Hollywood Gets Animated About Austin
Local cartoon to become big-budget Will Smith vehicle
By Richard Whittaker,
12:45PM, Wed. Oct. 11, 2017
From tiny acorns, mighty oaks grow. Sometimes, Hollywood animation springs from a Mighty Coconut. Fox Animation has announced that Will Smith and Tom Holland will voice the lead characters in Spies in Disguise, an upcoming feature based on a short by Lucas Martell, co-founder of Austin's Mighty Coconut animation studo.
In 2009, before he established the rising studio, Martell co-wrote, directed, and animated "Pigeon: Impossible," a hilarious silent tale of a very special suitcase, a very dumb bird, and a nervous spy called Walter. Now Walter returns to the screen, voiced by Holland (Spider-Man: Homecoming), opposite Smith as Lance Sterling, the world's smoothest and most capable spy.
This is more big news for Martell and his team, who are busy with their new YouTube Red series Kings of Atlantis, as well as their own original feature Koalaroo. While the Austin studio will not be directly involved with Spies in Disguise, Martell told the Chronicle, "The short was a labor of love and it’s exciting to have it make its way to the big screen!"
The feature version is part of Fox Animation's reinvigorated slate, and will be co-directed by studio veteran Nick Bruno (The Peanuts Movie, the Ice Age franchise) and storyboard expert Troy Quane (9, Total Drama).
For more on what Martell and his fellow animators are up to, read Cracking the Mighty Coconut. Now here's the original short that started it all: Expect the full feature on January 18, 2019.