Jacob, Mimmi and the Talking Dogs stars beloved Latvian stage people as voice actors and has already built up quite some excitement prior to release, in particular with a hymn of the neighborhood sung by New Rīga Theater actor Andris Keišs capturing one heart after another.
The movie is based on Luīze Pastore's book, Dog Town, a hit children's book in Latvia. When Dad brings Jacob to spend summer in the Moscow suburb - known for being a bohemian hangout with a lot of history and romantic wooden architecture -, he gets to know his cousin, the smarty-boots Mimmi, and his uncle, the former seaman Eagle.
Jacob also makes friends with Boss, the leader of a horde of talking homeless dogs. Upon learning about the plans to change the unique neighborhood, Jacob and Mimmi try to rescue the place from the rich Lord Pie who has plans to convert the Moscow suburb into an impersonal glass skyscraper area.
"For the Moscow suburb, it's absolutely normal and understandable that the dogs can talk," said director Edmunds Jansons, who knows the area well as he studied there. Meanwhile chief art designer Elīna Brasliņa lives in the area.
"Many of the places seen in the movie are real locations in the Moscow suburb, which you can find in the map. At one point, when we thought about the dramatic direction of the movie...we could simply use Google Maps, open it up and see where we're at, what's our angle and what we're seeing in the frame," Jansons told LTV.
The movie is financially supported by the National film Centre of Latvia, the EU and the Polish Film Institute. It is animated by the Atomart studio.
Slated for domestic release on February 1, Jacob, Mimmi and the Talking Dogs will also be available in English and is to be showcased in France and Poland in the fall.