Tara Nicole Whitaker will make her feature directorial debut with the animated feature Pierre the Pigeon-Hawk, which she will co-direct alongside John D. Eraklis The star-studded cast includes Academy Award® winner Whoopi Goldberg, Jennifer Coolidge, Kenan Thompson, Emmy® nominated Howie Mandel, Luis Guzmán, Paul Blackthorne, Jamal Trulove, Domenick Lombardozzi, Evan Ross and Ashlee Simpson. Grammy Award Winner will.i.am, Grammy and Academy Award® Winner Jennifer Hudson and Grammy Award Nominee Snoop Dogg recently boarded and will executive produce Pierre The Pigeon-Hawk, which is a musically driven animated comedy that promotes diversity, inclusion, and community.
Whitaker is currently working at Disney + directing on “The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder” which is set for a 2022 release and will be joining the Pierre team at years end. She has been responsible for designing and helping bring characters to life at studios such as Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network, and Netflix. She has also illustrated several children’s books, including the “My Baby Loves” series, and New York Times best seller “Shady Baby”. Born in Brooklyn, New York, Whitaker earned her BFA in Character Animation from CalArts in 2002.
John D. Eraklis said: “We are thrilled to have Tara coming onboard. She is an incredibly talented artist, animator and director, whose voice was the missing piece of our puzzle.”
Tara Nicole Whitaker said: “I am beyond delighted to join this incredible team of artists, musicians and storytellers to explore Pierre’s world and bring this wonderfully vibrant and inspiring tale of self-discovery to life.”
Set in NYC and born as a product of forbidden love between a hawk (Goldberg) and a pigeon (Mandel) …Pierre (will.i.am) is rejected by both communities. Tired of not fitting in, Pierre sets out on a mission to discover where he truly belongs. During his adventure, he unites with a band of unlikely friends including a recently escaped bear from the Central Park Zoo, Ophelia the owl (Hudson) whose genius is outweighed only by her madness, and a pair of rag tag, pop-cultured city squirrels, Scratch (Snoop) and Sniff (Thompson). Amidst a journey of self-discovery, Pierre finds the courage to inspire animals from all backgrounds to change their ways and open their minds to a new way of thinking. It will take a hybrid bird to unite a hybrid world.
John D. Eraklis is producing alongside Toonz Media Group, Ciaran Crampton and Chase Muratore’s Sugar Water Entertainment. Sugar Water Entertainment is providing financing in partnership with Toonz Media Group. Jamal Trulove and Delbert Whetter are executive producing with co-executive producers Sentwali Holder and Jennifer Fowler. The film is being produced and directed remotely and is in pre-production at Toonz Media Group studio in Spain. CAA Media Finance handling domestic sales with Highland Film Group handling international sales.