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A holiday just wouldn’t be a holiday without a children’s animated movie to coincide with it. If anyone was already planning their 2014 Thanksgiving around the release of Jimmy Hayward’s Turkeys, you’re out of luck. But it’s not even bad news, pilgrim.
A little fat bird with a waddle told The Wrap that Relativity Media will release the film over a year earlier than its original November 14, 2014 date, motivated by well-received early footage. Instead the film will gobble up the November 1, 2013 spot that Dreamworks Animations’ Mr. Peabody and Sherman abandoned a few weeks ago. As if that weren’t enough to look forward to, Amy Poehler has just signed on to lend her voice talents to the star-studded cast.
Poehler will be the female lead opposite Owen Wilson and Woody Harrelson, joined by a supporting cast that includes Colm Meaney, Keith David, Dan Fogler, Downton Abbey’s Lesley Nicol, and George Takei (and with Takei involved, you know social media is going to get some sneak peeks behind the scenes).
Turkeys director Jimmy Hayward was responsible for the wildly different Horton Hears a Who! and Jonah Hex, so it isn’t exactly obvious how well-equipped for the rush he’ll be. Studio execs spent part of the week considering all of the obstacles this shift will present in finishing the film, much less the promotion and merchandising. Project development on the movie actually began all the way back in June 2009, and actual production started in January 2011.
The story behind Turkeys focuses on two rebellious turkeys who use a time machine to travel back to the first Thanksgiving, where they attempt to eradicate turkeys from the traditional holiday meal. Sounds like something the ASPCA can stand behind. The script was written by Craig Mazin (The Hangover Part II, Identity Thief), John J. Strauss (There’s Something About Mary, The Wild), and David I. Stern (Open Season 2, Open Season 3). Will they get it done in time, even though they’ve only just added a voice for a major character?