In what will be her first movie project since taking time off for maternity leave, Beyoncé has signed up to voice-act in the 20th Century Fox 3D CG-animated picture titled Epic.
Bey (voice-acting for Queen Tara in the film), joins Colin Farrell as Ronin, The Hunger Games‘ Josh Hutcherson as Nod, Amanda Seyfried as Mary Katherine, Johnny Knoxville as Mandrake, Aziz Ansari as Mub, rapper Pitbull as Bufo, Jason Sudeikis as Bomba, and Aerosmith and American Idol's Steven Tyler as Nim Galuu.
The film, to be directed by Ice Age helmer Chris Wedge, is described as...
...a battle deep in the forest between the forces of good and evil. When a teenaged girl finds herself magically transported into this secret universe, she must band together with a rag-tag team of fun and whimsical characters to save that world, which in turn saves the real world.
Epic will be released May 24, 2013.
Reading over this voice-cast list got me thinking...
I wonder if animated studio features like this one, and all those that have come before it, would have been any less successful if the voices behind each animated character in each movie, were provided by non-stars; "no-list" actors (you could say), that could actually really use the work and the money.
Would box office be hurt if studios instead gave an *unknown* the opportunity to perform, instead of calling on established celebrities?
I suppose the main reason for using celebrities is for marketing purposes; but I still have to wonder: these are often family-friendly films, aimed at kids, who probably could care less about whose voice is behind each character in each film.
And I'm not so sure adults care either, do we?
I've seen a few of these films, and the names listed in the "voiced by" section of the credits aren't the attraction. If I couldn't place the voice to a face, I would be perfectly OK with that. The style of animation, the characters, and the story usually are the draw, aren't they? Not necessarily the faceless people voicing each character.