Tara Nicole Whitaker will be making her feature directorial debut with the animated feature Pierre the Pigeon-Hawk, reports Variety. She’ll be one of the first Black women to direct a major animated movie and will be co-directing alongside John D. Eraklis.
The upcoming movie is a musically driven animated comedy that promotes diversity, inclusion, and community. It includes a star-studded cast which includes Whoopi Goldberg, Jennifer Coolidge, Kenan Thompson, Howie Mandel, Luis Guzmán, Paul Blackthorne, Jamal Trulove, Domenick Lombardozzi, Evan Ross, and Ashlee Simpson. will.i.am, Jennifer Hudson, and Snoop Dogg will be the executive producers.
Whitaker said in a statement:
“I am beyond delighted to join this incredible team of artists, musicians, and storytellers to explore Pierre’s world and bring this wonderfully vibrant and inspiring tale of self-discovery to life.”
Whitaker is also directing The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder on Disney +, which is set for a 2022 release. She has also worked on character designs for studios such as Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network, and Netflix. In addition, Whitaker has also illustrated several children’s books, including the My Baby Loves series, and New York Times bestseller Shady Baby.
Here’s the synopsis for Pierre the Pigeon-Hawk
Set in NYC and born as a product of forbidden love between a hawk (Goldberg) and a pigeon (Mandel) …Pierre (will.i.am) is rejected by both communities. Tired of not fitting in, Pierre sets out on a mission to discover where he truly belongs. During his adventure, he unites with a band of unlikely friends including a recently escaped bear from the Central Park Zoo, Ophelia the owl (Hudson) whose genius is outweighed only by her madness, and a pair of rag tag, pop-cultured city squirrels, Scratch (Snoop) and Sniff (Thompson). Amidst a journey of self-discovery, Pierre finds the courage to inspire animals from all backgrounds to change their ways and open their minds to a new way of thinking. It will take a hybrid bird to unite a hybrid world.
Pierre the Pigeon-Hawk is being produced and directed remotely and is in pre-production at Toonz Media Group studio in Spain.