With the reign of Pixar ever-so-steadily slipping (2011 marks the first year that the studio released a new film, Cars 2 in this case, that was not nominated for Best Animated Feature), it looks like another studio is looking to capitalize on original and appealing ideas.

DreamWorks Animation is now casting for their next original film, Me & My Shadow, which will center “on Stan, a shadow who yearns for a more exciting life than being attached to a timid human named Stanley Grubb. When a crime in the shadow community puts both of their lives in danger, Stan is forced to take control of Stanley, thrusting both of them into an adventure featuring a shadowy villain, who intends to lead a rebellion to take over the human world.” The studio has cast Bill Hader as shadow Stan, with Josh Gad as his scaredy-cat human Stanley and Kate Hudson as Stanley’s real world love interest.

While the film’s plot is cute enough already, the studio is also looking to branch out with a bit of a gimmick that ties into it – the film will be made up two different kinds of animation. The “shadow world” will reportedly be hand-drawn, while Stanley’s “human world” will be CG.

Alessandro Carloni will make his directorial debut with Shadow, but his resume includes a very encouraging sign – he was head of story on DreamWorks Animation’s thoroughly excellent How to Train Your Dragon. The script will come from Tom J. Astle and Matt Ember, which is based on an original draft from Steve Bencich and Ron J. Friedman.

Hader has the best voicework resume of the bunch, voicing main character Flint Lockwood in the positively delightful Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs. He’s also contributed to Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs and Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil. Wait, did I say “best”? Umm, let’s just focus on Cloudy and move on from that. Gad’s voice talents have appeared in Marmaduke and will next be heard in the upcoming Ice Age: Continental Drift. Hudson will be making her animated debut with the film, which is somewhat shocking, considering she’s already plundered the depths (lows) of romantic comedies and should have switched genres years ago.

The film is already set for a November 13, 2013 release. [THR]

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