The animated film that's closing Critics Week at Cannes is a bit unusual: Called Free Jimmy, it stars a drug-addicted circus elephant, Lapp Mafia (one of whom, pictured here, bears an uncanny resemblance to James Carville), and "the world's first 3D digitally animated sex scene." If nothing else, it's safe to assume that, while Hollywood may be out of ideas, people in Norway certainly aren't. The movie is actually based on a Norwegian comic strip, and has been in the works since 2000.

Interestingly, the creation of an English-language audio track have been in the works nearly as long. According to The Guardian, vocal casting began as early as 2002, as did the search for a writer who could essentially rewrite the script (the direct translation just wasn't funny). The task of creating the English screenplay fell to one Simon Pegg, just off the well-deserved success of Shaun of the Dead. In addition to the pressure to create something hilarious, Pegg faced an usual challenge: Because animation was already underway in Norway, if the English-language version of the movie was to avoid looking like a poorly dubbed kung-fu film, he had to write dialogue that, when spoken, exactly matched the length of the lines in the original script. Damn. I sure as hell hope he got paid alot.

Hired to speak Pegg's words was a multi-national cast, including Woody Harrelson, Phil Daniels, Kyle MacLachlan and Jim Broadbent; the first chance to see their work will be next week at Cannes, so we'll have to wait until then to hear how it is. Personally, I'm encouraged -- the criticism of the movie (released last month in Norway) focus almost entirely on the awful script. Since it looks fantastic (teaser) and the story is clearly insane, if Pegg actually succeeded in fixing the dialogue, this could be something pretty freaking awesome.
categories Cinematical