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Steve Buscemi Joins 'Khumba' Cast

Steve Buscemi joins the voice cast of Triggerfish’s 3D Animated feature “Khumba.”


Beverly Hills, CA -- South Africa based Triggerfish Animation Studios, the company behind the worldwide 3D Animated hit Adventures in Zambezia (highest grossing South African film in last 30 years) has added the voice talent of Steve Buscemi to join Liam Neeson, Laurence Fishburne, AnnaSophia Robb, Jake T. Austin, Loretta Devine and Richard E. Grant in their new 3D Animated feature Khumba

Additionally, Anika Noni Rose, the voice of Princess Tiana in Disney’s $250 million dollar-grossing film The Princess and the Frog, joins the team as Lungisa, Khumba’s mother and wife to Fishburne’s character, Seko. Rose, a Tony Award winner, is also known for her starring work in the film adaptation of the Broadway musical Dreamgirls, the HBO series The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency and numerous other film and television projects.

Golden Globe and SAG Award-winner Buscemi plays the colorful vagabond character Skalk in Khumba and holds the lead in HBO’s critically-acclaimed series Boardwalk Empire. His work on Boardwalk Empire has also earned him two Emmy nominations. Buscemi has appeared in numerous films, including Fargo, The Big Lebowski, Reservoir Dogs andTrees Lounge, which marked his full-length feature film directorial debut. He has provided the voices for characters in many animated features including Pixar’s Monsters, Inc., Paramount Pictures’ Charlotte’s Web as thevoice of Templeton the rat, Sony Pictures’ Oscar nominated animated film Monster House, and Columbia Pictures’ HotelTransylvania as the voice of “Wayne.” Buscemi will next be heard reprising his role as the voice of Randall Boggs in Pixar’s Monsters University the much anticipated sequel toMonsters, Inc. Buscemi and Rose’s deals were brokered by WME and Ned Lott on behalf of Triggerfish Animation. Buscemi is also repped by The Gotham Group

Khumba tells the story of a half-striped Zebra (Austin) who is blamed for a severe drought by his superstitious herd. He 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 (Devine) and a self-obsessed ostrich (Grant), this plucky young zebra meets an array of wacky characters in an unforgettable adventure through the Great Karoo to earn his stripes.

The original story was penned by Triggerfish writers Raffaella Delle Donne and Anthony Silverston in consultation with Jonathan Roberts, co-writer of The Lion King. Silverston is also the director. Stuart Forrest of Triggerfish Animation Studios (Zambezia) produced the feature. The film is represented internationally by Edward Noeltner’s Cinema Management Group. Millennium Entertainment will be releasing the film in the US later this year.

Noeltner and team have closed over 30 international distribution agreements covering some 50 international territories on the film.  While major territories such as the US/Canada, Germany, France, Russia, S. Korea, Eastern Europe and all of Latin America have already been pre-sold, CMG has been holding on to the UK, Australia, Italy, Spain  and Scandinavia until the final film screens in 3D.

Edward Noeltner, CMG head stated, “With his trademark voice, Steve Buscemi took the character of Skalk in a new and exciting direction. Anika Noni Rose as Khumba’s mother brought a wonderful sense of warmth and tenderness to her character of Lungisa. We couldn’t be more thrilled to have them both onboard to complete the voice cast for Khumba.”

Stuart Forrest, CEO of Triggerfish Animation, adds “We are continuously impressed with the amount of gifted actors that our film has attracted. Buscemi brings a unique skill set to Khumba and the voice work he’s recorded gives us a great deal of humor in the film. Anika Noni Rose likewise brings alive her character in a way that not many could.” 

“Steve Buscemi was the original reference when we were first developing the character, so to have him actually voice the part is just incredible,” says writer and director, Silverston. “Anika Noni Rose joins fellow Princess and the Frog actress, Jen Cody who voices one of the other zebras and it's fantastic to have both actresses in the same herd, so to speak,” says co-writer, Delle Donne.

Noeltner’s CMG will be presenting the film in Cannes.  The CMG team going to Cannes includes Dene Anderberg, Agatha Altarovici and Daniel Bort and their Cannes sales office will be located in the Palais des Festivals – Lerins S.15 from May 14-24th.

Source: Triggerfish Animation Studios

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Jennifer Wolfe is Director of News & Content at Animation World Network.