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Martin Short, Maya Rudolph Join Ricky Gervais in Animated Film ‘Willoughbys’

Variety logo Variety 6/2/2017 Dave McNary
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Martin Short, Maya Rudolph, Jane Krakowski, Terry Crews, and Sean Cullen will voice Bron Animation’s movie “The Willoughbys.”

The project is based on the Lois Lowry children’s book of the same name. Rudolph will be the voice of Nanny, who looks after the Willoughby children. Crews is voicing candy mogul Commander Melanoff, and Short and Krakowski will voice Father and Mother Willoughby, parents so in love with each other that they forget they even have children. Cullen voices the twin boys Barnaby A and B.

Ricky Gervais was previously announced as the narrator of the film, which follows the four Willoughby children. When abandoned by their selfish parents, they embark on an adventure through the modern world, colliding with a cat, an orphan, a nanny, and a candy mogul, to reunite with the “family they were born into.”

“The Willoughbys” is being written and directed by Kris Pearn with Cory Evans co-directing, and is currently in pre-production at Bron’s studio in Burnaby, Canada. Bron’s Brenda Gilbert, Aaron L. Gilbert, and Luke Carroll are producing. Gervais is an executive producer alongside Jason Cloth of Creative Wealth Media.

“We’re so excited to have this amazing cast, some of the funniest actors in the world adding their distinctive voices to the Willoughbys,” Pearn said. “It’s a very special movie with a timely message and I know Ricky, Maya, Terry, Martin, Jane, and Sean are going to have so much fun breathing life into these characters.”

Pearn’s credits include head of story on “Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs,” co-director of “Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2,” and story supervisor for “Arthur Christmas.” He has been nominated twice for an Annie Award for his work on “Open Season” and “Arthur Christmas.”

Bron Animation is also in production on the animated movie “Henchmen,” which features the voices of James Marsden, Thomas Middleditch, Rosario Dawson, Alfred Molina, Nathan Fillion, Krakowski, Rob Riggle, Craig Robinson, Will Sasso, and Bobcat Goldthwait. Its past animated projects include three “Mighty Monsters” specials, distributed by Entertainment One.

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