CULVER CITY, Calif., Feb. 2, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Original Force Animation continues to add cast and filmmaking talent to its first animated feature Duck Duck Goose. Joining the impressive list of vocal talent, actor/writer Jim Gaffigan has been cast in one of the film's leading roles and will voice the rebellious but lovable goose Peng. Legendary director/writer/actor Carl Reiner will voice Larry, a venerable, wise and loyal friend who happens to be a turtle. Composer Mark Isham (Crash) will be creating the film's score. All were announced today by co-presidents Sandra Rabins and Penney Finkelman Cox.
Gaffigan and Reiner will join previously announced cast including Stephen Fry, Zendaya, Jennifer Grey, Molly Shannon, Lance Lim, Greg Proops, Diedrich Bader, and Rick Overton.
Duck Duck Goose is the first of three feature animated films currently in production for Original Force Animation, one of China's most prominent and successful digital animation studios, which opened a Los Angeles-based production and development office in 2015, led by Finkelman Cox and Rabins.
"We could not be more thrilled to have Jim Gaffigan and Carl Reiner adding their comedic talent to our film," said Rabins and Finkelman Cox. "We love the way this cast has come together and we are enormously excited that their work will be given additional heart and soul through the magic of Mark Isham's score."
Added director Christopher Jenkins: "With the comic talent of Jim Gaffigan and Carl Reiner you stand back and let the jokes come. It's a complete thrill to work with talent of this caliber. Add to that the sparkling musical talent of composer Mark Isham and it's easy to see how we have something special coming together."
Duck Duck Goose is a comedic story of the most unlikely family ever. After he's grounded by an injury, Peng (Gaffigan), a high-flying bachelor is saddled with two wide-eyed orphans as they come face-to-face with the dangers and beauty of the outside world in this funny and touching animated feature. Our free-wheeling hero rejects the community of his tight-knit flock of geese in an attempt to live life on his own terms. But after he narrowly rescues two young ducklings, Chi and Chao (Zendaya and Lance Lim), from an eccentric but deadly cat named Banzou (Proops), the two latch onto the Goose like a parent; and with a paralyzing winter on the horizon and the departure of both their flocks, Peng agrees to look after the ducklings out of fear his injury might be discovered by Banzou, and other predators who would prey on a goose who cannot fly. The makeshift trio embarks on a beautiful and dangerous journey through mountains and lakes, bamboo forests, marble caves and deep river valleys to reach their respective flocks. Along the way, Peng must learn to care for the two ducklings despite his independent and care free attitude, all the while evading the hungry and relentless Pallas Cat, who'll stop at nothing to claim the ducklings he feels entitled to. Peng's biggest challenge is learning to shed his selfish ways and become the responsible "parent" no one ever thought he could be, including himself.
The film is directed by Christopher Jenkins (Home) from a screenplay by Christopher Jenkins and Rob Muir. Jenkins previously collaborated with Finkelman Cox and Rabins on the acclaimed motion picture Surf's Up when the duo launched Sony Pictures Animation. Rabins and Finkelman Cox are producing the feature along with Viola Chen.
ABOUT JIM GAFFIGAN
Jim Gaffigan is a Grammy nominated comedian, New York Times best-selling author, top touring performer, and multi-platinum-selling father of five. He recently wrapped the first season of his semi-fictitious television show, The Jim Gaffigan Show, which TV Land picked up for a second season and premieres this summer. The series, lauded by The Los Angeles Times as "Fun and Funny," and People Magazine as "One of Summer TV's bright spots," was developed by Peter Tolan, Gaffigan and his wife, Jeannie, who both also serve as executive producers and showrunners. The single-camera comedy co-stars Ashley Williams, Michael Ian Black, and Adam Goldberg and revolves around one man's struggle to balance fatherhood, stand-up comedy and an insatiable appetite.
With multiple projects in motion, Gaffigan is currently traveling the world on behalf of his stand-up tour, Contagious, and headlined Madison Square Garden for the first time in December, becoming one of only ten comics in history to sell out The Garden. Last fall, Gaffigan had the honor of performing in front of Pope Francis and over 1 million festival attendees at the Festival of Families in Philadelphia.
Gaffigan's fourth special (Beyond the Pale -2006, King Baby -2009, Mr. Universe -2012), Obsessed premiered on Comedy Central in 2014 and the DVD/CD was released soon after by Comedy Central Records. Obsessed premiered at #1 on iTunes which marked the fifth time Gaffigan reached the Top 25 Comedy category on iTunes. The album also earned a nomination for 'Best Comedy Album of the Year' at the 2015 Grammy Awards.
