It’s official. Angel Studios (in cooperation with Shining Isle Productions) is bringing The Wingfeather Saga book series to life as a multi-season, animated TV show. After successfully raising $5 million via a humorous crowdfunding pitch that showcased an earlier proof-of-concept short film, the studio is now ready to produce the first five episodes.
The series is based on four fantasy novels that center around the Igiby family and their adventures in the land of Aerwiar. After accidently uncovering an ancient map and angering the Fangs of Dang, the Igiby children Janner, Kalmar and Leeli (as well their mother Nia and ex-pirate grandfather Podo) find themselves at the center of a great struggle that will change their lives and world forever. While the story is full of mythical beasts like great sea dragons, hideous lizardmen, and toothy cows, it’s also full of truths like those found in The Chronicles of Narnia. As the story progresses, it delves into weightier themes such as coping with trials, self-sacrifice and the need for redemption.
The short film, which covers the first few chapters of book one, was originally brought to life by industry veterans Tom Owens (How to Train Your Dragon 2), Keith Lango (Valve Corp), Nicholas Kole (Disney, Hasbro), and Chris Wall (VeggieTales, DreamWorks Animation). Partnering with the series’ author Andrew Peterson, they created Shining Isle Productions with the expressed purpose of bringing the books to life on screen. They developed a unique “hand painted” CGI animation style for the film that’s accented by a distinct stop-motion visual technique. In order to execute the visuals, executive producer Wall enlisted veteran artists from studios such as Pixar, DreamWorks Animation, Disney, Blue Sky and Nickelodeon. Owens directed the short while Kole (Crash Bandicoot, Spyro Reignited) managed the art direction. The music group The Arcadian Wild co-wrote the film’s music with Peterson and performed the songs, with vocals for “My Love Has Gone Across the Sea” and “Yurgen’s Tune” performed by Peterson’s daughter Skye. The film was scored by Kurt Heinecke (VeggieTales).