Rob Edwards to Make Directorial Debut With Animated Feature ‘Sneaks’ (EXCLUSIVE)

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Rob Edwards, the screenwriter behind “The Princess and the Frog” and “Treasure Planet,” is making his directorial debut with “Sneaks.”

“Sneaks” follows the adventure of Ty, a misguided, one-of-a-kind, designer sneaker who doesn’t know life outside the comforts of his velvet-lined shoe box. After his sister is stolen by a shady collector, Ty must venture into NYC to find and rescue her. In his adventure, Ty meets a rag-tag group of footwear friends from all walks of life who help him find the courage to step outside of his shoe box and find his “sole-mate.”

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The independently financed animated feature film will be produced by Len Hartman and Gil Cloyd of Lengi Studios and Laurence Fishburne and Helen Sugland of Cinema Gypsy Productions. Meko Yohannes and producers of the Academy Award-winning animated short “If Anything Happens I Love You” Robyn Klein and Jeremy Ross will serve as executive producers.

Fishburne also will voice the role of The Collector. “I am so thrilled to be a part of this project and to bring the animated world of ‘Sneaks’ to life, said Fishburne. “There is such an incredible and talented group of people involved and it is a pleasure to work alongside them.”

“I think of ‘Sneaks’ as kind of a hip-hop ‘Toy Story,'” said Edwards who will also pen the script. “I try to make movies that my whole family will enjoy, and ‘Sneaks’ has got heart, humor, friendship as well as some themes that I hope will connect with people. It’s both classic and contemporary at the same time and I can’t wait for people to see it come to life.”

“Music plays an important part in the storytelling of films,” said Mustard, who serves as executive music producer. “I’m excited to tap in and be a part of a project that brings both the sneaker culture and music together.”

Matt Ahrens (“Next Gen”) is on board as editor and Ovi Nedelcu (“Space Jam: A New Legacy”) as lead character designer. Preproduction, design and storyboard work is underway with House of Cool (“Ferdinand”) and animation will be done by Assemblage (“Arctic Dogs”).

The film is represented by CAA Media Finance (North America) and GFM Animation (International). GFM animation will be launching sales of the film at the upcoming Cannes market.

Cinema Gypsy brings a wealth of successful animation experience, including the animated series Marvel’s “Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur” for Disney Channels Worldwide.

Fishburne is repped by CAA, Landmark Artists Management, and Del Shaw Moonves Tanaka Finkelstein & Lezcano.

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