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DreamWorks Animation goes Down Under for animated musical

EntertainmentMusicMusical TheaterDreamWorks AnimationTony AwardsRise of the Guardians (movie)Media General Inc.

DreamWorks Animation is turning to the Australian outback for inspiration for its first full-on animated musical.

The Glendale-based studio said it had tapped award-winning composer, actor and writer Tim Minchin to help create a musical project called "Larrikins," which is Australian slang for mischievous youth.

The all-animal comedy, based on an original idea written by Harry Cripps ("Supernova") and produced by Christina Steinberg ("Rise of the Guardians," "National Treasure"), tells the story of an uptight bilby (a desert-dwelling marsupial), who has lived a sheltered life in the safety of his family burrow.  When he ventures out and learns of a dangerous secret, he finds himself immersed in a musical adventure across the untamed Australian outback. No release date has been set for the movie.

"Our whole team is incredibly excited about this project," said Bill Damaschke, the studio's chief creative officer. "We've been looking to work with the immensely talented Tim Minchin on something for a while, and there is no doubt that this project is a perfect fit.  He and Harry Cripps will be a fantastic team."

Minchin, who is likely to take on a larger creative role in addition to writing the music/lyrics for the film, co-wrote "Matilda the Musical," which was awarded a 2012 Olivier Award for best new musical and is currently nominated for 12 Tony Awards, including best musical score. 

"I was lucky enough to grow up in Western Australia and know that the Australian outback is vast and spellbinding and heart-stoppingly beautiful, and the characters that inhabit it are unique and hilarious and tough and cheeky,'' Minchin said. "I am hugely excited to be working with Harry and the DreamWorks Animation team in their mission to capture some of this unique aesthetic and quirky, iconoclastic culture on film. It's going to be bloody good fun."  

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EntertainmentMusicMusical TheaterDreamWorks AnimationTony AwardsRise of the Guardians (movie)Media General Inc.
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