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Unikitty! The Movie is a 2020 American-Danish animated fantasy comedy film based on the Cartoon Network TV series, Unikitty!. From Warner Bros. Animation, the film is written and produced by series developers Ed Skudder and Lynn Wang, directed by series directors Casey Alexander and Brock Gallagher and supervising directed by Teen Titans Go! developer Aaron Horvath and it is the third spin-off installment of The Lego Movie film series and the fifth installment overall. The events of the movie take place during the second season of Unikitty! and it is produced by Warner Bros. Animation and The Lego Group and distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures. The movie has lead up to brand new episodes of Unikitty!.

The film features Alison Brie, Grey Griffin, Kate Micucci, Roger Craig Smith, Eric Bauza and H. Michael Croner reprising their roles from the series, with guest stars Antonio Banderas, Mike Adair, Bob Holt, David Ogden Stiers and Steven Wright. The film was theatrically released in theaters on March 8, 2019 in the United States and Denmark, by Warner Bros.

The film received very positive reviews from critics for its animation, voice acting, soundtrack and humor and was a critical and commercial success, grossing over $205 million worldwide against a $80 million budget, making it the next Warner Bros. animated film to gross as high as $100 million in the United States, and also beating out Ponyo's record for highest-grossing 2D-animated film of all time and making it the highest-ever grossing film based on an animated television series.

Plot

As ruler of the kingdom, Unikitty has busy days full of royal responsibilities. Unikitty is most interested in making sure everyone is happy and ridding the kingdom of negativity, but don’t misunderstand her optimism – she is one kitty/unicorn hybrid not to be crossed. While she may be full of boundless energy and creativity, Unikitty is a force to be reckoned with if anyone gets in the way of spreading her positive vibes, especially if anyone makes her little brother and best friend, Puppycorn, sad. Also living in the castle are Dr. Fox, the resident scientist, Unikitty’s trusty bodyguard, Hawkodile, and Richard, a 1x3 grey Lego Brick. Through it all, Unikitty and her friends make sure that every day is the happiest and most creative ever. When someone named H-Washington-Duck tries to take over the kingdom, Unikitty must save her kingdom with her friends and her new friends appear to save the Unikingdom and meeting new friends all over the world.

Characters and Cast

Main Characters

  • Princess Unikitty (voiced by Alison Brie) - The princess of the Unikingdom who is a cat/unicorn hybrid. Alison Brie provided her voice for the character in the original film. She is very happy, playful and upbeat, but has an angry side that she sometimes struggles to control. She was previously voiced by Tara Strong in the TV series.
  • Prince Puppycorn (voiced by Grey Griffin) - Unikitty’s younger brother, a dog/unicorn hybrid. He is sometimes clueless and dimwitted, but is also loyal, good-hearted and his sister's best friend.
  • Dr. Fox (voiced by Kate Micucci) - The castle’s resident scientist, whose experiments and inventions can both create and resolve problems.
  • Hawkodile (voiced by Roger Craig Smith) - Unikitty’s trusty hawk/crocodile hybrid bodyguard who has a "macho" personality and appears to have a crush on Dr. Fox.
  • Richard (also voiced by Roger Craig Smith) - A grey 1x3 Lego brick who is Unikitty's royal advisor and castle caretaker. He speaks with a dull monotone voice and is often the voice of reason, though the others find him boring to listen to.
  • Master Frown (voiced by Eric Bauza) - The villain and enemy of Unikitty. He is one of the Doom Lords that spread pain and misery throughout the world. This often causes him to suffer the wrath of Unikitty, who wants to spread fun and joy.
  • Brock (voiced by H. Michael Croner) - Master Frown's close friend and roommate.

Guest Stars

  • H-Washington Duck (voiced by Antonio Banderas): The main villain. He is a duck and a serial Unikingdom killer.
  • Hoops from Hoops and Yoyo (voiced by Mike Adair) - Makes a cameo in the final scene, as one of the reveals of HWD.
  • Yoyo from Hoops and Yoyo (voiced by Bob Holt) - Makes a cameo in the final scene, as one of the HWD reveals.
  • Cleo (voiced by David Ogden Stiers) - a clownfish who is the heroic undersea teenager ally of oceantropoils and aquariumtopia in the ocean from fish heroes and also a background character.
  • Dr. Hacker (voiced by Steven Wright) - a evil stickman nerd with glasses and takes over the world from brawl of the objects and also a background character and in an alternate universe of Unikitty!, he is one of H-Washington Duck's henchmen.

