In typical George Lucas fashion, Strange Magic, doesn’t disappoint! What began as a pet project 15 years ago is finally hitting the big screen this week. Chip and Co. was one of the select few invited to attend the NYC screening of STRANGE MAGIC. A few days later, we had front row seats at the press conference with George Lucas and many of the talented actors and musicians who worked on the film. In attendance were; Gary Rydstrom (Director/Screenwriter), Meredith Anne Bull (“Dawn”), Sam Palladio (“Roland”), Evan Rachel Wood (“Marianne”), Alan Cumming (“Bog King”), Elijah Kelley (“Sunny”), and Marius de Vries (Music Director and Original Score).
Strange Magic a CGI (Computer-Generated Imagery) world-class animation with top-notch visual effects technique created by Lucasfilm Animation Singapore and Industrial Light & Magic. “From the very beginning, George wanted the film to look amazing—with goblins and fairies like you’ve never quite seen,” says producer Mark S. Miller. “The whole look is detailed and rich—from the look of the woods to the characters and how they move.” It’s an animated feature about love, expressed through music. Something like this has never been done before. 70 percent of the film is music! George Lucas’ goal was clear,“What I wanted to try do was tell a story using the lyrics from existing songs.”
Marius de Vries, the music producer made famous by his talented work on such projects as “Moulin Rouge” serves as both the musical director and composer. He creates his musical magic by weaving together brand new versions of popular songs from the last six decades. STRANGE MAGIC includes songs made famous by artists such as Mickey & Sylvia, Elvis Presley, Kelly Clarkson, Beyoncé and Lady Gaga.
Producer Mark S. Miller says the story is inspired by “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” “It’s a farcical fairy tale with characters and creatures of all shapes and sizes falling in love with the most unlikely candidates.” It has a solid and most enjoyable soundtrack, selected from Mr. Lucas’ most favorite songs spanning sixty years. Most of the songs are about love, falling into and out of it. “The point of the film is that everyone deserves to be loved,” says Lucas. “And true love goes deeper than infatuation or looks. Love happens in the most unlikely places with the most unlikely people.” Finding the right songs for the right part of the film was akin to solving a Rubik’s cube, described Lucas. Luckily, for the audience they succeeded. Parents and grandparents will be singing along to the amazement of the kids, most of whom haven’t heard all of these songs.
Strange Magic begins with Marianne, a fairy, who’s blinded by love on the morning of her wedding. She makes her way through the Fairy Kingdom in search of her betrothed, Roland. Things unexpectedly turn awry for Marianne. Her view on love drastically changes as she vows to never love again. Meanwhile, Bog King, whose past includes a similar twist, leads an unfulfilled life in the Dark Forest. He is driven by the desire to rid the world of primroses, so that no primrose petals may be gathered to create love potions. His sworn enemy is love, and in addition to destroying the primrose petals he imprisons those who create the potion, in an attempt to put an end to love forever. “Primroses grow where shadow meets light,” says director Gary Rydstrom. “In the film, these flowers border the Dark Forest and the Fairy Kingdom—two worlds that are at odds. So primrose petals are the perfect ingredients for a love potion.”
When the two worlds of the Fairy Kingdom and the Dark Forest collide, is when STRANGE MAGIC happens. There is a quest for a love potion which takes Sunny, a sweetheart of an elf, on an odyssey to save his best friend and crush, Dawn. Dawn just happens to be the naïve and lovesick little sister of Marianne. Marianne also rushes to help her sister and this is how she meets Bog King. Sunny needs to locate Bog King’s prisoner, the Sugar Plum fairy. He needs to bring her a primrose petal to make a love potion. Of course the Sugar Plum fairy demands her release but agrees to make the potion. She warns of the dangers associated with the potion, most importantly, that Sunny mustn’t let it fall into the wrong hands. Of course, nothing goes as planned! Love always finds a way and here, in STRANGE MAGIC, it flourishes between the most unlikely of creatures.
Watch it all unfold when Strange Magic hits theaters on Friday, January 23, 2015!
Written by a confirmed Disney Addict…My name is Diane and I’m a Disney Addict, a former Disney College Program Cast Member, a Disney College of Knowledge Graduate, an Annual WDW Passholder and current East Coast Entertainment Writer for Chip and Co.
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