Larrikins is a cancelled film from DreamWorks Animation. The film was to be written by Harry Cripps and produced by Christina Steinberg. It was set for a February 16, 2018 release, before Minchin announced the film's cancellation on March 5, 2017.
Had it been made, it would have been the first DreamWorks Animation film to be distributed by Universal Pictures, whose parent company NBCUniversal acquired DreamWorks Animation in 2016. This was the second 2018 DreamWorks Animation film to be cancelled, the other being The Croods 2 (until September 17, 2017, when it got put put back into production). With the cancellation of Larrikins, DreamWorks Animation has no film coming out in 2018, making the first year DreamWorks had skipped without a film since 1999.
When Perry, an uptight bilby gets kicked out of his sheltered life of his family burrow, he ventures out and finds himself launched on a musical adventure across the mystical Australian outback. On the way, he must battle an evil army of monsters known as the Syvalionilas, or "Syvas", for short and win the heart of his one true love, a female bilby called Bonnie. He also befriends kangaroo, Red and cane toad, Andrew, who he must team up with in order to save the empire of the wind.
Minchin is currently alternating between writing the songs for Groundhog Day and the songs for Larrikins, an animated DreamWorks movie scheduled for release in 2018, which he is also directing.
Set in the Australian outback, Larrikins centres on an anxious little bilby called Perry and a kangaroo called Red.
“The kangaroo is hard-edged and unemotional, thinks everything is a bit of a joke, hates authority and all that good Aussie stuff – though it’s very important to me that the movie moves us beyond that,” says Minchin.
“Perry is an OCD, hyper-controlling, very fearful, very kind little dude compulsively stacking berries all the time. They go on this massive road journey together and Perry has to learn to be brave and Red has to learn to be more caring. It all sounds quite twee but it’s actually very funny. There are lots of laughs in it. The term Larrikin is used, but its definition is actually only obliquely discussed. We never clearly define it, that’s part of the charm of the word – it’s kind of ambiguous.”
“It’s an Australian story and I’m writing very much as an Australian writing about Australia,” adds Minchin.
As you’d expect, he will be making some political points along the way. There’s a song called Proper Aussie, for example. “It’s sung by Howard the crocodile, who is a bureaucratic bully in charge of a bit of river that our heroes have to cross. He sees his job as preventing ‘non-native species’ from spreading. It’s quite fun because we get to talk about fauna issues as well as xenophobia,” says Minchin.
Peter de Sève, who is best known for designing the characters of the Ice Age franchise, made concept art for the film.
- This would have been the first DreamWorks Animation film to be released in February.
- ↑ http://www.broadwayworld.com/bwwmusic/article/MATILDA-and-GROUNDHOG-DAYs-Tim-Minchin-Comes-to-Feinsteins54-Below-One-Night-Only-20170305
- ↑ "Massive Layoffs at DreamWorks Animation". Big Cartoon News, January 24, 2015
- ↑ http://www.cartoonbrew.com/business/dreamworks-kills-tim-minchins-larrikins-149137.html