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Netflix Reveals ‘My Father’s Dragon’ Cast and First Look Image

An all-star acting lineup joins Oscar-nominated director Nora Twomey’s upcoming animated feature about a young boy who runs away to rescue a young dragon.

To celebrate this Saturday’s World Book Day, Netflix has just unveiled a first look and cast announcement of five time Oscar-nominated Cartoon Saloon co-founder Nora Twomey’s highly anticipated upcoming animated feature, My Father’s Dragon. We still have no release date, but at least we get a nice taste of what’s to come.

The film’s all-star cast includes Jacob Tremblay; Gaten Matarazzo; Golshifteh Farahani; Dianne Wiest; Rita Moreno; Chris O’Dowd; Judy Greer; Alan Cumming; Yara Shahidi; Jackie Earle Haley; Mary Kay Place; Leighton Meester; Spence Moore II; Adam Brody; Charlyne Yi; Maggie Lincoln; and Jack Smith, with Whoopi Goldberg and Ian McShane.

Inspired by the Newbery honored book of the same title by Ruth Stiles Gannett, the film will be produced by Mockingbird Pictures and Cartoon Saloon (The Secret of Kells, Song of the Sea, Wolfwalkers), and released by Netflix.

Twomey, probably best known for helming critically acclaimed, Oscar nominated The Breadwinner, directs from a screenplay by Meg LeFauve (Inside Out) and screen story by LeFauve and John Morgan. The film is being produced by Bonnie Curtis and Julie Lynn of Mockingbird Pictures and Paul Young of Cartoon Saloon. LeFauve and Morgan, Tomm Moore and Gerry Shirren of Cartoon Saloon, and Alan Moloney and Ruth Coady of Parallel Films, serve as executive producers.

The film’s synopsis, according to Netflix:

Struggling to cope after a move to the city with his mother, Elmer runs away in search of Wild Island and a young dragon who waits to be rescued. Elmer's adventures introduce him to ferocious beasts, a mysterious island and the friendship of a lifetime.

“Our actors, animators and artists at Cartoon Saloon have worked together to craft this film, inspired by Ruth Stiles Gannett’s amazing book,” Twomey said. “We were drawn together by a desire to tell a very special tale of friendship, adventure, and true bravery. I fell in love with storytelling as a child and Netflix excels at celebrating all kinds of stories, through different styles and distinct voices. This has given me the opportunity to look through a beautiful lens and I am excited to share what I see with our audience around the world.” 

My Father’s Dragon is part of  Netflix’s growing original slate of animated features which includes Academy Award nominated The Mitchell’s vs the Machines; Aardman's Robin Robin; Klaus; Kris Pearn’s The Willoughbys; Oscar winner Glen Keane’s Over the Moon; as well as the comedy Back to the Outback; directed by Clare Knight and Harry Cripps; Richard Linklater’s Apollo 10 ½: A Space Age Childhood; Chris Williams’ The Sea Beast; Henry Selick’s Wendell & Wild; Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio; Wendy Rogers’ The Magician’s Elephant;  Minkyu Lee’s The Witch Boy; and Aardman’s sequel Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget.

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