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The Amazing Maurice - What We Know So Far

The entertainment world has a lot to look forward to within the world of animation. From Disney's "Wish" to Pixar's "Elemental" to Illumination's "The Super Mario Bros. Movie," there seems to be no end in sight to the awe-inspiring works of animated magic that await us. Along with major studio productions, smaller releases also deserve just as much attention, one of them being "The Amazing Maurice." 

The film is based on the 2001 novel, "The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents," by late British author Terry Pratchett. The book is the 28th installment in Pratchett's satirical fantasy series "Discworld" and also the first of the series meant for children. The book remains amongst Pratchett's most acclaimed work, even winning the accomplished author his first major literary award, the Carnegie Medal. One of the award's judges, Karen Usher, would even say of Pratchett's novel, "This is an outstanding work of literary excellence – a brilliant twist on the tale of the Pied Piper that is funny and irreverent, but also dark and subversive" (via The Guardian).

In 2019, "The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents" would get picked up to be turned into an animated feature (via Animation World Network). While it may not be getting the attention that other upcoming animated features are, there's more to this cat than meets the eye. So let's dive in and see what we know so far about "The Amazing Maurice."

What's the release date of The Amazing Maurice?

Whether you're a Terry Pratchett fan excited about visiting Discworld, an animation diehard, or really just loved the trailer, we've got good news for you. "The Amazing Maurice" will be available for your viewing pleasure very soon. The film is scheduled to hit theaters on February 3, 2023, so prepare yourself to see the titular scam artist and his team of talking rats.

What is the plot of The Amazing Maurice?

The description of "The Amazing Maurice" on IMDb reads, "This story follows Maurice, a goofy streetwise cat, who has the perfect money-making scam. He finds a dumb-looking kid who plays a pipe and has his very own horde of rats, who are strangely literate." The film's official website elaborates on this further, describing how Maurice, the rats, and the boy named Keith find themselves in the town of Bad Blintz, where they meet Malicia, a book-obsessed girl who needs their help to solve a mystery. The film's plot seems to match closely to that of the book (via GoodReads), with no significant deviations so far. However, it appears to have a lighter and comical direction than Terry Pratchett's original text. Regardless, as the first animated film to adapt the author's works, those involved in the project are aware of the massive responsibility ahead of them. 

Producer Emely Christians, whose production company Ulysses Filmproduktion is attached to the project, says, " 'The Amazing Maurice' will be the first animated feature film ever made from a Terry Pratchett novel. It will get Ulysses' complete focus and attention to detail to fulfill our promise: to make a wonderful movie from this very funny, unique, strong, and awesome story." While it seems to be of a lighter tone, it will be interesting to see how the film balances this with the satirical nature of Pratchett's original work.

Who is starring in The Amazing Maurice?

"The Amazing Maurice" will see no other than Golden Globe winner Hugh Laurie as the titular character's voice. Laurie might be best known by audiences as Gregory House in the long-running medical drama series "House," even being recognized as the most-watched man on television at one point for the role (via The Telegraph). Still, the actor has also dabbled into the voice-acting realm on quite a few occasions. This includes roles in such films and shows as "Arthur Christmas," "Hop," and, most notably, DreamWorks' "Monsters vs. Aliens" franchise as the voice of Dr. Cockroach. Starring alongside him is Emilia Clarke as Malicia, with both actors getting attached to the project in late 2020 alongside the likes of Himesh Patel as Keith, David Thewlis as Boss Man, Gemma Arterton as Peaches and Hugh Bonneville as The Mayor (via Variety). 

David Tennant was added to the cast in May 2021 as the character Dangerous Beans. Tennant is best known as the tenth incarnation of the Doctor in the BBC series "Doctor Who," but has previously starred in another Terry Pratchett film adaptation, 2019's "Good Omens" produced by Amazon Studios. Rounding out the cast is Joe Sugg as Sardines, Rob Brydon as the Pied Piper, and Julie Atherton as Nourishing (via Deadline). Attached to direct are Toby Genkel and Florian Westermann, the former being known for helming the animated films "A Stork's Journey" and "Ooops! Noah Is Gone" (via Cartoon Brew).

Is there a trailer for The Amazing Maurice?

An official trailer for "The Amazing Maurice" was released on May 2022. From it, it seems that the film will be playing with a fun, lighthearted self-aware tone, with Emilia Clarke's Malicia opening up the trailer with the line, "The original fairytales are all the same. The princess, the hero — but this story is a little different." From there, we are introduced to the smug and cocky Maurice alongside the wimpy and nervous Keith as they enter town, likely to carry out a money-making scheme. We are also introduced to the rats, who, at first, seem like villains of the story, but we see later that they are working alongside Maurice, even greeting the cat happily. 

Looking at the trailer also allows us to appreciate the character designs of Carter Goodrich, who was attached to the project early on (via Cartoon Brew). In the past, Goodrich has worked on animated films, including "Finding Nemo," "Despicable Me," "Shrek," "Ratatouille," "The Croods," "Brave" and many more. While the animation itself lacks some of the polish of a Pixar film, Goodrich's designs more than make up for it, with producer Andrew Barker stating, "As a lifelong [Terry] Pratchett fan, bringing to the screen one of his most cherished novels is going to be immensely exciting ... Carter Goodrich's designs bringing these characters to life in their own unique style, which I'm sure audiences will love."