Sunday, November 8, 2015

Lost Nuts: 'Nut Job 2' Quietly Pushed Back, Progress on 'Spark'


This probably won't interest many of you readers, but I figured I'd tackle this anyway...

The Nut Job 2 was supposed to come out on January 15, 2016. Almost exactly two years after its predecessor, which was made by Canadian studio ToonBox and South Korean house RedRover International. Based on director Peter Lepeniotis' 2005 adult-oriented short Surly Squirrel, it got mostly bad reviews but it did do okay at the box office.

ToonBox then established a lab of-sorts for animated projects, and they already had something else in production at the time. It seemed like Nut Job 2 would indeed open in early 2016, but we haven't seen any trailers or promo materials or images. Distributor Open Road Films started marketing The Nut Job the autumn before its release, so it all seemed rather strange. Not to mention, Lionsgate is planning to open Norm of the North on the same day. That has a poster and a trailer...

So I randomly took a peak at ToonBox's website... The Nut Job 2 is not coming out in two months. The site says that a release date is "coming soon"... So I'm guessing they'll have it ready for an early 2017 release, then? Two years between both pictures seemed kind of quick, anyway.

It makes sense, though, because before The Nut Job even came out, ToonBox planned to release an original feature after it: Spark.


Spark has had my interest simply because of the premise: It's about a monkey from another planet, and his galactic quest to take down an evil general. I like stories like this, when they're done right that is: Other planets, fictional species of animals, aliens, that's all cool stuff to me. Some finished footage was posted somewhere a while back, but it was pulled. It showed the titular character in a spaceship and his encounter with an alien. It looked alright, but I haven't been able to find the clip.

ToonBox's site says "Coming 2015-2016", but it's pretty obvious that it won't open in the coming weeks. I'm not sure when it will get a concrete release date, I mean I wouldn't be surprised if it went straight-to-video. For example, Weinstein tried and tried and tried to give their redubbed Metegol (titled Underdogs) a theatrical release, but in a few weeks it'll be hitting home media instead. Sometimes small-scale theatrical animation doesn't hit the big screen here in the states, but I hope most of the projects on the horizon - including this, Henchmen, and others - get stateside theatrical treatment in some way.

I guess we'll know soon, but I'm wishing ToonBox well. They spent less than $45 million on The Nut Job, and they plan to keep the budgets low for future features. I think they should take advantage of the low budgets and make something really experimental or out-there, but only time will tell.

What's your take on this studio? Do you think Spark will get a theatrical release? When do you think The Nut Job 2 will come out? Sound off below!

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