 million fantasy-adventure explores some fairly dark and complex themes for a family film. Per the synopsis:

What if an animal working under oppressive circumstances could suddenly stand upright and rebel against his master? Thoriphants are pack animals, living an arduous life under the oppression of their cruel owners. But one family discovers an ancient secret that turns their world inside out. Thoriphants were not always four footed. They once walked upright and had hands. What caused this devolution? Do the uprights still exist? Courageous Mosley sets out to find their ancient city, but will a hired bounty hunter find him first? Mosley and his adorable son Rue must learn to face their fears and unlock the secret magic that can transform them into powerful uprights.

The film is written and directed by industry veteran Kirby Atkins, who has put in time at Laika and Weta Digital, and has also directed episodes of the Nick series The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius.

Leads include Markus Kristensen (art director/cinematographer), Mark Bowen (compositing), Jo-Ellen Bowen (lighting), Chris Omundsen (effects), Tahlia Garnier (surfacing), Brandon Dunn (texture), Morgan Loomis (character supervisor), Simon Jackson (dynamics), and Kathy Toon, Grant Watkins, and Brent Walsh (editorial). Harry Hansen and Alain Mayrand composed the film score. Voice cast includes John Rhys-Davies, Lucy Lawless, Rhys Darby, and Temuera Morrison.

We profiled the project a few years ago when it was known as Beast of Burden. Atkins reveals more details about the twenty-year development of the project on his website.

Lotus Entertainment is selling the film internationally. Pre-sales include Australia/New Zealand (Rialto), Russia/C.I.S. (Top Film Distribution), China (China Film Group), Czech Republic/Slovakia (Fenix Distribution), Bulgaria, ex-Yugoslavia, and Romania (Programs 4 Media Limited), Israel (Five Stars), Middle East (Eagle Films), Portugal (Nos Lusomundo), South Africa (Filmfinity), and Vietnam (Ram Indo). No U.S. distributor has signed on yet.

Mosley is produced by Daniel Story, Trevor Yaxley, and Bill Boyce for Huhu Studios, Peikang La for China Film Co., and Huang Jun for China Film Animation. Executive producers are Tony Bancroft, and Jack Sheehan and Jeremie Guiraud for Lotus Entertainment.

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