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Interview with Elijah Kelley from STRANGE MAGIC

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Movie poster for 'Strange Magic', showcasing animated fantasy creatures with a full moon in the background, inspired by a George Lucas interview.

Tomorrow is the big day! Strange Magic will be in Theaters! Are you going to go see it? I hope so because I think that you will really like it. I mean hey, George Lucas is the brains behind in, its got to be amazing! 🙂  I loved learning the behind the scenes to Strange Magic. There is so much time and heart put into this movie. I shared with you my George Lucas Interview on Tuesday. Today I get to share with you my interview with Elijah Kelley. Let me tell you a little bit about my first time meeting Elijah Kelley.

Indoor atrium with skylight, wooden architecture, and seating area with blue chairs and tables for a Behind the Scene Look at Skywalker Ranch.There were 25 bloggers standing in the large entry hall at Skywalker Ranch Technology Building(pictured above). He was sitting at one of the tables above. Suddenly I hear, "Bloggers!!!" I turn around and there is Elijah Kelley with his arms outstretched. With the biggest, kindest grin on his face he goes from blogger to blogger says hi and gives them a big hug and takes a selfie! From the moment we met him he was nothing but kind. After meeting him we sat down in the theater and watched Strange Magic. One of the first scenes where Elijah Kelleys character Sunny comes on, Sunny is giving a hug to someone else. It made me laugh and really feel like we didn't just meet Elijah but his character Sunny, too because they really are one in the same!

Go see the movie-- you will love Sunny!!

Four musicians performing on stage with acoustic instruments during an interview with Elijah Kelley.

Photo Credit: Merlot Mommy

As you probably know from the trailer, this movie has a lot of music in it which makes it really fun. Before we interviewed Elijah Kelley we had the opportunity to listen to him perform. You will love hearing him sing in the movie but it is so much fun having the performance life so you can see all his energy and excitement. Here is a clip of him performing! Don't be afraid to dance along! 🙂

YouTube video

Interview with Elijah Kelley from STRANGE MAGIC 

A person sitting on a leather armchair on a stage, speaking into a microphone during an interview with Elijah Kelley.

Photo Credit: Sassy Mama in LA

This interview was a really neat one to me because Elijah Kelley was very friendly, down to earth and open about everything. He wasn't afraid to share the challenges with us. Doing voice-overs were a new thing for him and I loved learning about the experience. He also made us laugh a lot with his open desire for a sequel! 🙂  We want a sequel, too!

Promotional artwork featuring the animated character Sunny from the interview with Elijah Kelley, with the tagline "big plans. small frame.

INTERVIEWER : So I think everyone's gonna fall in love with Sunny after, after this movie, thanks to your performance.

Elijah Kelley: That's, that's very weird. I can't take compliments,

INTERVIEWER : Can you tell us a little bit about what it was like to voice him?

Elijah Kelley:  First of all, I've never done a voiceover before in my life, so it was a little bit of a challenge because he's hyper and super into everything that he always does, so I thought that it was gonna be so easy. I thought it was gonna be a piece of cake, but I would go in there and guarantee you, I would leave lightheaded and sweaty from all the running and everything. It was like P90X.

INTERVIEWER : When we were developing genuine characters we wanted to make the characters relatable to audiences of all kinds and all ages. Are there any themes in the movie that you relate to or think people will connect with?

Elijah Kelley: I think that people will connect for fighting for what you love because as you can see everybody goes through a lot of trouble to be able to grasp the love of their life, and I think that love is so complicated. I think that the wiring of love is just so weird, you know, and the fact that people can go to the ends of the Earth to capture something like that is, very, very inspirational. And I think in a time like this where we are in the world, it's an animation, but the subject matter is universal and it's timeless, you know?

Two animated characters engaging in a friendly exchange in a forest setting during a George Lucas interview.

INTERVIEWER : What was your, your favorite song to perform in Strange Magic?

Elijah Kelley : My favorite song- actually my favorite song in Strange Magic isn't there anymore.


Elijah Kelley : Yeah. Well, maybe if we get a sequel, we can put it in there. It was a song called “Hold On, I'm Coming.” But my favorite song in the movie is not even a full song. It's when the little, the little birdies, they sing, uh, Gotcha Looking So Crazy Right Now.

INTERVIEWER : How much did you improvise in the roll?

Direction: A lot.

Elijah Kelley : Yeah, it was it was a lot, but it was a lot because Gary, they were so gracious in allowing you bring the character to life in your way. The funny thing was, the first time I came up here the elves in the forest, they were all-everybody looked the same, like they, they were little white elves. And I was like, okay, somebody's gonna have to get some tanning lotion, put in a super soaker and just spray everybody. So, you know, when that happened, it just like, you know, you wanna put a little flavor in there and put a little swag in there. I think Sunny has that.

Question : What's the difference between doing a voice for an animated feature versus like what you did in Hairspray or even singing?

Elijah Kelley : The difference between doing a voiceover in a movie and a real movie is you can literally look horrible. You can look like crap. You can just go in the studio and just- be just the most disgusting looking person ever, but nobody will ever see you. But Hairspray, you know, you've gotta do hair and makeup. Red Tails; we had to, you know, I wore a big, thick mustache for Red Tails, and that's pretty much the difference.

Question : What characteristics did you find similar to your character?

Elijah Kelley : Sunny doesn't quit. Sunny doesn't quit. You know, once you understand that there's a task at hand, you can't stop until that task is finished. So throughout adversity, throughout trial, you have to keep going, and I think that's something that Sunny carries.Go see Elijah Kelley as Sunny in Strange Magic-  In theaters TOMORROW!!

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