Come April 22, Netflix audiences will come to understand that the Great Willoughbys of Old have a legacy of invention, creativity and courage marked by their magnificent moustaches… until now. Kris Pearn’s hilarious new animated comedy, The Willoughbys, based on Lois Lowry’s famous kid’s book of the same name, is a colorful, zany take on an age-old problem… what can you do if your parents suck! And, you hope against hope for a return of noble family glories chock full of adventure, fame, and great facial hair.
Longing for a normal family in the face of prolonged parental neglect steeped in utter selfishness and outrageous British accents, the Willoughby children hatch a sneaky, diabolical plan to send their mom and dad on a dangerous, around-the-world adventure “to die for.” As you might imagine, any hair-brained animated feature film scheme concocted by cute, well-meaning children, must, by definition, come up a tad short.
Directed by Pearn (Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2), who also wrote the film along with Mark Stanleigh, The Willoughbys stars Will Forte, Maya Rudolph, Alessia Cara, Terry Crews, Martin Short, Jane Krakowski, Séan Cullen and Ricky Gervais as the Cat. Yes, he’s the Cat, the film’s brilliantly voiced omnipresent narrator. If my cat could talk, I certainly hope he’d sound like Ricky Gervais. He already has the snarky attitude covered.
Dan Sarto is Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network.