I told you I couldn't stop talking about my visit to Skywalker Ranch and everything to do with Strange Magic and today is no exception.
To recap, I was invited by Disney and Touchstone Pictures (along with 24 other fabulous bloggers) for a once-in-a-lifetime tour of the famous ranch and for a screening of the new animated film, from the mind of George Lucas, Strange Magic.
Here's my interview with George Lucas.
And here's my oversharing about our visit to Skywalker Ranch.
Today I want to share the time that we bloggers got to spend chatting with Elijah Kelley.
Elijah Kelley is probably best recognized from his performance as Seaweed in Hairspray (2007). Also, he's absolutely adorable in person.
When we arrived at Skywalker Ranch, I recognized Elijah right away and greeted him like an old friend. He was lovely. Very personable and willingly posed for photos with all of us bloggers. Every. Single. One of us.
And, as you can imagine, every single one of us fell in love with him.
"Elijah, kissy face!"
Elijah is the voice of Sunny the Elf in Strange Magic.
He's the central character in the film, who, much like Elijah himself, has a heart of gold. I can see why Elijah was chosen by George Lucas to play Sunny.
Before he sat down to talk with us, we were treated to his wonderful performance of a mash-up of "3 Little Birds"/"Say Hey! (I love you.)"
Here's his "Elf-Sized Serenade" from Strange Magic that is just one of the many songs in the movie.
After all the impromptu concert, he sat down and talked to us about what it was like for him to be the voice of Sunny.
First of all, I’ve never done a voice-over before in my life, so it was a little bit of a challenge because see he’s (Sunny), hyper and super into everything that he always does.
I thought that it was gonna be so easy. I thought it was gonna be a piece of cake, but I would go in there and guarantee you, I would leave, lightheaded and sweaty from all the running and everything.
It was like P90X. Bringing it to life and understanding the world that Sunny lives in, and understanding that he’s kind of like, you know, I see him sort of the nucleus of trying to get everything together, and pulling everybody together, and trying to save the day, and messing up the day, it’s a lot like me.
The theme of the movie is about finding true love. Did he think people could connect to that through this film?
I think that people will connect for fighting for what you love because as you can see that everybody goes through a lot of trouble to be able to grasp the love of their life, and I think that love is so complicated.
I think that the wiring of love is just so weird, you know, and the fact that people can go to the ends of the Earth to capture something like that is very, very inspirational.
I think in a time like this where we are in the world, it’s an animation, but the subject matter is universal and it’s timeless, you know?
Was it weird seeing your facial expressions and such on a character that doesn’t look like you?
The whole process is weird. Honestly, I’m not over it yet. Being that this is only the second time I’ve seen the movie. On film you get used to yourself. You can see yourself in a different character. They literally bring your voice to life. And so all you do is talk and sing, and they do everything else. It’s really amazing.
He's also a philanthropist. Who knew?
I have a foundation; the Elijah Kelley Foundation. And basically what we do is I try to be a liaison between underprivileged kids back from where I’m from and their dreams in arts and entertainment.
And so during the tenure that we’ve had the non-profit, I’ve given out, four scholarships over the last five years, with students from low-income housing that are going on to pursue careers in performing arts. From the Savannah College of Art and Design to, there’s a very small, great art school in Georgia called Gordon College.
I was deeply impressed by Elijah Kelley. Not just that he is so warm and personable or that he's a "quadruple threat," but that he is so dedicated to giving back.
His performance in Strange Magic will make you love him all that much more.
"Every little thing is gonna be alright."
Strange Magic opens in theaters everywhere tomorrow, Friday, January 23rd, 2015.