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Disney-owned Lucasfilm dropped a bombshell on the film world this morning: Strange Magic, a new animated feature based on a story by George Lucas, will be released into theaters by Disney’s Touchstone Pictures label on January 23, 2015.

It’s a pretty incredible announcement; I can’t remember the last time an animated production was kept secret and announced so close to its release date. The film, it should be noted, was already underway when Disney bought Lucasfilm in 2012, and the politics of that purchase likely has a lot to do with the film’s release strategy.

Even more surprising, Strange Magic is helmed by revered sound designer Gary Rydstrom (Toy Story, Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Jurassic Park, Titanic) who had previously made a foray into animation as the director of the Pixar short Lifted. He was also slated to be the director of the ill-fated Pixar feature Newt. Rydstrom also penned this film’s script with David Berenbaum (Elf, The Haunted Mansion) and Irene Mecchi (The Lion King, Brave).

Here’s the official synopsis:

A madcap fairy tale musical inspired by “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” Popular songs from the past six decades help tell the tale of a colorful cast of goblins, elves, fairies and imps, and their hilarious misadventures sparked by the battle over a powerful potion.

Strange Magic’s animation was co-produced by Lucasfilm Animation Singapore and Industrial Light & Magic, which made its first pure-animated feature, Rango, in 2011. Voice cast, among them many musical theater stalwarts, includes Alan Cumming, Evan Rachel Wood, Kristin Chenoweth, Maya Rudolph, and Alfred Molina, and music is by Marius de Vries (Moulin Rouge).

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