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‘Long Way North’ Takes Animation on Arctic Adventure (Exclusive Video)

Hand-drawn film from director who worked on ”Song of the Sea“ and ”The Secret of Kells“ aims to break into Oscar race

“Long Way North,” a stylish hand-drawn adventure story from a director who worked on the Oscar-nominated “Song of the Sea” and “The Secret of Kells,” will be looking to lure animation fans and break into a brutally competitive Oscar race for Best Animated Feature this fall.

TheWrap is exclusively premiering a new trailer for the film, which will open in Los Angeles, New York and other major markets on Sept. 30, with additional cities to follow.

The film marks the feature directing debut of Rémi Chayé and is produced by Sacrebleu Productions (“Madagascar,” “Carnet de Voyage”), Maybe Movies (“Ernest & Celestine”), France 3 Cinema, 2 Minutes and Norlum Studios (“Song of the Sea”).

It is about a young Russian girl in the late 19th century who decides to search for the lost ship piloted by her grandfather, a celebrated Arctic explorer who was lost on his final trip to the North Pole.

The film won awards at the Annecy International Animation Film Festival and the Tokyo Animation Festival, while the New York Times said it offers “all you’d want in a young adventure — action, danger, a journey, a coming of age, heartwarming and heartbreaking moments, handsome animation and a strong statement of girl power.”

“Long Way North” is one of a number of smaller foreign films that will be competing with the likes of “Zootopia,” “Finding Dory” and “Kubo and the Two Strings” in what is expected to be a very crowded field for the Best Animated Feature Oscar.

In recent years, smaller films made outside the U.S. have landed a number of nominations, with “When Marnie Was There,” “Boy and the World,” “Song of the Sea,” “Ernest & Celestine,” “Chico and Rita” and “A Cat in Paris” all finding favor with Oscar voters.

The English voice cast for “Long Way North” includes Chloé Dunn, Vivienne Vermes, Peter Hudson and Antony Hickling.

It will be released in the U.S. by Shout! Factory Films.