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Lix is a 2017 American 3D computer-animated musical comedy film produced by Universal Animation Studios for Universal Pictures. The 22nd animated feature in the Universal Animated Features canon, it was directed by Amy McNeill (in her directorial debut) and John France from a screenplay by Chris Matheson, Cinco Paul, and Ken Daurio, and a story by Michael Wildshill, Gary Hall, and McNeill. It was Universal Animation's first musical film since Magina (2003), and stars the voices of Gwen Stefani, Jenny Slate, Kristin Chenoweth, Chris Wallace, Christina Ricci, James Corden, Keegan-Michael Key, and Jennifer Coolidge. The film follows a music-loving teenage girl named Lix (Stefani), who lives in a world where music takes form of living creatures and objects. She sets out with her best friend Melody (Slate) on a journey to become a popstar like her idol Ricky Tune (Wallace).
Lix premiered on November 20, 2017 at the 30th AFI Fest, and was released in theaters and RealD 3D on December 8, 2017. It received universal acclaim, with many critics highlighting its animation, screenplay, score, humor, and vocal performances. The film grossed $838 million worldwide against its $110 million budget, making it the fifth highest-grossing film from Universal Animation Studios, as well as the tenth highest-grossing film of 2017. Lix received a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, as well as Golden Globe nominations for Best Animated Feature Film and Best Original Song ("I Wanna Be a Superstar").
- Gwen Stefani as Lix, a 15-year-old teenage singer and musician
- Lilly Rodgers as young Lix
- Jenny Slate as Melody, a cheerful music-obsessed nerd whose hair resembles an eighth note
- Kristin Chenoweth as Miss Treble, Lix's music teacher
- Chris Wallace as Ricky Tune, a pop singer who is Lix's idol
- Christina Ricci as Viva, a dancer who is Lix's biggest fan
- James Corden as Normy, a friend of Lix
- Keegan-Michael Key as DJ Dan, a disc jockey
- Jennifer Coolidge as Cora, Lix's mother
- Joe Whyte as Cim, a talking cymbal
- Rob Corddry as Drummy, a talking drum
- Chris Matheson as Mr. Nigs, a neighbor who is often annoyed by Lix's music
- Cameron Dallas as Jimmy, Melody's ill-tempered brother
- Phil Morris as Haley Cowsbag, a country singer
- Gabriel Iglesias as Roberto Diaz, a Mexican dancer
- Kristin Fairlie as Sophia, a British musician
- Amy McNeill as Stacy, Melody's younger sister
- McNeill also voices one of the screaming fans
- Kellen Goff as Diane, Melody's father
- John France as Sam, a Elvis wannabe
- Gary Hall as Rungo, a guy who tries to sing but fails
- Mark Mothersbaugh of Devo appears in a voice cameo, amongst additional voices
- Jim Anderson
- Keith Anthony
- Alexander Bates
- Debi Derryberry
- Terri Douglas
- Will Finn
- John France
- Grant George
- Jackie Gonneau
- Gary Hall
- Bridget Hoffman
- William Jennings
- Daniel Kaz
- Roy Kobayashi
- Yuri Lowenthal
- Scott Menville
- Caitlin McKenna
- Amy McNeill
- Mark Mothersbaugh
- Bryce Papenbrook
- Jack Reed
- Lynwood Robinson
- Shannon Stein
- Tara Strong
- Pepper Sweeney
- Shane Sweet
- Conrad Vernon
Michael Wildshill and Gary Hall started working on the film in 2011, when Wildshill came up with the idea. In April 2013, Variety reported that Amy McNeill would direct in her directorial debut on an animated musical comedy film based on the original idea by Wildshill and Hall. It was once expected to be released in 2016 under the title Musix.
In October 2015, Universal Animation Studios revealed the film's new title to be Lix, which would be produced by Roy Kobayashi, with Chris Matheson, Cinco Paul, and Ken Daurio writing the film's screenplay. In June 2016, it was announced that John France would join McNeill as director.
In December 2015, it was announced that singer and pianist Christina Grimmie was cast as the lead role, which would have been her first animated role and her second motion picture performance following The Matchbreaker. However, on June 10, 2016, Grimmie was murdered while signing autographs following a concert performance in Orlando, Florida, and the new actress was yet to be announced. By September 2016, it was later announced that Gwen Stefani would replace the late Grimmie. The rest of the cast was announced in February 2017.
- Main article: Lix/Soundtrack
Lix was originally scheduled for a March 3, 2017 release. However, in January 2015, Universal announced that Gabriel Garza 3 would be released on that date, and Lix would instead be released on September 1, 2017. In June 2016, Universal pushed back the release date to December 20, 2017. In February 2017, the film was moved up by two weeks to December 8, 2017 to avoid competition with Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle.
The first trailer was released on March 1, 2017, and was carried as a trailer before Gabriel Garza 3. The second trailer was released on June 24, 2017, and was shown before Despicable Me 3, Inanimate Insanity @ The Movies, and The Emoji Movie..
The film's theatrical was accompanied by the short film Double Date. It was the second Universal Animation Studios offering of the year following Gabriel Garza 3, making 2017 the third year Universal Animation released two films in one year, after 1999 (with Galaxion and Paint World) and 2015 (with Paradoria and Luna & Zak).
Lix was released on Digital HD on March 6, 2018, and on DVD and Blu-ray on March 20, 2018.
Lix grossed $359.5 million in the United States and Canada and $478.6 million in other territories for a worldwide total of $838.1 million, against a production budget of $110 million. Deadline Hollywood calculated the net profit of the film to be $266.2 million, when factoring together all expenses and revenues, making it the fourth most profitable release of 2017.
In the United States and Canada, Lix was released alongside the releases of Just Getting Started and the expansion of The Disaster Artist, and was projected to gross $65–70 million from 4,060 theaters in its opening weekend. On its first day, the film grossed $23.4 million (including $2.1 million made from Thursday night previews). It went on to open to $74.1 million, finishing first at box office. In its second weekend, the film dropped by 46% to $40 million, and fell to No. 2 behind Star Wars: The Last Jedi but beat fellow animated film Ferdinand.
On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 97% based on 235 reviews with an average rating of 8.6/10, with its critical consensus reading, "Bolstered by a trippy art style, a collection of melodious numbers, and a batch of moments that build up fluently, Lix is an example of the modern musical genre at one of its best." On Metacritic, the film holds a rating of 80 out of 100 based on 51 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A" on an A+ to F scale.
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- Main article: Lix & Melody: The New Tunes
Universal Animation Studios is developing a sequel, with director McNeill, producer Kobayashi and writer Matheson returning. It was previously scheduled for release on December 10, 2021 but on May 31, 2018, it was taken off the release schedule, to accommodate an untitled DreamWorks Animation film, which had a release date of December 22, 2021.
To see the main transcript of the film, click here.
To see the transcript for the trailers of the film, click here.