The Wingfeather Saga: The Animated Series

By

Today is the day. After months of meetings, prayers, conversations, emails, and phone calls we’re officially launching the Kickstarter campaign to bring the Wingfeather Saga to the screen. Let me repeat myself: we’re going to make a serious run at animating—literally, “bringing to life”—all four books, the entirety of Janner, Kal, and Leeli’s story.

What?

YES.

wingfeatherPoster_4_3_FINAL

I’ll explain more, but if you’re like me and sometimes you don’t have time to read a tome of an email, then click here. You can watch the video, read all about our plan, and sign up at one of the reward levels to 1) support the project and 2) get some cool stuff.

Here’s the quick rundown of how I ended up at this juncture, in case you’re worried that I’ve lost my mind.

–I had no idea how much encouraging, overwhelming fun it would be to raise the support on Kickstarter for The Warden and the Wolf King. We raised 840% more than our goal, which of course made me ugly cry. Truly, I’ve never been a part of anything like it. (Thank you.)

–When that book was finally finished I had the feeling that the Wingfeather Saga wasn’t finished with me.

–I’ve gotten loads of sweet emails from readers asking when/if I’m going to make a movie of the saga. I never really got excited about that, even though a few different opportunities were presented, mainly because, well, I don’t have $100 million and J.J. Abrams’s cell number. I’d love to see a great film of this story, but I’d hate to see a bad one.

–All of a sudden, another idea came to mind. Rather, two came to mind in quick succession. What if we made an animated film? Better yet, what if we made an animated series? I can’t tell you how many times I’ve wished there was a show like this on Netflix or Amazon, something that the whole family could watch, something epic, something that could really stretch out and go deep–and be as good for the parents as for the kids.

–If I could be a part of the production team, I could make sure the animated version was true to the heart of the books. I know the ending, and I want to make sure every step of the way leads to that moment. That’s not something I can trust some random producer with.

–Enter Chris Wall. Chris is a film producer–more specifically he’s a producer of animated films. You Hutchmooters will remember him from a few great sessions over the years. Chris produced several VeggieTales films as well as 20 of the 3-2-1 Penguins shows for NBC, so he totally knows what he’s doing. I kept pestering him and pestering him and it turns out that persistent widow thing sort of works.

–Chris and I formed Shining Isle Productions, and now it’s time to get busy. Like, for real. We want to subcreate something beautiful and good and true. But we need your help. Hence, Kickstarter.

I can’t stop thinking about Tolkien’s subcreation idea, that our imaginations are bearing God’s image when we’re building worlds and stories. Writing the books was one thing–and one of the most gratifying parts of my whole life–but seeing the concept art that Joe Sutphin and Justin Gerard and Aedan Peterson did for the books was another thing altogether. It was another step toward realizing the world of Aerwiar and I felt a tingle in my spine when the story in my mind was augmented by the artistic gifting of other people. Most of you probably don’t know this, but when I was in high school I had every intention of either going into animation or penciling Batman comics. I’ve always loved illustration, but am a total hack when it comes to drawing (which, thankfully, led to a music career). Even so, I’ve always leaned into the visual part of subcreation, whether with album covers or book covers or illustrations in the books. Not only does it excite me to think about executive producing an animated film, I would really love to see the Wingfeather Saga play itself out in a different format that might just get Janner’s story into many more kids’ imaginations.

I don’t know how else to say it: this feels like something God has called us to. Now, that doesn’t mean this thing won’t fail miserably; if it does, it just means that God has called us closer to him by way of a massive failure, and that’s fine. (Painful, but fine.) But we wouldn’t be doing this if we didn’t hope that you guys would, in your great generosity and kindness and goodwill and awesomeness, join us in bringing this thing into the world.

Whatever help you can give would be great, but if you can back us sooner than later that would be great. The first 72 hours, they say, makes a huge difference in the success of the campaign. And if you don’t mind sharing the Kickstarter page with basically everyone you’ve ever met, ever-ever, that would be a big deal.

Thank you guys for all the ways you’ve blessed me and my family. We’re on pins and needles over here at the Warren.

(The stories are true.)

AP

As a singer-songwriter and recording artist, Andrew has released more than ten records over the past fifteen years. His music has earned him a reputation for writing songs that connect with his listeners in ways equally powerful, poetic, and intimate. He has also followed his gifts into the realm of publishing. His books include the four volumes of the award-winning Wingfeather Saga.


