For a while, feature animation seemed trapped in the “Secret Lives Of [INSERT THING HERE]” rut, but now It feels like we’re finally breaking out of it. Someone should have told the folks behind “Sneaks,” an animated movie now in development. The plot reads like a parody of the “inanimate objects who talk when people aren’t around” genre.
Ty is a very collectible and very sentient sneaker who has never known life outside of the box he is stored in. One evening thieves break into the house of the rich collector (voiced by Laurence Fishburne, who also has a producing credit) and steal Ty’s “sister,” aka the other shoe in the pair. Rescuing her will mean venturing out onto the dangerous streets of New York City — a task he’s unprepared for. Fortunately, every other shoe in the city can also talk, and a gang of street-smart footwear agrees to show Ty how to survive.
Rob Edwards, who wrote the scripts for “The Princess and the Frog” and “Treasure Planet,” is taking his first turn as director with this one. He describes it as “a hip-hop Toy Story,” as if we couldn’t already guess the pitch. As I implied earlier, CG movies really need to break out of the shadow of that movie, and with 2021 producing Raya and the Last Dragon and The Mitchells Vs. The Machines, i feel we’re getting there. I don’t know how much interest there will be in The Secret Lives Of Shoes.
As for which studio is bringing us “Sneaks”…that actually hasn’t been determined yet. CAA Media Finance (North America) and GFM Animation (International) will be shopping the film around at Cannes this year, looking for a buyer. It could wind up on the big screen, it could wind up on Netflix, or this might be all we ever hear of it. We’ll let you know if this shoe can get running.