Lupita Nyong’o and Pedro Pascal present their first film extracts in Annecy

Introducing DreamWorks Animation for The wild robot brought many emotions to the audience at the Annecy Animation Festival on Tuesday.

Featuring a voice cast including Lupita Nyong’o, Pedro Pascal and Kit Connor, the Chris Sanders animated film hits theaters on September 20. Sanders, a three-time Oscar nominee, addressed the audience, as did DreamWorks Animation President Margie Cohn. , before revealing two extended clips and the second trailer, which is expected to be released later today.

“We’re almost done — we’re very, very close,” Sanders explained of his team’s progress on the film that adapts Peter Brown’s book series of the same name. The wild robot focuses on ROZZUM Unit 7134, known as Roz and voiced by Academy Award winner Nyong’o, who finds herself stranded on an uninhabited island and must learn to connect with wary animals as she is trying to help an orphaned gosling prepare for migration this fall.

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

The director went on to talk about author Brown: “His guiding principle was that kindness can be a survival strategy.”

Sanders kicked off the film’s opening section, which brought plenty of laughs from the audience as Roz explored her new surroundings. The second clip later in the film showed the evolutionary bond between the robot and the goose Brightbill (Connor) as the bird grew. Many tears were shed during the second clip, after which Sanders appeared visibly moved by the standing ovation.

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

Before Sanders addressed the crowd, Cohn told festival attendees, “We think this is 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 complete the cast. Jeff Hermann is producing the film and Dean DeBlois is executive producing.

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

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