Vancouver – Rainmaker Entertainment, one of the most prolific producers of CG animated films, announced the DVD release of their latest production, “The Nutty Professor.” “The Nutty Professor” is the animated sequel to the beloved 1963 classic and one of the great family franchises in movie history. “The Nutty Professor” debuted on November 25 from Genius Products, Rainmaker Entertainment and The Weinstein Company.
“The Julius Kelp character has always meant so much to me,” says Jerry Lewis. “And the chance to introduce him and “The Nutty Professor” to a whole new generation of kids and their families, and in a completely new way through animation, was very exciting. I loved working with the team at Rainmaker and found them to be fun, creative and very adept at creating comedy.”
Continuing its focus of developing and producing content, Rainmaker, in association with producer George Paige, approached Jerry Lewis with the idea of animating the characters from his 1963 live action film, which Lewis wrote and directed, and he enthusiastically agreed. The Weinstein Company signed on for financing and distribution. Evan Spiliotopoulos was brought on to write the script.
Rainmaker’s “Nutty” director, Logan McPherson, notes, “Julius Kelp is probably one of the most influential live action characters in cartoons. He is referenced daily on the front lines of animation by crews around the world. The short production schedule was a challenge, so with “Nutty” the goal was to utilize our experience and continue to build on the process to deliver more quality in the same amount of time as some of our previous direct to DVD films.”
Barbara Zelinski, Rainmaker’s producer, says, “We were all very excited to be working with Jerry Lewis on his legendary property. In all, ‘The Nutty Professor’ was an 18 month process. We used pre-viz extensively, which allowed for greater execution in production in blocking, staging, choreography and camera angles. It also allowed the team to identify what shots would need visual effects to get them into production sooner.”
With the genesis of the story from a comedic legend, Rainmaker was determined to create a film of high quality animation, even with a constrained time frame. Development and pre-production began in January of ’07, production in September ’07 and the film was delivered the end of June ’08. Rainmaker created a main cast of 11 characters, including many costume variations, unique environments and props, and a number of secondary and background characters. For the look of the film, Rainmaker spent much time developing materials and textures to ensure that metal looked like metal and that reflections had a broken specularity, all of which maintains a world that makes sense but is more impressionistic than realistic.
“Taking this classic family film and reenergizing it for a new audience was a win-win for us in terms of our employees and our business plan,” states Warren Franklin, Rainmaker CEO. “Working with a comic icon was a dream come true for our artists and stepping up our animation pipeline was a challenge the entire team embraced.”
Zelinski adds, “The crew loved working with Jerry Lewis. As he’s known for being a perfectionist, at first we were a bit nervous, but being a true professional he went into the Julius character as if he had just done it yesterday. Mr. Lewis did two characters — Julius Kelp and Buddy Love — just as in the 1963 version. He changed characters with ease and comedic style and kept the team laughing. We were honored to have been able to spend time and work with him.”
Executive produced by Bob Weinstein, Harvey Weinstein and Eric Robinson; and Gregory R. Little, Paul Gertz and Rick Mischel, “The Nutty Professor” is based on the characters created by Jerry Lewis and Bill Richmond and on the 1963 motion picture “The Nutty Professor.” “The Nutty Professor” features the voice talents of the original Nutty Professor, Jerry Lewis as Julius Kelp, and three-time Kids’ Choice Award* Winner Drake Bell (“Superhero Movie,” “Drake and Josh”) as his grandson Harold. “The Nutty Professor” is a heart-warming comedy to be enjoyed by the whole family. The Nutty Professor DVD is available for the suggested retail price of $19.97. Rated PG for rude behavior and mild language.
Story Images ©2008 Rainmaker Entertainment