Announced in May as a new venture from Polarity to compliment its comics publishing business, Lion Forge Animation is introducing itself with the heartfelt new animated short Hair Love, set to hit the big screen on August 14 with Sony Pictures Animation/Rovio’s The Angry Birds Movie 2.
Directed by Matthew A. Cherry (executive producer, BlacKkKlansman), Everett Downing Jr. (animator, Up, WALL·E), and Bruce W. Smith (creator, The Proud Family; animator, The Princess and the Frog), Hair Love is a collaboration with Sony Pictures Animation that was launched as a Kickstarter campaign in 2017 which attracted strong support and became the platform’s most highly-funded short film project with $300,000 (over a $75k goal). The short centers on an African-American father attempting to tangle with his young daughter’s wonderfully wild hair for the first time.
“Lion Forge Animation’s mission to bring authentic and unique stories to the world perfectly aligns with our vision for Hair Love,” said Cherry. “We are really honored to have them as a partner in bringing Hair Love to the world.”
Hair Love features the voice of Issa Rae (Insecure) as the young girl’s mother. The short is produced by Karen Rupert Toliver, Stacey Newton, Monica A. Young, Matthew A. Cherry, and Lion Forge Animation’s David Steward II and Carl Reed. Peter Ramsey (director, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse) and Frank Abney (animator, Toy Story 4) serve as executive producers.
“As a father of an eight-yea- old daughter with 3b hair, I can personally relate so directly to this project, and was therefore drawn to its themes immediately,” said Reed. “This film presents such a unique perspective on such a common part of our daily experience, providing a rare on-screen moment for African-American parents to connect with. Matthew A. Cherry has given us an uplifting, positive view of black families; and thanks to Sony Pictures Animation running this theatrically, one that we will have an opportunity to share with the world.”
The short’s co-executive producers include Jordan Peele, Andrew Hawkins, Harrison Barnes, Yara and Keri Shahidi. The short’s associate producers include N’Dambi Gillespie, Gabrielle Union-Wade & Dwayne Wade Jr., Gabourey Sidibe, Stephanie Fredric and Claude Kelly.
The animation was produced at Los Angeles-based Six Point Harness (Guava Island)