Animals United (German: Konferenz der Tiere) is a 2010 British American German 3D computer animated comedy adventure film directed and produced by Reinhard Klooss and Holger Tappe. It was released on 7 October 2010 in Germany. The film stars Ralf Schmitz and Thomas Fritsch as a meerkat named Billy and a lion named Socrates in the African Okavango Delta, who go on an epic quest to discover why their river has unexpectedly dried up. It is based on the 1949 book of the same name by Erich Kästner. This is the second adaptation as the first adaptation was a 2D-animated film, which was also the first German animated feature film to be in color that was released in 1969. The screenplay for the film was written by Oliver Huzly and Reinhard Kloos. An English dub version for Animals United stars an ensemble cast, including James Corden, Stephen Fry and Andy Serkis.
German theatrical release poster
|Based on||Die Konferenz der Tiere by Erich Kästner|
|Music by||David Newman|
|Edited by||Alexander Dittner|
|Distributed by||Constantin Film|
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The film is set in Africa's Okavango Delta, and the main characters are a meerkat named Billy and a lion named Socrates. The annual flood has failed to arrive in the Delta, water has become scarce and the native animals fiercely fight over it. Billy and Socrates set out to find more water, and during their quest they meet a rag-tag group of animals from across the world: a polar bear named Sushi, a kangaroo named Toby, a Tasmanian devil named Smiley, two Galápagos tortoises named Winifred and Winston, a rooster named Charles, and a chimpanzee named Toto, all of whom have had their lives ruined by humans in some way and have travelled to Africa. The animals soon discover the reason for the lack of water in the Delta: a dam has been constructed to supply energy for a luxury resort owned by a man named Mr. Smith. Hunter, a poacher, kidnaps Socrates, while the other animals escape. The animals hold a conference where Winifred and Winston explain the deadly future that could be possible for animals. After the conference, however, Winifred and Winston pass away. That day, Billy and the other animals travel through the "Valley of Death" towards the dam. Hunter spots the animals and tries to stop them with a bi-plane, but is stopped by Toto. Maya, Mr. Smith's daughter, frees Socrates from his cage, and sends Hunter down a chute. Down at the bottom of the dam, the buffaloes and rhinos, including Chino and Biggie, charge into the dam. Billy hits a rock into a chute in the dam, which ignites a missile from Hunter's bi-plane, which destroys the dam, and frees the water. To celebrate the water coming back, they have a party. After the party, the animals travel to New York City, where the movie ends with the animals walking through the city with the blue whales calling in the background.
- Billy is an adventurous, clumsy, easily scared but good-hearted and caring green-eyed gray meerkat who wants to find water to drink - to collect which he carries a bottle made out an orange gourd, complete with cork. He also likes to golf, drum and sing.
- Bonnie - Billy's wife and loyal but concerned member of the meerkat family. She has tan fur and light brown eyes compared to her husband's gray fur and green eyes.
- Junior - the son of Billy and Bonnie who aspires to do some of the things his father does, such as collecting water in a gourd.
- Other meerkats - often tease Junior about his father's promise, but are convinced at the end.
- Socrates - The vegetarian African lion with a scar on his face and Billy's best friend. His goal is to vanquish the hunter in revenge for his brother Mambo.
- Angie - The elephant with blond hair tied in a ponytail.
- Giselle - The giraffe with makeup on her face and blond bangs on her head. She is also Angie's best friend.
- Winston - A Galapagos tortoise who has been alive for more than 700 years. He's 12 years older than his wife, Winifred. He dies shortly before the climax of the film.
- Winifred - A Galapagos tortoise and Winston's wife who is also more than 700 years old. She and her husband die shortly before the film's climax.
- Charles - The rooster with a French accent who leads the other animals.
- Sushi - A polar bear who has been injured by global warming.
- Toby - A kangaroo with droopy ears. Despite being a male Toby has a pouch. He likes to drink water.
- Ken - The koala who's been rescued by a man after another set the outback on fire.
- Smiley - The Tasmanian devil whom Toby the kangaroo befriends. In addition to his lack of intelligence, clumsiness and inability to speak, Smiley is notorious for his terrible flatulence, but he is also caring, friendly and loyal.
- Toto - The chimpanzee who served as an animal test subject on a cruise ship.
