Lupita Nyong'o, Pedro Pascal Movie Clips Debut at Annecy

DreamWorks Animation‘s presentation for The Wild Robot had the crowd experiencing a range of emotions at the Annecy Animation Festival on Tuesday.

Starring a voice cast that includes Lupita Nyong’o, Pedro Pascal and Kit Connor, the animated movie from Chris Sanders hits theaters on Sept. 20. The three-time Oscar-nominated Sanders spoke to the audience, as did DreamWorks Animation president Margie Cohn, before unveiling two extended clips and the second trailer, which is set to be released later in the day.

“We are almost finished — we are very, very close,” Sanders shared about his team’s progress on the film that adapts Peter Brown’s book series of the same name. The Wild Robot centers on ROZZUM unit 7134, known as Roz and voiced by Oscar winner Nyong’o, who winds up stranded on an uninhabited island and must learn to connect with the untrusting animals as she attempts to help an orphaned gosling prepare for migration that fall.

Sanders explained that the CG-animated project’s team aimed to evoke the type of “analog warmth and soul” that is more associated with hand-drawn animation. “We start by doing these inspirational paintings,” Sanders said, with the goal being that the finished product would appear indiscernible from the development artwork.

The director continued by sharing about author Brown: “His guiding principle was that kindness can be a survival strategy.”

Sanders debuted the movie’s opening section, which received lots of laughs from the audience as Roz explored her new surroundings. The second clip from later in the film showed the evolving bond between the robot and goose Brightbill (Connor) as the bird matures. Plenty of tears were shed during the second clip, after which Sanders appeared visibly moved by the standing ovation.

“Oh, my goodness,” Sanders said from the stage. “Thank you so much.”

Prior to Sanders addressing the crowd, Cohn told the festival attendees, “We think it’s a DreamWorks classic in the making, and we hope you do, too.”

Bill Nighy, Stephanie Hsu, Mark Hamill, Catherine O’Hara, Matt Berry and Ving Rhames round out the ensemble cast. Jeff Hermann produces the film, and Dean DeBlois serves as executive producer.

The Annecy Animation Festival continues through Saturday in Annecy, France.

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