"The Nut Job," directed by Peter Lepeniotis, is a 2014 animated family film about a squirrel who must save his park by completing a large-scale nut heist. Surly, a brash purple squirrel whose selfish actions get him kicked out of the park where he lives, resolves to rob Maury's Nut Store in order to gain enough food to help the park's inhabitants survive the winter. "The Nut Job" is the kind of film that appeals to the young and young-at-heart. Although Surly and his team of furry friends are beautifully animated, it is the talented actors behind the voices that truly bring these characters to life.
Will Arnett, the voice of Surly
Actor Will Arnett lends his voice for the film's protagonist Surly, an independent squirrel who must save the park community. Arnett's deep, husky voice perfectly matches Surly's daring antics, creating a fun cinematic experience for viewers. In addition to "The Nut Job," the Canadian actor shows off his talents in movies like "Despicable Me," "Ratatouille" and "Blades of Glory." Will Arnett is also known for his roles in TV shows such as "Arrested Development," "Up All Night" and "The Millers." Will Arnett is used to implementing his talents behind the scenes, frequently working as a voice actor for commercials, video games and cartoons.
Brendan Fraser, the voice of Grayson
The voice of Grayson, a gray squirrel who acts as the park hero in "The Nut Job," is played by renowned actor Brendan Fraser. Although Fraser has starred in various genres, he is best-known for his work in adventure and comedy films. The actor plays major roles in various films, including "The Mummy" trilogy, "Journey to the Center of the Earth," "Inkheart," "George of the Jungle" and many others. Fraser's resonant voice and varied repertoire of character types makes him the perfect fit for voicing the heroic Grayson.
Liam Neeson, the voice of Raccoon
Raccoon is a complicated character who leads the animals of the park in storing food for the winter, but soon reveals a darker side, putting Surly and his friends in trouble. Irish actor Liam Neeson perfectly captures the deep, mysterious nature of Raccoon. Neeson is best known for his roles in "Batman Begins," "The Chronicles of Narnia" series, "Schindler's List" and "Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace." He has also starred in TV series such as "Cubed," "Star Wars: The Clone Wars" and "Life's Too Short."
Katherine Heigl, the voice of Andie
Andie is a compassionate orange squirrel who tries to convince Surly to change his selfish ways and helps him along his journey. The kind rodent's voice is played by Katherine Heigl, whose strong, distinct voice gives a new level of depth to the character. Heigl is widely known for her roles in TV shows such as "Grey's Anatomy" and "Roswell." For the former, she earned the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series. She is also famous for her roles in romantic comedies like "27 Dresses," "The Ugly Truth," "New Year's Eve" and "The Big Wedding."
Stephen Lang, the voice of King
King is a notorious human mob boss who plans to rob a bank and replace the stolen money with nuts. Stephen Lang lends his voice for the tough mob boss, creating an intimidating character. King is known for his roles in "Public Enemies," "Gods and Generals," "Gettysburg" and James Cameron's "Avatar." He was also the co-artistic director at the Actors Studio in New York City for several years, and he was nominated for a Tony Award. Lang's characters are oftentimes tough, serious individuals, but he expertly weaves a great variety of emotional depth into each performance.
Maya Rudolph, the voice of Precious
Maya Rudolph lends her sweet, animated voice to Precious, a humorous pug who eventually warms up to Surly and assists him on his quest. The American comedian and actress is famous for her roles in "Bridesmaids," "Grown Ups," "Away We Go" and "Idiocracy." She is also well known for numerous TV shows such as "Saturday Night Live," "Chicago Hope" and "City of Angels." Outside of film and television, Rudolph was once a background singer and keyboardist for a band called The Rentals, and was part of an improvisational comedy troupe.
Although Surly's selfish actions constantly place him in harm's way and put his home park in danger, he soon discovers the value of friendship and working together. The actors behind the voices in "The Nut Job" create fun, likable characters that children and adults alike are sure to appreciate. Mix these stars' voice talents with a unique story, hilarious antics and a bright and colorful CG world, and you have a memorable movie that is well worth seeing in theaters.