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Original Force Taps GFM for Distribution of ‘Duck Duck Goose’ Feature

CG-animated family adventure directed and co-written by Christopher Jenkins features a celebrity voice cast including Jim Gaffigan, Zendaya, Lance Lim, Greg Proops, Reggie Watts, Carl Reiner, Jennifer Grey, Stephen Fry, Natasha Leggero, Diedrich Bader, Rick Overton and Craig Ferguson.

LOS ANGELES -- Original Force Animation co-Presidents Sandra Rabins & Penney Finkelman Cox and CEO/Founder Harley Zhao have announced the appointment of GFM Animation and GFM Films to handle International sales and distribution on the company’s first wholly owned animated feature film, Duck Duck Goose.

A comedic story of the most unlikely family ever, Duck Duck Goose is a visually stunning and beautifully animated movie with story, humor and heart for the whole family. Directed by Christopher Jenkins (producer of titles such as Home and Surf’s Up and animator on The Lion King, Aladdin & Beauty and the Beast), who also co-wrote the script alongside Rob Muir (Trouble), the film features celebrity voices including Jim Gaffigan, Zendaya, Lance Lim, Greg Proops, Reggie Watts, Carl Reiner, Jennifer Grey, Stephen Fry, Natasha Leggero, Diedrich Bader, Rick Overton and Craig Ferguson.

Duck Duck Goose follows Peng (voiced by Jim Gaffigan), a high-flying bachelor saddled with two wide-eyed orphans after he’s grounded by an injury. The freewheeling hero rejects the community of his tight-knit flock of geese in an attempt to live life on his own terms. But after he narrowly rescues two young ducklings, Chi and Chao (Zendaya and Lance Lim), from an eccentric but deadly cat named Banzou (Greg Proops), the two latch onto the Goose like a parent; and with a paralyzing winter on the horizon and the departure of both their flocks, Peng agrees to look after the ducklings out of fear his injury might be discovered by Banzou, and other predators who would prey on a goose who cannot fly.

The makeshift trio embarks on a beautiful and dangerous journey through mountains and lakes, bamboo forests, marble caves and deep river valleys to reach their respective flocks. Along the way, Peng must learn to care for the two ducklings despite his independent and carefree attitude, all the while evading the hungry and relentless Pallas Cat, who’ll stop at nothing to claim the ducklings he feels entitled to. Peng’s biggest challenge is learning to shed his selfish ways and become the responsible “parent” no one ever thought he could be, including himself.

Currently in production, the film was recently showcased to distributors at a special sneak peek presentation of footage at the European Film Market in Berlin. Negotiations started with GFM partners Michael Ryan and Guy Collins at AFM and continued at further meetings between the companies in Los Angeles and Beijing in December. The Producers are in advanced negotiations for domestic distribution, which will secure the film a wide cinema release, and a substantial media & marketing campaign. Production will complete this summer, with a release early in 2018.

The film was developed at Original Force Animation’s Culver City Studios and is the first of a slate of animated features produced by Rabins and Finkelman Cox for the company. Rabins and Finkelman Cox, who formerly oversaw DreamWorks Animation and Sony Pictures Animation, have previously produced/executive produced The Prince of Egypt, Antz and Shrek. At Sony Pictures Animation they were responsible for the development of Surf’s Up, Open Season, Hotel Transylvania and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.

Original Force was founded by Harley Zhao in 1999, currently has 1,300 employees at its head office in Nanjing, and is known as one of the top CG animation studios in in China. The company launched its feature animation studio in 2015.

Commenting from Los Angeles, Penney Finkelman Cox and Sandra Rabins said: “We are enormously proud of Duck Duck Goose. The movie has been so beautifully brought to life by an extraordinary cast and talented crew. We know when audiences in Berlin begin to see the footage, they will connect with the story and the emotionally compelling and beautifully rendered characters that we can laugh with, worry about and truly care for.”

Commenting from Nanjing, Harley Zhao adds: “Duck Duck Goose is our first full-length animated feature film and we are developing more.  We look forward to providing world-class animation content to the global market.”

Speaking for GFM, Collins & Ryan added: “We first met Sandra and Penney in 2013 on another project and were impressed by their calm & focused professionalism and extensive knowledge of every facet of the animation industry -- not surprising when you look at their extraordinary careers and previous slate of ultra-successful movies! We are truly thrilled to be re-united and work with Harley and the team at Original Force Animation on Duck Duck Goose and were, with the rest of our marketing and sales colleagues, blown away by the footage shown to us in November. This is exactly what GFM Animation was created for, to work with seasoned, successful producers to bring studio quality animation to the independent market place.”

Source: Original Force Animation

Jennifer Wolfe's picture

Formerly Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network, Jennifer Wolfe has worked in the Media & Entertainment industry as a writer and PR professional since 2003.