In 2013, Jim's first book, Dad Is Fat, was released by Crown Publishing and debuted at #5 on The New York Times Bestseller's List and remained on the list for 17 weeks. His second book, Food: A Love Story, was released in the fall of 2014 and debuted at #3 on The New York Times Bestseller's List.
In addition to his own television show, widely popular stand-up comedy and best-selling books, Jim has guest starred on many television comedies and dramas, ranging from "Portlandia" to HBO's cult hits "Flight of the Concords" and "Bored to Death" to dramatic roles in all three versions of "Law & Order." On the silver screen, his credits include Three Kings, Hot Pursuit, Super Troopers, and 17 Again amongst many others. Taking a dramatic turn, Gaffigan costarred with Peter Saragaard and Winona Ryder in the 2015 drama, Experimenter, and will next be seen opposite Naomi Watts, Liev Schreiber, Ron Perlman and Elisabeth Moss in the independent film, The Bleeder.
ABOUT CARL REINER
Depending on who you talk to, Carl Reiner is best known as a co-star on the legendary television program "Your Show of Shows"...or as co-star of the Oceans 11 franchise…or as the creator and co-star of "The Dick Van Dyke Show"...or as The Interviewer of "The 2,000 Year Old Man"... or as director of feature films, including The Jerk, All of Me and Oh, God! ... or as father of actor-writer-director-producer Rob Reiner -- and, husband of jazz vocalist Estelle Reiner...or as the recipient of 12 Emmy awards ...or...
Born in the Bronx, Reiner is the son of a watchmaker. At Evander Childs High School, his interest was baseball, but at age 16 he took a job as a machinist helper in the millinery trade.
He simultaneously enrolled in drama school for eight months and landed a part as a second tenor in an updated version of "The Merry Widow."
Reiner subsequently-served in World War II, first training as a radio operator in the Air Force, followed by an assignment to Georgetown University to study French in order to become an interpreter, then as a teletype operator in the signal corps and later as a comedian and actor with Maurice Evans' Special Services Entertainment Unit. He toured the Pacific for eighteen months in G.I. revues.
Upon his honorable discharge in 1946, he won the leading role in the national company of "Call Me Mister" and after three more years in various Broadway musicals, joined Sid Caesar and Imogene Coca on "Your Show of Shows."
In 1958, his first novel, "Enter Laughing," was published. An autobiographical work, the book chronicled Reiner's frustrations as a young machinist helper in the millinery trade and his eventual entry into show business. The book subsequently became the basis for a Broadway play (adapted by Joe Stein) and feature film (directed and co-produced by Reiner) of the same name.
In 1961, Reiner conceived "The Dick Van Dyke Show," which would become one of the most famous and best-loved sitcoms in television history. Of course, audiences have never forgotten his co-starring role on the show as the toupee-wearing producer Alan Brady.
That same year, he wrote his first feature film, The Thrill of It All, for Doris Day and James Garner.
Reiner's other feature film credits as a director include: The Comic, co-written by Reiner and Aaron Ruben; Where's Poppa?, which starred George Segal and Ruth Gordon; Oh, God! starring George Burns; four films with actor Steve Martin: The Jerk, Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid, The Man With Two Brains and All of Me; Summer Rental with John Candy; The One and Only with Henry Winkler; Summer School with Mark Harmon; Bert Rigby, You're A Fool, which Reiner also wrote; Sibling Rivalry, with Kirstie Alley; Fatal Instinct, with Armand Assante and Kate Nelligan; and That Old Feeling, with Bette Midler and Dennis Farina.
Reiner and Mel Brooks released a CD and book entitled, "The 2000 Year Old Man In The Year 2000." (HarperCollins Publisher and Rhino Records Distributor).
His motion picture acting credits include a starring role in the The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming and featured or cameo roles in It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, The Gazebo, Generation, Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid, The End, and The Slums Of Beverly Hills.
His second novel, "All Kinds of Love," was published in April 1993. His third novel, "Continue Laughing," was published in June 1995. Reiner has a book of short stories which was published in September of 1999. The title is "How Paul Robeson Saved My-Life and other Mostly Happy Stories."
Reiner recently released three volumes of his memoir, "I Remember Me," "I Just Remembered," and "What I Forgot To Remember," along with his newest, "Why And When The Dick Van Dyke Show Was Born."
