What is it about animated films that they are consistently able to pull in huge casts of big name talent? It may have something to do with their unstoppable earning potential and the fact that these actors can record their entire role in a day. Sometimes so many notable names sign on to an animated film that it seems like Steven Soderbergh must be directing it. According to Screen Daily, that is definitely the case with Triggerfish Animation’s Zambezia, South Africa’s first 3D animated feature.
Zambezia recently snared the voice talents of Samuel L Jackson, Jeff Goldblum, Abigail Breslin, and Leonard Nimoy. This is not only an impressive lineup, but nicely works into the tried-and-true formula for animated fare. It is not enough for an animated film to pile on as many big names as humanly possible; those actors also have to be blessed with distinct voices that allow the audience to connect with their unique characters. Jackson, Nimoy, and Goldblum definitely have that going for them, and as for Breslin, it’s always good to have a young actor/actress on the roster to lend a genuine spark to the naïve upstart character.
The plot of Zambezia revolves around a young falcon who is forced to defend his fellow birds of prey and the sanctuary in which they live. The title of the film comes from the Zambezi waterfalls in Africa where the film is set-- they're known better here as the Victoria Falls. The most recent animated film about talking birds to be released in theaters was this year’s Rio, which did only marginally well here in the States ($143 million) but made an absolute killing in the foreign markets. ($340 million). It will be interesting to see how an international animated picture does both in the U.S. and worldwide. It may attract a few extra ticket sales based on the added novelty element of being South Africa’s first 3D animated film.
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