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EXCLUSIVE: The Vision Behind ‘Jungle Beat: The Movie’ Featurette

Premiering June 15 as one of Annecy 2020’s 10 feature films in competition, Brent Dawes and Sandcastle Studios’ charming new animated family adventure will be released worldwide on VOD June 26. 

Premiering June 15 as one of 10 animated feature films in official competition at Annecy 2020, Sandcastle Studios’ Jungle Beat: The Movie, a charming family adventure made in collaboration with Sunrise Production, will be released worldwide on Amazon, GooglePlay and AppleTV this coming June 26. The film is the latest work in the franchise that Sunrise began in 2003 with the award-winning 5-minute short, Jungle Beat, that now spans almost eight seasons and a spin off series (Munki and Trunk) that boast more than 3 million YouTube subscribers and over a billion channel views. A true international effort, the 3D/CG animated movie was produced with a cast and crew from Indonesia, Mauritius and South Africa

Written and directed by Brent Dawes, Jungle Beat: The Movie tells the story of a homesick alien who crash-lands his spaceship near the colorful African Jungle. His new animal friends need to get him back to his ship and teach him about friendship and fun before his Space-Conqueror father can take over the planet.

Listen as Dawes discusses his vision behind the film in AWN’s exclusive The Vision featurette.

And check out the trailer!

“I wrote and made this movie so that anyone who watches it will enjoy it,” Dawes shared. “It was important to me: as a father of four, I always try to find a movie that we can all watch. I’ve got a range of ages too, 5 to 15 years old, so finding a movie we can all watch, where a 5-year-old isn’t too scared and the 15-year-old isn’t bored, is tricky. This movie is definitely for a broad audience.”

“Getting to make the film was such a great honor,” he continued. “As a company, we have been aiming to make feature films for the last 12 years, and the fact that we finally got to working on one is amazing. I’ve been working on the TV show and the shorts for more than 12 years. I’ve been operating on non-dialogue characters for so long that making a long-form film where the characters talk is so fun and fresh and liberating.”

Sandcastle Studios, an animation studio based on the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius, was launched in 2018. Their first feature film, Jungle Beat: The Movie, is the first animated feature based off the highly successful Jungle Beat brand. According to Sandcastle executive producers, Phil Cunningham and Sanet Kritzinger, “Sunrise was founded on a passion for storytelling, and believes that this story is made for such a time as this. In a world that is putting up walls, suspicious of others and their belief and intentions, this brave story shows how positivity and love are the most powerful weapons we actually have. The Jungle Beat brand and this film epitomize the essence of what the brand stands for. We are excited to share it with all our fans worldwide. Sandcastle loved the idea of producing Jungle Beat: The Movie as a first project, in collaboration with Sunrise.”

Jungle Beat: The Movie is directed by Dawes and written by Dawes and Sam Wilson. Phil Cunningham, Jacqui Cunningham, Ralph Kamp, Sanet Kritzinger, Fred Kritzinger, and Stuart Baxter serve as executive producers; Tim Keller, Rita Mbanga, and Joe Pistorius serve as producers.  The film stars David Menkin, Ina Marie Smith, Ed Kear, John Guerrasio, Lucy Montgomery, David Rimtoul, Robert G. Slade, Jason Pennycooke, and Florrie Wilkinson

The movie will be released June 26 worldwide on the following VOD Platforms: Amazon, GooglePlay and AppleTV.

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Dan Sarto is Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network.