In May last year, The Weinstein Co acquired most worldwide rights to The Guardian Brothers, the Chinese animated film it is re-voicing in English. Now joining the previously set cast of Meryl Streep, Mel Brroks and Nicole Kidman are Edward Norton, Jim Gaffigan, Bella Thorne, Mike Birbiglia and Randall Park.
The film was released in China by Alibaba Pictures in January of 2016 under the original title, Little Door Gods, landing in the Top 10 of the international chart that weekend. Written and directed by Gary Wang, it’s produced by Zhou Yu and Light Chaser Animation Studios. Michael Lappin is the executive in charge of production at TWC which has rights outside China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macau.
The story follows a Chinese family in danger of losing its family owned business — a wonton soup shop that’s been passed down for hundreds of years. When grandmother passes away, the restaurant is left in the hands of a little girl named Raindrop (Thorne) and her mother (Kidman). Millions of miles away in the Spirit World, we meet The Guardians — who have watched over and protected the humans on Earth for centuries. Times are tough and two brother Guardians are forced to retire from the business they’ve loved since the beginning of time. Back down on Earth, Raindrop and her mom are fending off a rival soup shop owner’s attempt to sabotage the family restaurant. When the retired Guardian brothers find out, they spring into action, setting off the adventure.
TWC Co-Chairman, Harvey Weinstein says, “Animation is unique in that, the lessons and values that underline the stories transcend culture and language in truly universal ways. We’re thrilled to have such an incredibly talented cast of actors bring this story of acceptance and adapting to change to kids and families all over the world.”