LINKS: listing RELEASE: April 14, 2006 (US)

Keifer Sutherland ... Samson (lion)
Greg Cipes ... Ryan (Samson's rebellious son)
Janine Garafaolo ... Bridget (giraffe)
George Carlin ... Larry
Jim Belushi ... Benny (squirrel)
Eddie Izzard ... Nigel (koala)
William Shatner ... (Wildabeest)
Richard Kind ... (Anaconda)

France 12 April 2006
Argentina 13 April 2006
USA 14 April 2006
Netherlands 29 April 2006
UK 26 May 2006
Czech Republic 31 August 2006
Australia 1 September 2006
Finland 20 October 2006

Official Site
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1. Real Wild Child - Everlife 2. Good Enough - Lifehouse 3. Big Time Boppin' (Go Man Go) - Big Bad Voodoo Daddy 4. Really Nice Day - Eric Idle/John du Prez 5. Tales from the Wild 6. You Can't Roar 7. Lost in the City 8. To the Wild 9. Alien Shores 10. The Legend in Action 11. The Mythology of Nigel 12. The Ritual 13. Found Our Roar 14. Really Nice Day (Finale)
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PHOTO GALLERY (09.22.06)

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The Wild DVD

Buena Vista Home Entertainment will release The Wild on September 12th. In this CG-animated film - featuring the voices of Kiefer Sutherland, Jim Belushi, Eddie Izzard, Janeane Garofalo, William Shatner and Richard Kind - a teenage lion from the New York zoo is accidentally shipped to Africa, so his animal friends unite to bring him back. Bears an uncanny resemblance to DreamWorks' Madagascar, doesn't it? According to Disney, however, their movie was in the works for nine years. Either way, it came and went from theaters this past April without much hullabaloo... The disc will include a family-friendly anamorphic widescreen transfer and Dolby Digital 5.1 tracks. Extras include deleted scenes, a "Meet Colin: The Rock Hyrax" featurette, "Bloopers and Blunders: Eddie Izzard Unleashed" and Everlife's "Real Wild Child" music video. Retail will be $29.99. (thanks Media Bear)

Decent animated kid movie gets a healthy dose of Izzard

Robert Horton
Herald Movie Critic

There is one glaring validation for the existence of "The Wild," and that is Eddie Izzard doing the voice of a koala bear named Nigel.

Izzard, the droll, mascara-wearing English comedian, contributes a masterpiece of voice acting to this enjoyable computer-animated film. He manages to create a self-absorbed, cowardly character you can't help but like. (I'm not sure why a koala bear would have an English accent rather than an Australian one, but never mind.)

Cheeky: Enjoyable kids' movie with a premise that duplicates the story of last year's "Madagascar": Animals from a New York City zoo make their way to Africa. A swift, cheeky comedy with a masterpiece of voice acting by Eddie Izzard as a koala bear. Rated: G Now showing: Alderwood, Galaxy Monroe, Marysville, Mountlake, Olympic, Stanwood, Meridian, Metro, Oak Tree, Woodinville, Cascade Mall
"The Wild" is otherwise weirdly similar to last year's fun animated film "Madagascar." It has nearly the same story line: animals from a New York City zoo escape their confines and travel across the Atlantic to Africa, where their "wild" skills are tested.

In this case, they're following a lion cub named Ryan, a stowaway in a cargo container. Ryan's dad, a legendary lion named Samson (voiced by Kiefer Sutherland) is accompanied by a giraffe (Janeane Garofalo), a lovesick squirrel (Jim Belushi), an anaconda (Richard Kind) and the aforementioned koala.

The main problem once they get to Africa is a tribe of wildebeest, who are better at choreographing dance routines than they are at mayhem. They talk about choreography quite a lot, in fact. Well, a lot for wildebeest.

You can see what kind of movie this is: swift, cheeky but not overly laden with pop-culture references. And not bogged down by too much sentimentality, even through there is a heartwarming father-son story at its center.

It doesn't hit the highs that "Madagascar" managed, although Nigel the koala certainly challenges those excellent "Madagascar" penguins. The animation is slick and shiny, and has one goose-bumpy sequence when the escaped animals enter Manhattan at night. (A lot of the movie is set at night, which makes it look cool.)

The voices are generally good, although a little Kiefer Sutherland goes a long way with me. The lead wildebeest are voiced by William Shatner and Patrick Warburton, who both dance well.

Released under the Disney banner, "The Wild" is directed by Steve "Spaz" Williams, who will probably change his name when he starts directing Shakespeare someday.

So, a decent kids' movie ... but a great koala bear. If Izzard could be talked into it, a series of Nigel spin-offs would be very welcome.

Larry the Anaconda, Nigel the Koala, Bridget the Giraffe and Samson the Lion discover what a jungle the city can be in "The Wild."

McDonald's will be releasing The Wild Kid's Meals coinciding with the release of the movie this week. But this part made me giggle: "Nigel the koala hates to be called cute, but tickle his stomach and watch as his green torch lights up to add to the fun and excitement of McDonald's Happy Meals."

Animal Planet
Also, keep an eye out during Animal Planet's Funniest Animals on April 13th...rumor has it they will show a behind the scenes clip from The Wild which includes a snippet of Eddie doing the voice of Nigel.

Fun Facts
For the character of Nigel, the cuddly koala with the slightly acerbic center, Williams turned to the inventive British comic actor Eddie Izzard. "Originally, the character of Nigel was more of a sad sack," recalls Williams. "Eddie told us he was the wrong guy to play this role because he’s more of a proactive character. We thought that was a good suggestion and that we could work with that. We spent two hours talking with him before we started recording and what we ended up with was brilliance. Some of those original lines from the audition ended up in the movie. Working with Eddie was fantastic. His performance is 85% improvised and invented on the fly."

