TriggerFish Animation does it again, as they putting together quite the phenomenal international cast for there latest film Khumba as Liam Neeson officially joins the animated locally made film. The star of Taken, has signed on to play a malevolent leopard in the South African animated film, Khumba. It is the second animated feature to come out of Triggerfish Animation Studios. The Cape Town studio racked up a successfully global release of Adventures in Zambezia last year.

Silverston, who is also the director, is proud to have someone of Neeson's calibre in the role of the villain: "He brought a real menacing gravitas to this key character with his powerful, distinctive voice. The fact that he took part in our movie is a testament to the quality of animation produced in South Africa and I am immensely proud of what our team has achieved."

Liam Neeson
The film is represented by LA-based sales agent CMG and will be distributed by Millennium Entertainment in the US later this year. The cast to date includes rising stars Jake T Austin (Rio, New Year's Eve), AnnaSophia Robb (The Carrie Diaries, Soul Surfer) and Joey Richter (A Very Potter Musical), as well as Emmy-award winner Loretta Devine (Grey's Anatomy, Crash), Richard E Grant (The Iron Lady, Corpse Bride) and British comedy actress Catherine Tate (The Catherine Tate Show, Doctor Who).

Triggerfish Animation Studios, the production company behind the globally successful animation feature Adventures in Zambezia, has secured backing for Khumba, its latest project, from award-winning production and finance company Spier Films, GFC reports.

Spier has funded quite a number successful films, however Khumba will be the company's first animation project.

"We are very proud to be involved with Khumba because of the amazing achievement that was Zambezia which is still entertaining audiences globally," said Michael Auret, managing director of Spier Films. "We believe that animation is an area where South Africa can compete in the international market and we want to do everything to support these kinds of projects. There is a great creative team behind Triggerfish and we trust them to produce something even better with this film."

Scheduled for release later this year, Khumba tells the story of a half-striped zebra who leaves his home in search of the magic waterhole where legend has it, the first zebras got their stripes. Teaming up with an overprotective, sassy wildebeest and a self-obsessed ostrich, the plucky young zebra meets an array of wacky characters in an unforgettable adventure through the Great Karoo desert to earn his stripes.

Following on from the success of their first widely released animated feature Adventures in Zambezia, Triggerfish chief executive officer Stuart Forrest is thrilled to have Spier on board, making Khumba a 100% locally funded film.

"Having a financial partner like Spier, along with our other South African investors the Industrial Development Corporation, Department of Trade and Industry and the National Film and Video Foundation, is such a great affirmation that we are producing a world-class product that does our country proud. Zambezia is the first African animation film to be nominated for two Annie Awards and has become Africa's most successful film export since The Gods Must Be Crazy, released over 30 years ago. We expect Khumba to break this longstanding record."

The original story was penned by Triggerfish writers Raffaella Delle Donne and Anthony Silverston in consultation with Jonathan Roberts (The Lion King) and has been picked up by Millennium Entertainment for North American distribution


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