Larrikins (partially found cancelled DreamWorks film; 2018)

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BilbyPoster.jpg

Poster for Bilby, the short based on Larrikins.

Status: Partially Found

Larrikins is an animated comedy musical that was at one point in development at DreamWorks Animation. First announced in 2013, the movie was based on an original story written by screenwriter Harry Cripps, which told the story of a bilby named Perry who leaves home alongside Red the kangaroo to travel across the Australian Outback.

The movie had actors such as Hugh Jackman, Margot Robbie, and Naomi Watts set to star in unspecified roles; English-Australian comedian and musician Tim Minchin held the helm of the project, writing songs for the movie, as well co-directing it alongside DreamWorks veteran Chris Miller. The movie was slated for a February 16th, 2018 release, which would have made it the first DreamWorks Animation movie to be distributed by Universal Pictures, after the latter’s parent company, Comcast, acquiring the animation studio in March 2016.

On March 5th, 2017, Tim Minchin announced on his personal blog that DreamWorks had cancelled Larrikins.[1] However, with the movie far into production, members of Larrikins’ production team, Liron Topaz, Pierre Perifel and JP Sanscertain, made use of the assets already made for the film, like character and background models, and came up with the short film Bilby, titled after the main character’s species, which premiered at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival in 2018.[2] Illustrator and character designer Peter de Sève shared concept art of Larrikins shortly after its cancellation.[3][4]

On December 21st, 2018 Bilby was uploaded to DreamWorks' official YouTube channel, but was deleted sometime afterward. (It is, however, available on the How to Train Your Dragon 3 Blu-ray release.) Soon after the upload (on January 2nd, 2019), Peter de Sève shared more Larrikins concept art.[5] On April 24th, 2019, DreamWorks art director Richard Daskas shared concept paintings on Tumblr, crediting de Sève and animator Pierre Perifel for the character design.[6] Additionally, on an unknown date, designer Gabriele Pennacchioli shared concept art from 2015 of Perry's family.[7] It's unclear just how much of what's seen in the concept art was actually going to be used in the eventual film.

On September 26, 2018, animator Scott Lemmer uploaded on his Vimeo account an animation reel showing footage from Larrikins. On January 29th, 2019, Alexis Wanneroy, former animation supervisor at DreamWorks, also uploaded onto his Vimeo account another reel showing footage from both Bilby and Larrikins, as well as B.O.O.: Bureau of Otherworldly Operations, another unreleased DreamWorks project. A couple of days later, on February 9th, Wanneroy uploaded a pre-production reel showing additional animation from both cancelled movies. Roughly 50 seconds of footage consists of animation tests from Larrikins, while 25 more seconds come from two finished scenes, one of which features the eponymous character from the short Bilby.

Gallery

Videos

Scott Lemmer's animation reel. Larrikins footage starting at 2:03.
Alexis Wanneroy's animation reel.
Wanneroy's pre-production reel.

References