The project comes from the South African production company behind the animation feature Adventures in Zambezia, which we also covered on this blog.
Spier Films (who have also funded other South African films we've highlighted, like U-Carmen eKhayelitsha and Master Harold and the Boys) is backing Triggerfish Animation Studios' Khumba, which tells the story of a half-striped zebra who leaves his home in search of the magic waterhole where, legend has it, the first zebras got their stripes. Teaming up with an overprotective, sassy wildebeest and a self-obsessed ostrich, the plucky young zebra meets an array of wacky characters in a adventure through the Great Karoo semi-desert to earn his stripes.
Great Karoo is located in South Africa.
Scheduled to premiere at France’s Annecy International Animation Film Festival which runs this week, Khumba's cast of voice actors includes: Loretta Devine, Phil LaMarr, Laurence Fishburne, and Ben Vereen, as well as Liam Neeson, Steve Buscemi, Jake T Austin and others.
The script was penned by Triggerfish writers Raffaella Delle Donne and Anthony Silverston in consultation with Jonathan Roberts (The Lion King), and has already been acquired for North American distribution by Millennium Entertainment.
"We are very proud to be involved with Khumba because of the amazing achievement that was Zambezia which is still entertaining audiences globally," said Michael Auret, managing director of Spier Films. "We believe that animation is an area where South Africa can compete in the international market and we want to do everything to support these kinds of projects. There is a great creative team behind Triggerfish and we trust them to produce something even better with this film."