Reiner and his wife Estelle, were married for 65 years prior to her passing away in 2008. They are also parents of two other children: Annie Reiner, a poet- painter playwright-psychoanalyst; and Lucas Reiner, a painter-screenwriter-director. He calls all three of his children "terribly civilized, wonderful human beings."
ABOUT MARK ISHAM
From his days as one of the pioneering icons of electronic music, a jazz artist to his current status as a renowned film and TV composer, Mark Isham continues to be one of the most prolific and provocative artists working today. His gift for creating unforgettable melodies and his love of fresh, innovative musical palettes have earned Isham many awards including a Grammy, an Emmy, and a Clio. Additionally, his film scores have earned him Oscar and Golden Globe nominations. Isham is also the recipient of the prestigious Henry Mancini Career Achievement Award for musical excellence.
Isham's musical signature is evident in his memorable scores for such notable Oscar-winning films as Crash and A River Runs Through It, the latter earning him a best original score nomination. Isham also composed for a number of Golden Globe-winning films such as Reversal of Fortune and Short Cuts, earning a best original score nomination for Nell. For his work on The Black Dahlia, Isham was awarded "Best Score" by the International Film Music Critics Association. Isham's collaborators include icons from both film and music – Robert Redford, Tom Cruise, Brian De Palma, Jodi Foster, Robert Altman, Sting, Will.I.Am, Sidney Lumet, and Mick Jagger.
His recent work includes hit TV shows, Once Upon a Time and Emmy-winning American Crime as well as Gavin O'Connor's upcoming film The Accountant starring Ben Affleck and Anna Kendrick, and Scott Hicks' upcoming feature Fallen.
Crash director Paul Haggis stated, "I merely asked Mark Isham, to completely forget everything he has ever done and reinvent himself. And he has never failed to do so." Robert Redford, who worked with Isham on four features (Quiz Show, A River Runs Through It, Lions for Lambs and The Conspirator) remarked, "Mark is a man who really lives his craft. One of the most attractive features about Mark is that he knows how to keep the music subtle, but still support the drama. Mark does that so beautifully."
As a performing artist, Mark has added his unique sound – melodic, moody, sexy and cool – to a wide variety of genres. He has graced the albums of such diverse artists as Bruce Springsteen, Willie Nelson, Lyle Lovett, Ziggy Marley, Joni Mitchell, The Rolling Stones, Chris Isaak, and Van Morrison. His solo recordings span from electronica and classic jazz to hip-hop and ethnic world music, receiving worldwide critical acclaim including Grammy nominations for his albums Castalia and Tibet, and a win for his Virgin Records release, Mark Isham. He has just completed a new album release for 2016 entitled Cover Art.
ABOUT ORIGINAL FORCE ANIMATION
Original Force Animation is dedicated to telling compelling, visually stunning stories through digital animation. The studio recently opened a facility in Los Angeles led by Hollywood production veterans Penney Finkelman Cox and Sandra Rabins, who have overseen such animated motion pictures as Shrek, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, Surf's Up and The Prince of Egypt. Under their auspices, Original Force Animation is developing and producing feature films both on its own and in partnership with major content providers in the U.S. and China. The studio is actively building relationships with visionary filmmakers and artists and exploring innovative approaches to creating animated entertainment with broad, global appeal.
Founded in 1999 by President and CEO Harley Zhao, Original Force Animation has established itself as one of the preeminent animation houses in the video game arena, providing top-quality content services to global clients including Microsoft, Activision, Electronic Arts, Sony, Disney, Rockstar Games and Tencent. Its art team has created in-game animation and effects for dozens of top-selling titles including "Grand Theft Auto V," "Need for Speed: The Run," "League of Legends" and "The Sims 3."
With nearly 1,000 employees across its Los Angeles, Beijing, Nanjing, Shanghai and Chengdu offices, Original Force Animation prides itself as a major animation studio with production facilities in both the U.S. and China. The company made its first foray into Hollywood when it was chosen by DreamWorks Animation to serve as the lead animation shop for "Dragons: Riders of Berk," the television spinoff of the studio's 2011 Oscar®-nominated feature How to Train Your Dragon. The series premiered on Cartoon Network in 2012 and netted a 2013 Annie Award.
Chinese digital-entertainment giant Tencent is a strategic investor in Original Force Animation. Tencent is developing a feature film with Original Force Animation based on their game "QQ Speed."
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Elzer & Associates
SOURCE Original Force Animation