As a longtime fan of animation, the opportunity to voice a character in the new Apple TV+ movie Luck was an offer Jane Fonda could not refuse. “A dragon who’s the CEO of luck? Who wouldn’t want to do that?”
In what could only be called “lucky” timing, Fonda was cast early enough in the process to have a direct impact on her character’s development. “I said, ‘I want her name to be named Babe, and I want her to be a little bit vain, a little bit flirtatious, and a little bit ambivalent about the smoke that comes out of her nostrils,'” says Fonda. “And although she’s very proud that she can breathe fire and brimstone, sometimes the smoke comes out at times when she doesn’t want it.”
“She is curious, incredibly curious, and she wants to know and understand all the aspects that go into animation,” Director Peggy Holmes says of Fonda. “We invited Jane into a story meeting, and we had the story artists actually pitch the sequences that the dragon was in so that Jane could kind of see how the whole story process goes and how we build a movie and animation.” Through these Zoom meeting collaborations, Holmes “Literally watched Jane start to inhabit this 40-foot dragon.”
When watching the film, you’ll see ideas that were directly pitched by Fonda. “Jane had the idea, ‘What if I use my tail like a giant boa, and I take it around my body and put it up here near my shoulder,'” according to Holmes. “And we were like, ‘Yes, we want to do that!”
Holmes also noted that Fonda related to the idea that when you look back at those “bad luck” moments in your life, something positive usually comes from it. “If we can tell a story that could help people by seeing that sometimes their bad luck might turn into something good, Jane was all about it. So we were super lucky that she wanted to join.”
That duality of luck, both good and bad, was central to the film’s message. “If there was no bad luck, good luck would make no sense,” according to Fonda. “Like if there was no silence, noise would make no sense.”
Fonda also related to Babe’s flexibility. “She has her idea in the beginning, bad luck has to be kept way far away, don’t touch me with it. It’s terrible. If bad luck comes here, it will destroy good luck. But she was able to be flexible enough to see that bad luck is actually not so bad all the time, that bad luck can make you stronger, and teach you a lot of things.” She hopes that audiences will Babe’s ability to let go of her previous beliefs and accept new thoughts, beliefs and information. “Not everyone can do that, and it’s something very important.”
You can watch the 40-foot dragon that Jane Fonda helped to create when Luck begins streaming on August 5th, exclusively on Apple TV+.
From Apple Original Films comes the story of Sam Greenfield, the unluckiest person in the world, who when she stumbles into the never-before-seen Land of Luck, sets out on a quest to bring some good luck home for her best friend. But with humans not allowed, her only chance is teaming up with the magical creatures who live there to do it. “Luck” is produced by Skydance Animation.
Apple Original Films’ “Luck” features the voice talents of stars Jane Fonda, Whoopi Goldberg, Eva Noblezada, Simon Pegg, Flula Borg, Colin O’Donoghue, John Ratzenberger and Adelynn Spoon. The animated feature is directed by Peggy Holmes from a screenplay by Kiel Murray, with John Lasseter, David Ellison, Dana Goldberg and David Eisenmann producing for Skydance Animation.