At Screen Australia's Family Film Forum at Sydney's UTS, screenwriter Harry Cripps discussed writing feature animation Larrikins for Dreamworks.

The studio was looking for an Australian story – to do for Australia what Kung Fu Panda had done for China, according to Cripps.

The scribe came onboard after six of his pilot scipts for the American marketplace had gone nowhere.

Cripps started work on Larrikins in 2011. The film's third in-progress screening will take place in June, and the finished product will be released in 2018.

In the video above, he talks about his writing approach, his early experiences in the Australian film industry on features such as Paws, and the pitching system that exists in the American system – which has "nothing to do with how good a writer you are".

Cripps discusses his work on Kung Fu Panda 3, which was brief and left him in tears, and teases what we can expect in Larrikins.

"I don't think there's been a musical about guys and their friendships in Australia", Cripps said, "it's not Frozen".

Larrikins will feature 72 animal characters – all animals that actually exist in the Outback – all of them speaking in an Australian accent.

Expect some big casting announcements soon.

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