Written by: Barry Cook
Directed by: Barry Cook
Music by: Ricky Skaggs
Release Date: 2005 (Tentative)
Folk art puppet version of Abraham Lincoln... Hal Holbrook
An Angel... Dolly Parton
An off-the-wall hillbilly... James Carville
This backwoods bluegrass musical will feature 2-D characters that interact
with 3-D props and settings: it centers on a folk art puppet version of
Abraham Lincoln (voiced by Hal Holbrook) thatís been crafted out of an
old push broom.
This project was first heard of in March 2002, when it was reportedly in story-boarding and visual development stage of production.
Disney hopes that by using CG to create all of the puppets that play such a prominent role in My Peoples -- the whimsical moments of this movie will seem that much more magical.
The film was originally rumoured to be a retelling of the Hatfield & Mcoys legend in Kentucky -this was denied by others.
Although Selkies was expected to be the next feature animation at Disney's Florida Studios after Bears, My Peoples was greenlighted first in early 2002.
My Peoples is based on an original idea by Barry Cook (Mulan), who also wrote the screenplay and will direct the feature.
During their free time, animators assigned to this project are now learning the Maya program as two thirds of the film is expected to be digital.
Kentucky native Ricky Skaggs is expected to compose a bluegrass soundtrack for the movie.
An April 2002 Times article states that My Peoples will be a "combination of 2D/3D" and should hit theaters in 2003.
In May 2002, Thomas Schumacher, the president of Disney's animation division, confirmed that My Peoples was currently in the pipeline, and went on to describe the film as a "bluegrass musical of 2-D characters in a 2-D world that you watch transform and become 3-D."
'Michael' wrote in that same month that "last week I was on the Animation Tour at Disney/MGM in Florida to see if they were working on anything new. To my surprise they were quite visibly working on Bears in all the guest areas. I spoke with the tour guide to ask about its release date, and wound up having a long conversation about upcoming and past features. The guide was really knowlegable and a great guy, and he wound up bringing up My Peoples. I was surprised as I had never heard any real confirmation of the project, and didn't really know what it was about. He said that it would be a 2D/3D project and would feature Dolly Parton. This was news to me, as I had only heard her name as a possible for Sweating Bullets [aka Home on the Range]. Anyway, he assured me she was on My Peoples."
'Alexis' added to the rumour mill stating that Dolly Parton would indeed voice an angel in the movie, Lily Tomlin would join the cast, and the movie would take place in Appalachia.
'Sir Farticus' commented on August 10, 2002 that "people seem to be excited about My Peoples which is the feature to come after Bears. It's a completely CG film, not too sure about the story or anything else... but people are saying it's looking to be an interesting developement. It'll be another departure from the Disney stereotype. You gotta give'em a hand for trying!"
An Animated Movies spy visited Disney's feature animation department in California in August 2002 and reported that "there is some work on 3D, and everything else is in traditional animation. The characters are toys made of shirt buttons, plates, pens, thimbles, threads... As if a magnet had attracted all these on one object. Very elaborate backgrounds, and beautiful human characters. I saw images from a scene in a car where a little girl realizes the toys are alive."
The Drudge Report stated that same month that Democrat political star James Carville had been offered a high-impact role in the movie. "While producers in Burbank are worried about Carville's lack of acting experience, Disney filmmakers have become convinced he has the perfect vocal qualities for the part: an off-the-wall hillbilly, studio sources reveal. Ricky Skaggs is doing the music; Dolly Parton is set to play the voice of an angel. Lily Tomlin, Travis Tritt, and others--including Washington's favorite 'Ragin' Cajun'--are also in the Appalachian animation. The characters in Disney's high-budget brew My Peoples are made of shirt buttons, plates, pens, thimbles, threads and an old push broom. The backwoods bluegrass musical will feature 2-D characters that interact with 3-D props and settings, written and director by Barry Cook [Mulan]. 'The movie has got a lot of laughter and a lot of fun,' says a source. The Bluegrass Blowout is set for release in '05."
USA Today confirmed officially on August 22, 2002 that "CNN's James Carville joins Dolly Parton, Lily Tomlin, Lou Rawls and Travis Tritt in providing voices for a new animated Disney movie, working title My Peoples. An Appalachian tale with bluegrass music, it's set for release in 2005. The characters are toys made of found objects such as buttons, plates and pens."
Lou Rawls is the singing voice of the animated fickle feline Garfield.
James Carville himself confirmed in August 2002 to the Washington Post that he had read for a role in a Disney animated film. "I'm interested in having fun," Carville told us. "With a 7- and 4-year-old daughter, what dad wouldn't want to do that?" Carville, with his ragin' Cajun accent, would play a hillbilly. "It's about all these characters who are thrown out and come back to life," Carville said. "It's going to be a respectful movie about Appalachian culture." A Disney spokeswoman could not confirm Carville's involvement at press time.
'Sir Farticus' reveals that the Disney project's title is going to be changed "very soon," and confirms that "Dolly Parton and Lily Tomlin are in the film. There are 7 CG characters and 7 traditional characters."
Thomas Schumacher revealed in an interview with Dutch business magazine
DVD-BIZZ in January 2003 that Ashley Judd joined Dolly Parton and Lily
Tomlin in Once In A Blue Moon--the new title of My Peoples.