- Biggie - A rhinoceros who fights Chino in a butting match stopped by Bonnie, the meerkat.
- Chino - The buffalo who fights Biggie.
- Bob - An aardvark who trumpets like an elephant.
- The Leopard - A leopard who looks like a black panther living in the canyon and becomes a vegetarian after fearing Charles for his courageous act.
- Bongo - A red monkey that works as a hairdresser for other animals.
- Mr. Smith - the tour guide of the hotel who initially cares nothing for animals and is interested only in making money. At the end, when the animals have got their water back, his hotel goes bankrupt.
- Maya Smith - Smith's daughter who is kind and loves animals.
- Hunter - a selfish, cruel and unscrupulous animal-killer. He has earlier killed Socrates' brother Mambo, but is defeated by the animals near the end of the movie.
- Ralf Schmitz as Erdmännchen Billy
- Thomas Fritsch as Löwe Sokrates
- Bastian Pastewka as Elefantenkuh Angie
- Bianca Krahl as Giraffe Gisela
- Margot Rothweiler as Schildkröte Winifred
- Peter Gröger as Schildkröte Winston
- Constantin von Jascheroff as Erdmännchen
- Nicola Devico Mamone as Büffel Chino
- Christoph Maria Herbst as Hahn Charles
- Oliver Kalkofe as Hoteldirektor Smith
- Frank Schaff as Erdmännchen
- Tilo Schmitz as Nashorn Biggie
- Santiago Ziesmer as Affiger Friseur Bongo
- James Corden as Billy
- Stephen Fry as Socrates
- Dawn French as Angie
- Joanna Lumley as Giselle
- Jim Broadbent as Winston
- Vanessa Redgrave as Winifred
- Billie Piper as Bonnie the Meerkat
- Tom Wayland as Bob the Aardvark
- Andy Serkis as Charles the Cockerel
- Jason Donovan as Toby
- Omid Djalili as Bongo
- Mischa Goodman as Junior
- Bella Hudson as Sushi
- Oliver Green as Ken
- Jason Griffith as Toto the Chimpanzee
- Sean Schemmel as Biggie the Rhinoceros
- Marc Thompson as Chino the Buffalo
- Oliver Wyman as Smiley
- Ruben Lloyd, Jimmy Zoppi and Gary McHenley as Vultures
- Kim Holland as Maya
- Veronica Taylor as The Mole
Animals United was released in theaters on October 7, 2010 in Germany.
This film was released on Blu-ray and DVD in the US in 2012 by Arc Entertainment. A Blu-ray 3D release in North America has not been announced yet.
Reviews for the film were generally unfavourable, with the aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes reporting that 25% of critics have given the film a positive review, with an average rating 3.8 out of 10. A review in The Hollywood Reporter described the film as a "bombastic CGI-effort that aims at the big leagues, but preaches too much while entertaining too little to unite internationally."
|Animals United (Original Soundtrack)|
|Soundtrack album by |
|Genre||Film soundtrack, pop, rock|
The soundtrack album for the film was composed by David Newman. It features songs performed by various artists, including Naturally 7, Charles Trénet and Xavier Naidoo. It was released on 7 December 2010 in Germany through Königskinder Music in CD and digital download formats, and is also available on iTunes.
All musical score tracks for the film written and composed by David Newman, except where noted.
|2.||"Golfing with Caca"||1:38|
|3.||"King of the Road"||Naturally 7||3:56|
|4.||"Splish Splash"||Naturally 7||2:13|
|6.||"Billy the Scatterbrain"||1:07|
|7.||"La Mer"||Charles Trénet||3:24|
|9.||"Drumming for Water"||2:33|
|10.||"A New Horizon"||Xavier Naidoo & Naturally 7||3:04|
|11.||"Socrates Tells the Story"||3:15|
|12.||"Move On Up"||Naturally 7||3:51|
|13.||"Hokey Pokey"||Naturally 7||2:26|
|14.||"Tales of the Humans"||5:43|
|15.||"Animals in New York"||2:16|
|16.||"A New Horizon (Vocal Play Version)"||Xavier Naidoo & Naturally 7||2:52|
Note: Roger Thomas of Naturally 7 provides Billy's singing voice for tracks 3 and 4.