German theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Reinhard Klooss
|Produced by||Reinhard Klooss
|Written by||Oliver Huzly
|Music by||David Newman|
|Distributed by||Constantin Film|
|Running time||93 minutes|
Animals United (German: Konferenz der Tiere) is a 2010 German 3D computer-animated comedy-adventure film directed by Reinhard Klooss and Holger Tappe, starring Ralf Schmitz and Thomas Fritsch as a meerkat called Billy and a lion called Socrates in the African Okavango Delta who go on a quest to discover why their river has unexpectedly dried up. It is based on the 1949 book with the same title by Erich Kästner. The screenplay for the film was written by Oliver Huzly and Reinhard Kloos and the soundtrack was composed by David Newman. An English-language dub stars James Cordon and Stephen Fry.
The film is set in Africa's Okavango Delta, and the main characters are a meerkat named Billy and a lion named Socrates. The annual flood has failed to arrive in the Delta, water has become scarce and the native animals fiercely fight over it. Billy and Socrates set out to find more water, and during their quest they meet a rag-tag group of animals from across the world: a polar bear, a kangaroo, a Tasmanian devil, a Galápagos tortoise and a chimpanzee, all of whom have had their lives ruined by humans in some way and have travelled to Africa. The animals soon discover the reason for the lack of water in the Delta: a dam has been constructed to supply energy for a luxury resort. Humans kidnap Socrates and hold him captive in the resort, so Billy leads the animals in a plan to free Socrates and break the dam to bring water back to the Delta. After the party, they all approach New York City with blue whales.
- Billy is an adventurous green-eyed gray meerkat who wants to find water to drink. He wants to take some for himself with a bottle made out an orange-colored gourd complete with a cork. He also likes to golf, drum and sing.
- Bonnie - Billy's wife and loyal but concerned member of the meerkat family. She has tan fur and light brown eyes compared to her husband's gray fur and green eyes.
- Junior - the son of Billy and Bonnie who wants to do one of the things his father likes to do such as taking some water with a gourd.
- Other meerkats often tease Junior about his father's promise, but are convinced at the end.
The other animals
- Socrates - the lion with a scar on his face and Billy's best friend.
- Angie - the elephant with blond hair tied in a ponytail.
- Giselle - the giraffe with makeup on her face and blond bangs on her head. She is also Angie's best friend.
- Winston - a Galapagos tortoise who was alive for more than 700 years.
- Winifred - a Galapagos tortoise and Winston's wife who was also alive for more than 700 years.
- Charles - the cockrel with a French accent who leads the other animals.
- Sushi - the polar bear who was damaged by global warming.
- Toby - the red kangaroo whose ears are hanging down. He likes to drink water.
- Ken - the koala who's been rescued by a man after another set the outback on fire.
- Smiley - the Tasmanian devil whom Toby the kangaroo befriends.
- Toto - the chimpanzee who served as a animal test subject on a cruise ship.
- Biggie - the black rhinoceros who fights Chino.
- Chino - the cape buffalo who fights Biggie.
- Mr. Smith - the tour guide of the hotel who initially never cares about animals but money.
- Maya Smith - Smith's daughter who is kind and loves animals.
- Hunter - the animal killer.
- Ralf Schmitz
- Thomas Fritsch as Löwe Sokrates
- Bastian Pastewka as Elefantenkuh Angie
- Bianca Krahl as Giraffe Gisela
- Margot Rothweiler as Schildkröte Winifred
- Peter Gröger as Schildkröte Winston
- Constantin von Jascheroff as Erdmännchen
- Nicola Devico Mamone as Büffel Chino
- Christoph Maria Herbst as Hahn Charles
- Oliver Kalkofe as Hoteldirektor Smith
- Frank Schaff as Erdmännchen
- Tilo Schmitz as Nashorn Biggie
- Santiago Ziesmer as Affiger Friseur Bongo
English Dub Cast
- James Corden as Billy
- Stephen Fry as Socrates
- Joanna Lumley as Giselle
- Dawn French as Angie
- Jim Broadbent as Winston
- Vanessa Redgrave as Winifred
- Billie Piper as Bonnie the Meerkat
- Andy Serkis as Charles the Cockerel
- Jason Donovan as Toby
- Omid Djalili as Bongo
- Mischa Goodman as Junior
- Bella Hudson as Sushi
- Oliver Green as Ken
- Jason Griffith as Toto the Chimpanzee
- Sean Schemmel as Biggie the Rhinoceros
- Marc Thompson as Chino the Buffalo
- Pete Zarustica as Smiley
- Ruben Lloyd as Vulture #1
- Jimmy Zoppi as Vulture #2
- Gary McHenley as Vulture #3
- Kim Holland as Maya
- Veronica Taylor as The Mole
Reviews for the film were generally negative, with the aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes reporting that 25% of critics have given the film a positive review, with an average rating 3.8 out of 10.