23 Comments

  1. Rob Young

    I. Can’t. Wait. To tell my kids tonight. We’ll be scouring for funds to help make sure this happens.

  2. Jillian Hopper

    Oh. My. Goodness! This is so stinkin’ awesome! I can remember finishing the Saga with my sisters and thinking, “This has to be on screen someday.” I can’t believe it’s actually happening… God is going to do great things! Can’t wait to join in the adventure! 🙂

  3. Nathaniel Miller

    I can’t begin to say how excited this makes me. The video explaining it all is great. You think it’s over, and then…well, let’s just say I nearly cried, it was so beautiful. These are some of the most amazing books in the world and a dream come true to see them come to the screen in any capacity. Let’s make this happen!

  4. Melissa

    You sure know how to derail a homeschool day! Our children are very excited over this news–one even planning where to wear the enviable Durgan Patch. We’re cheering you on!

  5. Jade Payne

    This is joyous news indeed! I am clapping my hands in delight, dude! We support your endeavors to bring light and truth into a dark and grieving world! We’re in your corner, friend!

  6. Jake

    Wow! This is incredible! I’m a huge fan of animation – I think that, visually and for storytelling, animation holds incredible potential, even more than live action. Studios like Pixar and Studio Ghibli have created an art and a beautiful way to tell stories.

    By the way, if you want a great example of an animated series done absolutely right (with a single story arc rather than a story arc with sequels), check out Avatar: The Last Airbender. It has an elegant simplicity in style and story content, but ends up being one of the most complex and beautiful “mythologies” I’ve ever seen. It balances humor and emotion in ways that remind me of your work.

    I’m so excited for this, as a storyteller and as a huge fan of the Saga. Count me in!

  7. Josh Duncan

    My kids have watched the heck out of that Kickstarter video. When you got to the “beware of…” section at the end they kept naming creature after creature after creature.

    You’re making a lot of people very, very happy, sir.

  8. Laure Hittle

    “I don’t know how else to say it: this feels like something God has called us to. Now, that doesn’t mean this thing won’t fail miserably; if it does, it just means that God has called us closer to him by way of a massive failure, and that’s fine. (Painful, but fine.)”

    Funny; our pastor said this almost verbatim on Sunday. 🙂 And THIS, Andrew, is why i’m proud of you. Not because that Kickstarter reached 50% in the first seven hours—that’s why i’m proud of us.

  9. Brian Schellenberger

    Thank you for including us in this project. We know that video production is very expensive and we will be praying for donors, investors and talented staff to put it all together. We are also praying this not take away from your families or your personal time with Jesus. As significant as this might be for His Kingdom, He loves each of us more than all of our offerings to Him.

  10. Robert

    I am so happy this is being made into a movie!!!!!!!!!!! I’ve watched the pert with the map and the music…. I LOVE THIS. Can’t wait. Love your work, AP.

  11. Robert

    I am so happy this is being made into a movie!!!!!!!!!!! I’ve watched the part with the map and the music so many times in just a couple hours…. I LOVE THIS. Nearly screamed when I saw the goal was met this morning… Can’t wait. Love your work, AP.

  12. Leah

    AHHHHH!!!!!!!! I am SO EXCITED! I keep shrieking!
    Oh my goodness, this is a dream come true.
    I saw this so late, but I’ll be sharin’ it where I can!
    Two of my siblings and I are huge fans of the books and very quickly decided that someone would have to make a movie of them. We’re all poor, busy teenagers and we decided we’d have to wait for a few years. We had a gargantuan amount of planing, writing, thinking, talking, drawing, and considering to do anyway that would take at least 5 (probably more) years. We knew once we got started in would take probably a decade or more to shoot, edit, and perfect EVERY detail. We were determined to stay true to the story, but we realized it would be very hard to portray the family with real actors. We quickly decided we would have to make an animated version and possibly an un-animated one later on.
    We’ve kinda had a lull recently with so much going on in our personal lives.
    And we didn’t see this coming–I mean, most people wouldn’t make a film so soon after the books! (Don’t get me wrong: I love the fact that you’re doing this– this is SO AWESOME but it’s so unusual, which makes it all the more awesome!!)
    So we just assumed if there was ever going to be a good production of the movie that was true to the books, either you OR us and friends would have to do it. (Besides you, we’d only trust ourselves to such a significant and delicate undertaking) We didn’t think you would, so we decided that that meant it was our fortunate task.
    So now that I gushed in my excitement (sorry about that!), I want to say I’m beyond glad that you are doing this and you have my prayers and support. God bless you and this work!

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