It’s been a long time coming for upcoming musical-fantasy animation film, Strange Magic. After 15 years in the making, the show is set to open in local cinemas on January 29.
Executive producer George Lucas was in town together with director Gary Rydstrom and producer Mark Miller to unveil the made-in-Singapore movie ahead of its local debut, greeting the media in Lucasfilm’s Singapore facility, The Sandcrawler. Just in case you’re wondering, yes, the building is named for the Star Wars transport that inspired its design.
With a tagline ‘Everyone deserves to be loved’, the madcap fairy-tale musical was inspired by A Midsummer Night’s Dream and voiced by actors including Alan Cumming and Evan Rachel Wood. Songs such as Elvis Presley’s ‘Can’t Help Falling in Love’ and Kelly Clarkson’s ‘Stronger’ also featured prominently on this film, which George described as “using music and its lyrics to tell the story (…) and sometimes when we had to cut parts of it away, the songs helped to bridge the gap in between”.
For a story that is “from the mind of George Lucas”, it most definitely is a personal one for him he shared that it is, fundamentally, his love story. “I didn’t know it at the time, but it grew into it as we came along. I had been married, got divorced and never thought I would find someone to love again. I was 40, a bachelor, I was raising one child by myself, then I went to have two more; but for 20 years, I was raising my kids and obviously I wanted to get married again but I couldn’t find anybody,” he confessed.
Continuing, the 70-year-old shared, “I’d outgrown the infatuation part – which is another way of saying actors, singers (and) models – so I’d basically given up and said it’s never going to happen. Then, I met somebody who was very different from me – looked very different, was in a different business, child of the 60s, anti-government, anti-Wall Street, anti-everything – at first, we didn’t see why we would have anything in common but as we got to know each other we realised we had everything in common and we were just soul mates.”
“That happened to me at 60. I just never thought that it would, but it did – (it’s) one of those miracles – (but) no pixie dust was involved,” George grinned. While only one of his three daughters, who “likens herself to (protagonist) Marianne since she’s at the stage where she’s struggling to take over her father’s kingdom”, has watched the movie, he is confident that all his children will love the film when they get to see it – including his now 18-month-old daughter.
As for the rest of it – whether there will be a sequel or how well Strange Magic does in the box office, he shrugged it off. “For somebody like me, I’m not looking to make a hit movie. I’m just doing something that I want to do for my own reasons and some of them are hits; some of them people like but others are not. For me, the real thing is doing it and experimenting with different things.”
“I want to find out what happens when I do things and if it doesn’t work, I don’t care about it. (…) I have absolutely no idea how this will be received but I love it and I’ll always be happy with it.”
Strange Magic opens in cinemas on January 29 and is rated G.