UK singer Lisa Stansfield and actor Mackenzie Crook will lend their voices to Quest For A Heart, a $7.7m (Euros 6m) fully-animated feature shortly to wrap a five-year production schedule for Finland’s MRP Matila Rohr Productions. Stansfield will also perform the theme song.
“It will be the jewel of the crown,” said Finnish producer Marko Röhr, who bought the rights for Finnish actor Allu Tuppurainen’s Rolli character in 1989. Rolli was introduced on sound cassettes (selling more than two million in Finland); Röhr took him to the screen in two local features, directed by Olli Soinio (1991) and Olli Saarela (2001).
150 artists, mainly at Moscow’s Solnetchny Dom Studio, have been working on Quest For A Heart, which is realised as classical hand-drawn animation with close to 700,000 drawings, on 400 different bakground paintings.nJanne Kopu designed the characters and the visual style of the film, which is directed by Pekka Lehtosaari from his own script.
Pre-sold to 13 countries, Quest For A Heart – which will be domestically released in December by Nordisk Film – was co-produced by Germany’s Greenlight Media, Russia’s Center Kontakt (the owner of the Solnetchny Dom Studio) and the UK’s Film and Music Entertainment (F&ME). It will be available in five different languages.
In his first international appearance, Rolli (Crook), the troll – Finland’s favourite fairytale character – is faced with a problem: he has to find a magic heart which will save his village in the woods as well as the rest of world from turning into stone. And he will need the help of Millie (Stansfield), a beautiful elf, who represents everything the trolls loathe.