Animation is easily the last frontier of film making for Nollywood. We have conquered the drama, the comedy, even dabbled in horror cult films and produced the occasional thriller. But animation as a medium and an art form has eluded Nollywood. Partly because the Nigerian film industry is a profit first industry and animation seems a huge investment to make for returns that aren’t guaranteed. There is of course the expertise that is required to make animation, so many moving parts including illustrators, animators, character design, sound design, sound engineering, post production. It goes on and on. But that hasn’t deterred the team behind Lady Buckit and the Motley Mopsters, the Chris Ihidero produced vehicle vying for the honour of being the first full length animated project to be made by and released in Nigeria.
It certainly won’t be the first animation. Nigerians have dabbled in the medium since the 80’s and a renaissance in the mid 2010’s saw studios like Niyi Akinmolayan’s Anthill Studios create animated short films on a variety of subjects, including an homage to Queen Amina. There is also the work of Magic Carpet Studios who have made few animated projects and have been hard at work adapting the beloved Cyprian Ekwensi novel, The Passport of Mallam Ilia. Independent animation projects by animation enthusiasts also offer an alternative to work from studios and veer towards experimental execution.
Lady Buckit and the Motley Mopsters is doing things different with its roster of A-list actors, Bimbo Akintola, Kalu Ikeagwu, Simi Hassan, Patrick Doyle and Francis Sule have all been associated with the project. DJ Klem and composer Ava Momoh are scoring the project and creating an original soundtrack. The trailer suggests it is for preteen audience, but we’ll have to see the full thing to come to any conclusions. What we can say is that Lady Buckit, is most certainly nothing like we’ve seen before.
Watch the trailer here.
— Chris Ihidero (@Chrisihidero) August 1, 2020
Edwin Okolo is an author and journalist who has worked with YNaija, TheNativemag and the Naked Convos.