Thelma the Unicorn: Brittany Howard Stars in Netflix Kids Movie

Four-time Grammy winner, Brittany Howard, takes on her first acting role in the animated musical, Thelma the Unicorn, directed by Jared Hess and Lynn Wang. The film, showcasing Brittany’s unique vocal talents, is now streaming on Netflix.

About ‘Thelma the Unicorn’

‘Thelma the Unicorn’ is a touching story about a small-time pony named Thelma. Thelma dreams of becoming an illustrious music star until a splash of glitter turns her into a unicorn. Thrusting her into global stardom, Thelma soon discovers the price of fame. The entire narrative was helmed by Jared Hess, known for his work on ‘Napoleon Dynamite,’ and Lynn Wang of ‘Unikitty!’ fame.

Brittany Howard on Voicing Thelma

Brittany Howard first became involved in ‘Thelma the Unicorn’ when Jared Hess attended one of her concerts. Jared hinted that he had her in mind when creating the character. Struck by the depth and sincerity of the original book’s message, Brittany found herself drawn to Thelma’s narrative. She voices the protagonist with passion, delivering a performance to be proud of.

Powerful Performances and Iconic Covers

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One of the highlights of the film is Brittany’s rendition of ‘Are You Gonna Go My Way’ by Lenny Kravitz—a song she’s always wanted to cover. She also presents a different side of herself in ‘Here Comes The Cud’, a light-hearted and humorous track. These songs showcase her versatility as an artist and ability to connect with her audience in different genres and tones.

Another remarkable addition to the film is ‘Fire Inside,’ which was strategically released ahead of the film’s debut to build anticipation. The song’s simplicity and catchy rhythm section make it unforgettable while Brittany’s powerful vocals bring a level of dynamism and depth to the music.

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Collaborations and Inspiration

Brittany worked with notable artists and personalities in the film. Particularly intriguing was her collaboration with songwriter Bret McKenzie, known for his authentic and relatable lyrics. ‘Only Unicorn’ is one such song, resonating deeply with Brittany and fans alike.

She had the opportunity to perform multiple songs written by Bret, and work alongside Jermaine Clement—a surreal experience for her as a fan of the ‘Flight of the Conchords.’

Personal Reflections on the Character

Brittany was amused to see her voice paired with the character Thelma, especially due to the character’s distinctive hair. But beyond the initial amusement, she found depth in Thelma’s narrative—a lesson about authenticity, self-love, and friendship. She believes that the film’s message of self-acceptance is profound, applicable not only to children but adults as well.

Transition from Recording Studio to Voice Acting

Brittany states that there are similarities between voice acting and singing, as both involve emoting through the voice. However, she found voice acting challenging as it involved rapid changes of emotion. Despite the challenges, Brittany successfully brought Thelma to life using her natural instincts and her innate sensitivity to rhythm and tone.

Writing Original Songs for the Film

Brittany had a hand in writing one of the tracks in the film, ‘Just As You Are.’ Her creative process included instantaneous lyric creation, a departure from her usual method of solitary, unhurried songwriting. Learning this new methodology was an enriching experience, one she is grateful for.

Future in Acting?

After her experience with ‘Thelma the Unicorn,’ Brittany finds herself intrigued by the thought of more acting roles in the future. The process of embodying various emotions and characters fascinates her and she’s excited to see what other opportunities come her way.

Wrapping Up

Brittany Howard’s debut as a voice artist in ‘Thelma the Unicorn’ is a testament to her versatility and talent. The opportunity allowed her to explore new facets of her craft, collaborating with inspirational industry names, and spreading poignant messages about self-love and authenticity. Check out Thelma the Unicorn now streaming on Netflix or head over to HitPlay for your next binge-watching adventure.

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