Eddie Izzard actually wore a waste basket over his head for the scene where Nigel the koala had a paint can stuck to his head.

Most of Nigel’s (the koala) lines were created “off the cuff” in improvisation sessions between Eddie Izzard and the director Spaz Williams.

When koalas are born, they are only about the size of a large jellybean. Koalas actually have two thumbs on both paws. In a funny improvisation that didn’t make the final cut of the movie, Eddie Izzard sings a song about a koala who is horrified to suddenly learn that he has four thumbs. READ THE WHOLE ARTICLE

Soundtrack Bits
The soundtrack music score is by Alan Silvestri, and the end title songs of The Wild (main and end title) performed by All-4-One, My Last Forever performed by Bryan Adams, and Come Sail Away performed by Sting from Walt Disney Records.

Get Ready For A Wild Video Game Adventure
Samson the Lion must use his animal instincts when he sets out on the adventure of his life to save his son, Ryan, who accidentally gets shipped from the New York City Zoo back to the wild. Samson gets help in the quest from his best friend, a squirrel named Benny.

Walt Disney Pictures Presents The Wild, a new video game from Buena Vista Games based on the upcoming CGI animated feature film, will hit retail shelves April 4, 2006, exclusively for the Game Boy Advance system.

The Wild is a single-player, side-scrolling adventure game that allows players to take on the role of Samson and Benny through 18 levels of play. Both characters have their own unique levels, each tailored to their on-screen personalities. Kids 6-11 years old will have to guide the characters through stormy seas, erupting volcanoes, vicious dogs and angry wildebeests as they traverse land and sea to help Samson rescue Ryan. The Wild video game is set to release April 4, 2006, in conjunction with the feature film's April 14 cinema opening.

"The Wild" is an irreverent comedy that follows the life of an eclectic group of animals at the New York Zoo. The voice talent includes Kiefer Sutherland (as the lion Samson), Greg Cipes (as Samson's son, Ryan), Jim Belushi (as Benny, the street smart squirrel), Janeane Garofalo (as Bridget the giraffe), Richard Kind (as Larry, a dim-witted anaconda snake), William Shatner (as Kazar, a wicked wildebeest), and Eddie Izzard (as Nigel, an acerbic koala). Director Steve "Spaz" Williams and producer Clint Goldman helped to revolutionize CG character animation during their long association with Industrial Light and Magic (ILM), which included such films as "Jurassic Park, " "The Mask, " "The Abyss" and "Terminator 2: Judgment Day."

One night, Samson's (Keifer Sutherland) son, Ryan, accidentally causes a gazelle stampede. Father and son have a heated argument that leads to Ryan running away and hiding in an empty crate, without realising that it's in a truck marked "Return to the wild" - Africa. Samson and his friends take off into the real Wild, New York City and end up at New York harbour where they arrive just in time to see Ryan take off on a boat. Our rescue squad, commandeer a boat and head off to Africa after Ryan. Once in Africa, their adventure continues as they search for Ryan and encounter a herd of wildebeests who are bent on eating all of our zoo friends… except Nigel the koala (Eddie Izzard) who they believe is God-like. Our heroes lives, as well as Ryan's, now lie in Nigel's hands, or paws, but will he let his new-found fame go to his head?

Ripe’s Andy Newell is the sound designer and supervising sound editor on a new CG animated film directed by Steve "Spaz” Williams (Visual EFX Director, “Terminator 2,” “Jurassic Park” and “The Mask"). CORE Digital of Toronto is handling the computer graphics chores for the movie, entitled "The Wild." Featuring the voices of Kiefer Sutherland, Eddie Izzard and William Shatner, among other luminaries of screens large and small, "The Wild" is scheduled for release in March of 2005 (Imdb is now listing the release date as April 2006).

New Project

According to, Eddie will be voicing a character in a new Disney animated movie called "The Wild" with Kiefer Sutherland. (thanks Joan!)

From Ain't It Cool News
"...It's a computer-animated feature called THE WILD and it's due for release in the early summer of 2005. For this film, the mouse-factory has teamed up with San Francisco-based Complete Pandemonium and some Canadian company called Core Technologies. Disney-lady wasn't shy to mention that, while the Walt Disney company laments Pixar's departure, the Eisner-conglomerate is looking for new - and, yes, even better - producing partners. Complete Pandemonium appears to be one of them. THE WILD is being directed by Steve 'Spaz' Williams, who some of you might know from those damn funny Blockbuster-hamster commercials. Williams also worked on that SPAWN-movie, but I guess everybody makes mistakes. According to Disney-lady, THE WILD follows the adventures of Ryan (at least, I think his name was Ryan) - a teenage Lion living in the New York Zoo. The ideas Pandemonium has for this zoo are actually pretty cool. When all the visitors and staff have left, the zoo kinda becomes a Michael Sowa-esque fantasy world, where Giraffes and Elephants play turtle-curling (yes, it's pretty funny) and young creatures run amok. After chasing some harmless animals, Ryan accidentally gets trapped inside a crate and is shipped to Madag- I mean, just plain Africa. A group of zoo-heroes team up to save young Ryan. The team consists of an older lion (I believe his name was Samson), a female giraffe named Bridgette, an Anaconda with a brain the size of a pea, a little squirrel who has a huge crush on Bridgette (hilarity ensues) and a Koala who hates being called 'cute'. Disney-lady didn't have any rough animation to show us, but she did present us with some character-sketches and early movie-stills. It all looked pretty cool, but this whole idea sounds so much like MADAGASCAR (a project currently being worked on my Dreamworks), it just doesn't feel right. Personally, I would LOVE to see a feature computer-animated comedy about those Blockbuster-hamsters. But no, they had to make a movie like MADAGASCAR. I'm sorry, but I just don't get it..."




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