George Lucas trades sci-fi for fantasy in 'Strange Magic' musical trailer

Who says all quests worth watching happen in space? Filmmaker George Lucas brings the hero's journey into the forest with his madcap musical fairy adventure, due out in January 2015.

Bonnie Burton
Journalist Bonnie Burton writes about movies, TV shows, comics, science and robots. She is the author of the books Live or Die: Survival Hacks, Wizarding World: Movie Magic Amazing Artifacts, The Star Wars Craft Book, Girls Against Girls, Draw Star Wars, Planets in Peril and more! E-mail Bonnie.
Bonnie Burton
2 min read

Sisters Dawn (Meredith Anne Bull) and Marianne (Evan Rachel Wood) don't always see eye to eye in "Strange Magic." Lucasfilm

Fairies, elves and imps push droids, Jedi Masters and Sith Lords out of the spotlight thanks to filmmaker George Lucas' new animated musical " Strange Magic."

The madcap fairy tale musical -- inspired by Shakespeare's play "A Midsummer Night's Dream" -- will be released on January 23 by Touchstone Pictures.

"Strange Magic" tells the tale of goblins, elves, fairies and imps, and the crazy misadventures that come about thanks to a battle over a powerful potion.

In the "Strange Magic" trailer, which debuted today on Yahoo Movies, we see elves, goblins and an array of fairy tale creatures venture into the Dark Forest on a quest of entertaining proportions.

There are plenty of jokes as well as singing and action. Frogs, lizards, mice and quite a few forest creatures round out the cast of characters.

"Strange Magic" is produced by Lucas, directed by Gary Rydstrom ("Toy Story Toons: Hawaiian Vacation"), produced by Mark S. Miller (associate producer of "Mars Attacks!") and executive-produced by Lucas, with a screenplay by David Berenbaum ("Elf"), Irene Mecchi ("Brave") and Rydstrom.

Would-be hero Roland (voiced by Sam Palladio) ventures to the Dark Forest riding a squirrel! Lucasfilm

Rydstrom told Yahoo Movies that Lucas made clear that the story should be about "finding beauty in strange places."

"Strange Magic" boasts an impressive cast of actors and singers who know their way around a Broadway stage. Actors Alan Cumming ("The Good Wife"), Evan Rachel Wood ("The Ides of March"), Kristin Chenoweth (Broadway's "Wicked"), Maya Rudolph ("Big Hero 6"), Sam Palladio ("Nashville"), Alfred Molina ("Chocolat"), Elijah Kelley ("Hairspray"), Bob Einstein ("Curb Your Enthusiasm"), Peter Stormare ("Fargo") and newcomer Meredith Anne Bull will lend their voices to the colorful cast of forest characters.

Like "Moulin Rouge" and "Mamma Mia," "Strange Magic" tells its story with covers of familiar songs, drawn from the past sixty years, according to Lucasfilm. Some of the musical performances in the film will include Cumming singing Deep Purple's "Mistreated", Chenoweth taking on "Love is Strange" and Wood singing Heart's "Straight On." Elvis Presley's hit "Can't Help Falling in Love" will also be included in the film, however it's not known yet who will be covering the beloved ballad, according to Yahoo Movies.

Not everyone appreciates the potion made by Sugar Plum Fairy (voiced by Kristin Chenoweth). Bog King (voiced by Alan Cumming) proves to be a powerful adversary. Lucasfilm

The trailer reveals a few of the other cover songs, which include "Wild Thing" popularized by the Troggs, "Sugar Pie Honey Bunch" by the Four Tops and Michael Franti's song "Say Hey" -- which was chosen specifically by Lucas for the film. Singer and actor Elijah Kelley who sings "Say Hey" in "Strange Magic" was also previously in another Lucasfilm movie, "Red Tails," which told the story of African-American pilots in World War II.

Lucasfilm Animation Singapore and Industrial Light & Magic -- which won the 2011 Academy Award for their animated film "Rango" -- will be responsible for what looks like awe-inspiring animation and visual effects.

Follow the "Strange Magic" Facebook page for the latest updates and news about the new film.