Starburns Industries, the TV animation shop that made a big splash into feature animation last year with the Oscar-nominated Anomalisa, has announced its next stop motion feature project: Bubbles, an unauthorized Michael Jackson biopic told from the point of view of his famous chimp companion, Bubbles. The film will be “in the spirit of Anomalisa,” according to Deadline, which first reported the story.
The film is based on a spec script by Isaac Adamson, and Community creator Dan Harmon, who is a partner in Starburns, will produce the film with Andrew Kortschak of End Cue. Adamson will exec produce with Lee Stobby. (Harmon was also an exec producer on Anomalisa.)
While the film is a fictionalized account of Jackson’s life narrated by a chimpanzee, the film’s set-up is all true. Jackson bought Bubbles from an animal testing facility in Texas in the early-1980s and developed a close bond with him over the following twenty years. Bubbles not only traveled frequently with the singer, but also slept in the same bedroom as Jackson, helped with household chores like dusting, and watched movies with the singer.
Bubbles is hands-down one of the most off-the-wall animated feature announcements we’ve made in some time, yet it’s also one of the most exciting. While it’s too early to know yet if it’ll actually course its way into production, Harmon knows what he’s doing, and this film —quirky concept and all — has the potential to be another big leap forward for American feature animation as it fights its way out of the family entertainment ghetto.