Background Characters

  • Shieldy (voiced by Shameik Moore) - a blue and grey shield shaped animated character from brawl of the objects and also a background character.
  • Big Orange Chicken (voiced by Billy West) - a giant orange fat chicken from brawl of the objects and also a background character.
  • Paintbrush (voiced by Leslie Mann) - a brown and yellow paintbrush shaped animated character who paints pictures in paris from inanimate insanity and also a background character and in an alternate universe of Unikitty!, Paintbrush is a girl and Baguette's girlfriend.
  • Santa Claus (voiced by John DiMaggio) - a large, semi-circle-shaped body with little legs and little floating hands. He has a tiny face, Christmas hat, and beard who makes and delivers toys to all the good citizens of Unikingdom and Frowntown. He lives at the North Pole.
  • Charquoise (voiced by Chris Parnell) - a green and yellow stick man who is cleaning up the house.
  • Baguette (voiced by Kel Mitchell) - a orange baguette shaped animated character who is paintbrush's boyfriend from brawl of the objects and also a background character.
  • Master Toxic (voiced by Paul Giamatti) - a grey toxic barrel shaped animated villain who launches the toxic factory and also a background character and in an alternate universe of Unikitty!, he is one of H-Washington Duck's henchmen.
  • Captain Band (voiced by Tara Strong) - a female white spotted pink pirate band shaped animated character from inanimate insanity 2 and also a background character.
  • Dalette (voiced by Allison Janney) - a silver female shaped animated character who wants to be respectful.
  • Mr. Snaggletooth (voiced by Mark Hamill) - a evil great white shark who takes over the ocean from fish heroes and also a background character and in an alternate universe of Unikitty!, he is one of H-Washington Duck's henchmen.

Additional Voices

  • Fred Tatasciore
  • Corey Burton
  • Tom Kenny
  • Jeff Bennett
  • Bill Farmer
  • Frank Welker
  • Rob Paulsen
  • April Winchell
  • Carter Hastings
  • Tress MacNeille
  • Horatio Sanz
  • Mckenna Grace
  • Kimberly Brooks
  • Mikey Kelley
  • James Adomian
  • Nicole Mitchell

Production

Announcement

On May 7, 2018, Warner Bros. announced the film and its release date of March 8, 2019, with the show's cast reprising their roles. A month later, the film's title and teaser poster debuted, and it was announced that Antonio Banderas had joined the cast. The film marks the fifth time a theatrical Warner Bros. Animation film isn't produced by Warner Animation Group since the group's formation in 2013.

On November 26, 2018, it was announced that voice actors Mike Adair and Bob Holt were part of the cast, as Hoops and Yoyo, respectively, with Alison Brie from in the last two preceding movies replacing Tara Strong as the title character and David Ogden Stiers posthumously revealed as Cleo the Clownfish the same day. A robotic version of 1980s Stiers was built and used by the film crew so that Cleo the Clownfish can be voiced by him as a dedication to the memories of David Ogden Stiers, after he died at age 75 on March 3, 2018. Steven Wright was announced to voice Dr. Hacker in the film.

Development

Warner Bros. Animation had already begun the process of starting development of movies with budgets of around $150 million. The intellectual property for these films was meant to be supplied by Warner Bros. Animation, Hanna-Barbera (Warner Bros. Animation's in-name only division), Cartoon Network and Turner Entertainment (also both Time-Warner divisions) among others and included The Flintstones, The Jetsons, Scooby-Doo, Samurai Jack, Adventure Time, Cow and Chicken, and more, and of course, Codename: Kids Next Door. Cartoon Network had been approaching the original crew from the television series to make a high-profile, animated theatrical feature-length film adaptation and had long wanted to partner with Warner Bros. Pictures to release a Unikitty film given the network's extraordinary legacy in the world of animation, including some of the most enduring characters on cable television history.

Creators Phil Lord and Christopher Miller and series developers Ed Skudder and Lynn Wang agreed to make a feature film version of the show with the promise it would be the first of a planned trilogy. During development stages of the film, they and their co-writer and co-producer Dan Lin intended to revisit some of the greatest films of the time, with Scarface and The Dark Knight having the core inspirations for the film.

Animation

The feature animation was handled by Snipple Animation Studios in Manila, Philippines. The crew used the same processes from the original television series in the making of the film, most notably the 'skroutlines', which was a seamless blend of a more traditional screenplay with a more simple outline which resembled strong short stories and gave the storyboard artists such as Kelsy Abbott, Mike Olsen, Aaron Preacher, Chad Quandt, Ed Skudder, Aaron Waltke, and Lynn Wang all the creative and aesthetic freedom neccessary. Dan Lin, Phil Lord and Christopher Miller themselves provided the film's animatics.

Famed comic book artists Ed Skudder, Aaron Waltke, and Lynn Wang and animation veterans William Reiss, Careen Ingle, Casey Alexander and Brock Gallagher also provided the film's storyboards. Dan Lin helped on the character designs and special effects work on the film. Another animation producer William Reiss also worked with Christopher Miller on the character designs of the film.

