South Africa’s beloved canine icon Jock of the Bushveld has again been immortalised on film, this time in an animated 3D version which, if director Duncan MacNeillie has his way, is set for international distribution.
MacNeillie will travel to Los Angeles at the end of November 2010 to present the film to Hollywood film studios and independent distributors. With the recent successes of local films such as District 9 and Tsoti paving the way, he hopes to wrap up an international distribution deal before he returns.
A few years ago the director felt that conditions were right for revisiting the story and set up production company Jock Animation to bring his vision to life.
The animated version follows the same story line as the live motion films, but this time around the animals get to tell the tale.
Animation has given the producers more versatility, and in the new version viewers will get to know Jock’s mother Jess; dainty poodle Polly; Snarly the mongrel, Jock’s rival for Polly’s heart; George the baboon; Pezulu, a noisy rooster; and many more characters.
In October Jock Animation confirmed the participation of Canadian superstar Bryan Adams as the spoken voice of Jock. Local actors include former radio show host Jeremy Mansfield, poet and presenter Bongani Nxumalo, and actors Sylvaine Strike, Terence Bridgett, Michael de Pinna and Michael Richards.
MacNeillie also approached no less a figure than Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, asking him to be the voice of the spiritual leader Tata. The Arch agreed and has already recorded his part, as has Adams.
Marius Brouwer, who worked on the official Fifa 2010 World Cup album, composed the score and was in charge of music production until he fell ill in September. Keith Hutchinson has since stepped in to fill the gap.
Adams, Clegg, local songbird Nianell and Craig Hinds of popular rock group Watershed have all worked on individual songs for the film.
Andy Rice, head of the film’s publicity company Jock Marketing, introduced his Oscar-winning brother Sir Tim Rice to the film. The lyricist, famous for his work on The Lion King and Evita, was enchanted by the film, and contributed lyrics to the six main songs on the soundtrack.
Production started in 2007 and is scheduled to wrap in December 2010, followed by the local release in March 2011. This date may change, depending on international distributors.