Animation is such a long and expensive process it’s normally only the big boys such as Disney and Pixar who can take on feature-length projects, but a few others do manage to get made, and that’s just what Peter Lepeniotis is doing with The Nut Job.
And to try and ensure him movie gets a decent chance, he’s recruited a fine voice cast for the film, with Deadline reporting that Will Arnett, Katherine Heigl, Brendan Fraser, Stephen Lang, Sarah Gadon and Jeff Dunham have all signed up. The film is based on Lepeniotis’ 2005 short film Surly Squirrel, and is set in the 1950s in a place called Oakton. At the centre of it is a squirrel named Surly and a rat named Buddy who try to work out plans to rob a nut store.
Lepeniotis is a veteran of both Pixar and ILM and worked on movies such as Toy Story 2, Casper, and Fantasia/2000, so he knows what he’s doing, but for this one he’s teamed up with Canada-based animation company ToonBox Entertainment, along with Korea’s Redrover Co, Ltd.
You can watch the original short below.