CONFIRMED: ‘Ballad of Nessie’ Attached to ‘Winnie the Pooh’

Book adaptation of 'The Ballad of Nessie'Walt Disney Studios has confirmed what we first speculated back in October 2010, that the Walt Disney Animation Studios short, The Ballad of Nessie will be the lead-in to Winnie the Pooh when it opens in theaters on July 15, 2011.

Narrated by Scottish comedian Billy Connolly and directed by the Emmy® Award-winning team of Stevie Wermers-Skelton and Kevin Deters (‘Prep & Landing,’ ‘Operation Secret Santa’ and the 2007 Goofy short, How to Hook Up Your Home Theater), The Ballad of Nessie is animated in classic Disney hand-drawn style. Written by Wermers-Skelton, Deters, and Regina Conroy, the film is produced by Dorothy McKim and Tamara Boutcher, and features a musical score by Oscar®-winning composer Michael Giacchino (Ratatouille, Up).  Animation on ‘Nessie’ was supervised by five of Disney’s top talents: Andreas Deja, Mark Henn, Randy Haycock, Dale Baer and Ruben A. Aquino.

Set in the ‘bonny blue highlands’ of Scotland, The Ballad of Nessie is a whimsical and colorful tall tale about the friendly Loch Ness monster, Nessie, and how she (and her best friend, the rubber duck MacQuack) came to live in the moor they now call home. Setting the adventure into motion is a greedy land developer named MacFroogle, who decides to build a mini-golf empire on top of Nessie’s home.

The short will make its world premiere tomorrow evening at the Anima Film Festival in Belgium. A book adaptation (written by Kieran Lachlan and illustrated by Andy Harkness) will be released on May 3, 2011 and is currently available for pre-order on

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