Director Peggy Holmes led a presentation of new footage from Luck, the first animated feature from Apple Original Films and Skydance Animation as part of their overall deal, Tuesday at the Annecy International Animation Film Festival.
Slated to debut Aug. 5 on Apple TV+, the story follows Sam Greenfield, voiced by Eva Noblezada, who is described as unluckiest person in the world. In the first clip, everything about her morning goes wrong, including, her toast lands on the floor. In another clip, she follows a mysterious black cat, voiced by Simon Pegg, into the Land of Luck, which resembles a perfectly-timed Rube Goldberg machine in which everything goes right.
“Sam is super generous of heart; the unluckiest girl in the world goes after luck for someone else. And on that journey, Sam figures out that the worst bad luck she experienced in her life actually led her to the luckiest thing in her life. That’s really what the story is about,” Holmes, an Emmy winner whose credits include Secret of the Wings and The Pirate Fairy, tells The Hollywood Reporter. She directed from a script by Kiel Murray (Cars).
Dragons are a symbol of good luck in parts of the world, thus inspiring The Dragon, the CEO of Good Luck, who appeared in another clip and is voiced by Jane Fonda. “We brought her into the story process,” Holmes explains. “As she was watching the drawings and seeing the shapes and seeing how the artists had drawn the dragon, you could see her start to take on those moments and put the character in her body. In that meeting, Jane was like, “she’s 40-foot tall, she’s got that long tail, she should wrap it around her body like a boa.”
The voice cast is also led by Whoopi Goldberg as The Captain in the Land of Luck and John Ratzenberger as Rootie.
To get the look of the Land of Luck, Holmes relates that she talked with production designer Fred Warter “about this idea of good and bad luck. I wanted to create a magical land of luck, where the luck we experience every day in our lives is actually made. Fred made the first piece of artwork, with two worlds, on either side of a coin. Good luck on top and bad luck on the bottom. And that was it.”
From there, they further developed the look of the characters’ surroundings. “If you live in a place where there’s only good luck, you don’t need railings, you don’t need safety … only green lights, all the time. And then you do the opposite with the bad luck. There’s scaffolding. Nothing is working.”
For Holmes, Luck demonstrates “what we are all about at Skydance — which is telling deep, emotional stories, creating a world you’ve never seen before and making a movie for everyone.”
John Lasseter, David Ellison, Dana Goldberg and David Eisenmann are producing Luck.