Empire Entertainment are pleased to announce their collaboration with FilmOne Distribution and Production Directors, Kene Okwuosa and Moses Babatope in bringing together Nigerian stars Ayo ‘AY’ Makun and Omoni Oboli as voice cast for the Exclusive Voice Over theatrical version for the Nigerian release of ELLIOT: THE LITTLEST REINDEER on 14 December 2018.
The inclusion of these stars announces a new era of collaboration across Nigeria and hopefully other territories across Africa. The collaboration came about after seeing the need for two worlds to come together and make cinematic history.
Ayo “AY” Makun will be voicing the character DJ (Donner Junior) who has extremely large shoes to fill. With his talent as well as his pedigree, he is Walter’s top prospect amongst the Witty Bitty’s reindeer. But what the others don’t know is DJ also has a crippling fear of flying, clumsily masked by his boisterous ego. Ultimately DJ will be forced to reconcile his desire to please his father with a greater need to be true to himself.
Omono Oboli is voicing Hazel – she is Elliot’s best friend and biggest supporter. Hazel is a quirky goat with a loud personality and an even louder appetite! She knows Elliot’s got what it takes to be one of Santa’s reindeer, and she’s determined to help him get there. Although she may seem flighty at times, Hazel has a sharp eye; when push comes to shove, whether she’s at his side or behind the scenes, Hazel is there to make sure Elliot keeps his eye on the prize.
Speaking on their involvement with the project, Ay and Omoni both expressed their delight, as parents themselves, at being a part of a project that was sure to bring some of that Christmas cheer to not just children but also all lovers of animated movies in Nigeria and also something the family can share together this holiday season. They would like to encourage families to come together and see this great movie.
MORE ABOUT ELLIOT: THE LITTLEST REINDEER
Elliot is a miniature horse with a great big dream. Ever since the petting zoo where he lives became an Official North Pole Reindeer Training Camp, his job wrangling the zoo’s goat population with his great uncle Peanut Butter has seemed kind of…lame. What Elliot really wants is excitement. Thrills. Glory! That’s right, Elliot wants to work for the Big Man himself. Elliot wants to be a reindeer.
So, when Blitzen announces his retirement on December 21st and Santa schedules a three-day emergency try-out, Elliot sees his chance. He summons all of his courage and against his best friend Hazel the goat’s advice, stages an impromptu try-out of his own for head coach Walter. He aces the hair-pin turn. He breezes through the tire course. He shreds the pylon circuit. But Walter completely ignores him. What’s worse, his arch-nemesis DJ (short for Donner Junior – Yes, that Donner) and his reindeer pals all laugh at him. Peanut Butter just berates him for getting too big for his britches. Humiliated, Elliot suffers his first real wave of self-doubt. Maybe he really is dreaming too big.
But when Hazel and Elliot discover that Walter is planning to sell the petting zoo animals to a maniacal jerky manufacturer named Ludzinka because they haven’t made a profit in years, Elliot decides that it’s up to him to save the farm by making Santa’s team. After all, everyone in the world would want to visit the petting zoo that produced the first non -reindeer reindeer! He convinces Hazel to stow away with him in Walter’s trunk and head to the North Pole. After Elliot’s initial attempt at registering for the try-outs is thwarted by his non-reindeer status, he dons a pair of fake antlers and fools the officials. Now all he has to do is beat twenty of the world’s foremost reindeer competitors and he’ll be home free!
Despite his diminutive stature, Elliot manages to advance through phase after gruelling phase of the competition to the finals. But DJ discovers Elliot’s true identity and reveals it to the world in a boldly humiliating stunt. Shamed and belittled (literally!) Elliot is convinced his dream is dead. Corkie, the ambitious news reporter breaks the story that DJ and his dad have been sneaking extra doses of Mrs Claus’) magic cookies (which are what give reindeer the ability to fly) and that Head Elf Lemondrop’s heanefarious plans to replace the Reindeer altogether with modernized, state -of- the art sleighs have led him to sabotage the entire competition. Santa isn’t even sure he’ll be able to pull off this year’s Christmas at all.
But when Lemondrop sets off the North Pole’s climate generator (used to train Reindeer to handle all types of weather) in the middle of a crowded stadium as a final act of revenge, Elliot is able to prove his worthiness by using his small stature to bravely save everyone from a raging tornado. Santa reconsiders his reindeer-only policy and invites Elliot to join his team. The petting zoo is saved and DJ and his dad are demoted to Peanut Butter’s goat wrangling assistants. Inspired, Hazel begins her own training program, because if a miniature horse can buck tradition, why not a goat?