Snells Beach Animated Movie To Hit The Big Screens

Some world-class creativity is taking place right under our very noses in this seaside slice of paradise. As we go about our everyday activities of dropping kids to school, heading through our infamous Hill Street intersection to the big smoke or simply sipping our lattes at Little & Local, we may be unaware of the creative hub that is nestled down Goodall Road. This won’t last for long though, as this creative corner is about to embrace the world’s spotlight in a massive way.

From Thursday 10 October, we will have the opportunity to marvel at the latest creation to come fresh from Huhu Animation Studios and be screened at our local Matakana Cinemas and cinemas throughout New Zealand. 

Executive Producer Trevor Yaxley has worked tirelessly to form a first-ever New Zealand/China animated co-production that is sure to be a real treat for ages eight to 80+ who will be given a chance to see why heavyweights from around the world have been so excited to work on the 3D animated feature film ‘Mosley’.

‘Mosley’ is an adventure centred around an intelligent but unfortunate four-legged ‘Thoriphant’ who is living a life of servitude on an isolated farm with a harsh master. In an attempt to seek answers and also for his family to live in freedom, Mosley must embark on an epic journey filled with peril, mystery and surprising twists. 

It is a beautifully crafted tale of victory through realising one’s potential within, discovering who one is meant to be and standing up for what you believe in. And of course, with the likes of Rhys Darby voicing the character ‘Deaver’, you can bet that there will be some good ol’ Kiwi humour in the mix. Other voice talents in the film are none other than Temuera Morrison, Lucy Lawless and John Rhys-Davies. 

The calibre of creatives working on this film is truly extraordinary – including its writer and director Kirby Atkins (Weta Digital animator contributing to ‘The BFG’, ‘The Smurfs’, ‘Alvin and the Chipmunks’ and ‘VeggieTales’), editor Kathy Toon (having worked on ‘Finding Dory’, ‘Toy Story 4’, ‘Rio’, ‘Horton Hears a Who’ and Academy Award nominated short film ‘Borrowed Time’), executive producer Tony Bancroft (director of Disney’s ‘Mulan’ and an animator on ‘Mary Poppins Returns’, ‘The Lion King’, ‘Aladdin’ and ‘Beauty and the Beast’), and animation director Manuel Aparicio (Dreamworks and Disney animator known for his work on ‘Moana’, ‘Kung Fu Panda’, ‘Shrek’, ‘Madagascar’ and ‘Zootopia’). 

The dedicated team behind this 96-minute collaboration of heart, passion and talent are excited at what they have accomplished. “Films like this are a huge feat and it is astonishing that a film of this depth and quality could come out of Snells Beach,” says editor Kathy Toon. 

This multi-million-dollar film had the local Huhu Studios booming with close to 100 people at the height of its production. Kirby Atkin’s 15-year labour of love is finally coming to completion and everyone involved can be proud of the effort and hours that have gone into seeing this dream come to life. 

Warkworth local, chief technical officer and producer, Bill Boyce reflects, “We’ve had to be resourceful and pool together to pull off an independent film that is comparable to Hollywood films with much bigger budgets. This story has got a huge amount of heart and a great message underpinning it.”

Local artist Markus Kristensen, the ‘Mosley’ production designer and cinematographer, says “This has been the biggest, most complicated and most creatively satisfying project to work on. We’ve really had to pull together to achieve something that was way beyond anything we’ve ever done before.” 

Since ‘Footrot Flats’ in 1986, this is the first ground-breaking Kiwi animated movie.

Admitting he may have shed a tear or two while watching a scene from the film, Rhys Darby is excited that New Zealand is producing another stand-out animated film. “I found the story quite emotive and it’s so exciting to be part of a really cool Kiwi animation.” 

If our funny-man Rhys is anything to go by, then you just know that this movie is going to be a goodie so make sure you don’t miss out on seeing ‘Mosley’ and supporting our local talent.

SpotlightJunction Mag