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Ricky Gervais to Narrate Bron Animation’s Production of ‘The Willoughbys’

CG-animated feature in production at Canadian animation studio to be adapted by ‘Cloudy 2’ director Kris Pearn.

BURNABY, BC -- Bron Animation has signed Ricky Gervais (Special Correspondents, The Office, Derek) to narrate its production of The Willoughbys, based on the popular children’s book of the same name by Newbery Award winning author Lois Lowry. The film is being written and directed by Kris Pearn; Cory Evans is co-directing.

Published in 2010, the story follows the four Willoughby children -- Timothy; his twin brothers, Barnaby A and Barnaby B; and their little sister, Jane -- who are abandoned by their oblivious parents and must learn how to adapt their Old Fashioned values to the contemporary world in order to create something new: The Modern Family.

The Willoughbys is currently in pre-production at Bron’s studio in Burnaby, BC. Bron’s Brenda Gilbert, Aaron L. Gilbert and Luke Carroll are producing. Gervais is an executive producer on the project.

Bron and Gervais previously worked together on Special Correspondents, which Gervais wrote and directed with Bron Studios producing. Starring Eric Bana and Gervais, Special Correspondents sold to Netflix and was released in 2016.

“Ricky has such a distinctive voice and his talents will make an exceptional contribution to the edgy tone that we are going for with The Willoughbys,” said Bron Animation president Brenda Gilbert in making the announcement. “We’re looking forward to Kris and Cory’s animated interpretation of this fun and popular story.”

Pearn, a graduate of Sheridan College’s Classical Animation Program, has worked on such features as Open Season, Surf’s Up, Shawn the Sheep, Pirates: Band of Misfits, Arthur Christmas and Home, to name a few. He was Head of Story on Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, and co-directed Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2. Pearn has also published numerous comics and children’s books such as Edward the Tree Climbing Dog, and Project Superhero for ECW press.

Evans started his career 15 years ago as a classical 2D animator for DreamWorks Animation and has worked on film and TV productions as an animator, character designer, layout artist and storyboard artist. His most recent role is Head of Story on Bron’s upcoming animated film Henchmen. In addition to working in the animation industry, Cory has over a decade of teaching experience in this industry as well.

Additional casting is currently underway on the film, which is being repped by WME.

Source: Bron 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.