Dreamworks To Make Australian Animated Musical With Tim Minchin

Simon de Bruyn, Contributing Writer
In a move as bizarre and unexpected Michel Gondry directing The Green Hornet, Dreamworks Animation has hired quirky Australian indie performer Tim Minchin to write and compose it's first animated musical. And to top it off, they're setting it in the Australian outback.

Minchin has made a name for himself doing musical comedy, definitely leaning towards the musical side of the combination. In addition to touring the world with his shows Minchin has done a few acting gigs -- most recently a guest role in Californication. At the kid friendly end of the spectrum Minchin co-wrote Matilda the Musical which was nominated for 12 Tony Awards, including best musical score. As with Jason Segel romping around naked in Forgetting Sarah Marshall then writing The Muppets, Hollywood is well and truly over the bump of getting people to write kids stuff who would make most parents blush with their other work.

The story of the as-yet-untitled-musical tells the story of an uptight bilby (a desert-dwelling marsupial, hopefully named Bilbo), 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. Let's just hope it's not a thinly veiled allegory for climate change or some other interminable issue that will result in big screen boredom.

While it has nothing to do with the film, I've found some cartoon art of bilbys thanks to the fine folks at Promotion Studios / Character Mill. While it makes the marsupial look like a paranoid Woody Allen-style creature, it also shows what the animal looks like in cartoon form. Props to Dreamworks for not making it about a kangaroo, koala or emu (the classic Aussie cliche animals) although let's hope the final film does feature a Drop Bear villain, as those things are pure evil.
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