The bulk of the animation work was done on Wacom Cintiq tablets, which allowed drawings to be done directly on screen to facilitate production using programs Adobe Flash and Toon Boom Studio. Pencilled key animation sequences would be digitally inked-and-painted, enhanced and composited into backgrounds using Toon Boom Harmony. The character animation was done by going through the clean-up animation department using Toon Boom Harmony and Adobe Flash, and it was scanned directly into Photoshop. The artwork was then enhanced to affect the appearance of painted strokes and fills, and combined with backgrounds, using Adobe After Effects. The backgrounds were painted digitally using Adobe Photoshop.

Additional pre-production work was done at Warner Bros. Animation in Burbank, California where the series' pilot episode was produced. Animation was done at Snipple's facilities on Manila, Philippines. The final animation was also provided by Wang Film Productions in Taipei, Taiwan, HGN Produções in Sao Paulo, Brazil, A.Film in Copenhagen, Denmark, Boulder Media in Dublin, Ireland, Yowza! Animation in Toronto, Canada, Sunwoo Entertainment in Seoul, South Korea, Studio SOI in Germany, July Films in Los Angeles, California, USA, Toon City Animation in the Philippines, SPA Animagic and Estudios Moro in Madrid, Spain and Neomis Animation in Paris, France.

Sound & Music

Nick Keller composed the soundtrack for the film with Thomas Newman and Brian Tyler serving as the soundtrack producers. In addition to using the original series on the film, he also composed themes for each Unikitty operative. Unikitty's awesome score was the major focus and he also composed themes for Unikitty, Puppycorn, Dr Fox, Richard, and the others. The music score was recorded at Warner Bros. soundstages in Burbank, California, United States and mixed at Remote Control Productions in Santa Monica, California, United States and there was also music recorded at Abbey Road Studios in London, England, United Kingdom.

The sound design work was done at Skywalker Sound in Marin County, California and Warner Bros. Animation in Burbank, California.

Release

Theatrical run

The movie was theatrically released in the United States and Denmark on March 8, 2019, by Warner Bros., on the same year as Warner Bros. Animation's previous film Wabbit: A Looney Tunes Movie. The film was presented in a 1.85:1 format, rather than Warner Animation Group's standard 2.39:1 format on its previous titles. The film's theatrical release was preceded by Spaceship's A Fixin', a theatrical Flash animated short film based on The Lego Movie and starring Benny from the film.

Home media

The film was released on digital on May 14 and Blu-Ray and DVD on June 4, 2019, by Warner Bros. Home Entertainment and it contains the deleted scenes, a The Lego Movie short film Spaceship's A Fixin' starring Benny, the 18-minute featurette, the behind-the-scenes look at Unikitty! The Movie, featuring interviews with most of the principal cast and crew, animatics, the pilot episode, the audio commentaries and a sneak peek of Warner Bros. Animation's next film Harvey Street Kids: A Really Big Movie.

Reception

Box office

As of its close date of May 16, 2019, Unikitty! The Movie has grossed $29 million in the United States and Canada, and $176 million in other territories, for a total worldwide gross of $205 million, against a production budget of $80 million.

In North America, Unikitty! The Movie was released alongside Apollo 11, Captain Marvel and Gloria Bell, and was initially projected to gross around $90 million from 3,199 theaters in its opening weekend, with a chance to go as high as $100 million. Therefore, Unikitty! The Movie was a critical and commercial success, grossing over $205 million worldwide against a $80 million budget, making it the next Warner Bros. animated film to gross as high as $100 million in the United States, and also beating out Ponyo's record for highest-grossing 2D-animated film of all time and making it the highest-ever grossing film based on an animated television series.

Critical response

Review aggregate website Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a 92% approval rating based on the 120 reviews, and its average rating is 8.20/10. The critical consensus reads, "Unikitty! The Movie manages to win over the audience and fans of the show because it's got some great musical numbers in the movie, plus it is very entertaining for kids." Metacritic, assigns the film a score of 69 out of 100, based on 40 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews". CinemaScore gives the film a "B+" on its A+ to F scale. 95% of Google users liked the film.

Trivia

  • This is Paul Giamatti's first Warner Bros. animated film since The Ant Bully (2006).
  • Hoops and Yoyo make their cameo appearances in the final scene, as one of the HWD reveals.
  • The film was in Normal 3D Real D 3D IMAX 3D Digital 3D & XD 3D.
  • The film crew uses a robotic version of 1980s David Ogden Stiers so that Cleo the Clownfish can be voiced by him as a dedication to the memories of David Ogden Stiers, after he died at age 75 on March 3, 2018.
  • This is Leslie Mann's third animated film outside Blue Sky Studios' Rio franchise, after "ParaNorman" released 7 years prior and "Mr. Peabody & Sherman" released 5 years prior.

Blue Sky Studios' Rio franchise, after "The Prince of Egypt" released 21 years prior.

Transcript

Main article: Unikitty! The Movie/Transcript

Credits

Main article: Unikitty! The Movie/Credits
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