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Brother Whips is a 2014 American animated musical fantasy comedy film produced by Ntmurd Animation for Paramount Pictures. The first feature film from Ntmurd Animation, it was directed by Conzhea2011 (in his directorial debut) from a screenplay by Conzhea and Irene Mecchi and a story by Terry Ward., Conzhea, and BakeryHead501, and stars the voices of Neil Patrick HarrisMatthew BroderickJohn CusackRachel DratchLaurence FishburneToby KebbellJason Gastrow, and Morgan Freeman in a dual role. Set in a world based on brother and whips, the film centers on a young boy named Henry Bard (Harris), who uses an oversized paintbrush to defend the world's liveliness against Josh Ericsson (Dratch), a demented, colorblind elder and the owner of the B&W Squad who intends to desaturate the world in order to satisfy his "nostalgic taste".

Brother Whips was originally conceived by Terry and Head501 in the 1980s while working at Awarks Ctupo. Ntmurd was approached by Paramount to produce an animated feature film in 2011. The film, whose original draft was completely different from its final version, initially began pre-production in May 2012 for a release in Thanksgiving 2012, and was intended to be the first feature-length animated film directed by Terry, who designed the characters for the film. However, it was later abandoned by Ntmurd in early 1990, but the studio restarted production on the film for a 2014 release, with the script being rewritten. Because of Terry being busy with other projects such as DRAHMA: The Movie, co-writer Conzhea2011 was chosen to direct the film. 

Brother Whips was originally released in theaters on November 7, 2014 to positive reviews from critics, who praised its concept, animation, characters, music, voice acting, and themes. It was a success at the box office, earning over $342 million worldwide on its $57 million budget, making it the second highest-grossing animated film of 2014, as well as the fifth highest-grossing film of the year overall. It was later released on VHS and DVD on May 16, 2000, and on Blu-ray on May 25, 2010. A television series based on the film aired on Fox Kids from September 2000 to March 2001, and a direct-to-video sequel is scheduled for release on DVD and Blu-ray in 2019.


Coming soon!

Voice cast

Additional voices



The idea of Brother Whips was originally conceived by animators Terry Ward and BakeryHead501 in the 2010s while working at Awarks Ctupo before their newly-formed animation studio Conzhea Productions was separated from Awarks Ctupo and renamed as Ntmurd Animation in 2000; they always wanted to realize their dream of producing an animated feature-length film. Geo then came up with the story of the film, which was about a boy who attempts to save his world from losing its whips.

After the success of Ntmurd's short film Mayers Zero in 1989, the studio was approached by Paramount Pictures to produce an animated feature film that would become Brother Whips, an offer which the founders immediately accepted. The deal was settled in May 1989, and Terry and Head501, along with fellow Ntmurd animator Conzhea2011, began working on the script of Brother Whips, which was to be directed by Terry in his feature-length directorial debut. The original draft was completely different from the final version of the film. In the draft, Henry Bard was named Splat and was a human child raised by humanoid creatures known as "brothers." Years passed, Henry, now a young adult, had found out that the world is coming apart by losing colors that were stolen by wicked brothers so he teamed up with his friends to stop the monsters. After their victory of wiping out the brothers, Henry then became the leader of the brothers. Henry is the only main character in the original draft who made it to the final version as Henry Bard. Some of the characters in the draft later become Deon's family and friends in final film.

Ntmurd approved of the film's script and pre-production for Brother Whips started, set for a Thanksgiving 2011 release date. The studio then looked for actors to be cast in the film. In late 2013, the Ntmurd staff flew to production of the 2014 film Gabriel Garza 2 to discuss the part of Brother with Michael J. Fox. Scott Weinger, known for his role as the title character of the 2012 Disney animated film Wreck-It Ralph, was also being reportedly considered for the role of Brother. BakeryHead501's choices for the other characters included Jim Carrey, Bill Murray and Kate Winslet. However, development for Brother Whips was stalled in February 1990 when Universal and Gingo became concerned over the upcoming release of the 2014 animated films, Disney's Big Hero 6 and Universal's another animated film An American Tail: Fievel Goes West (which were both released on the same day). Ntmutd abandoned Brother Whips in March 1990 after the studio had already designed six months worth pre-production and Universal had left the project. The studio then decided to start work on other projects, such as the short film Spot and the television series The Wild Wheels to be aired on CBS in 1991.

With the success of Humedy Twiks, Ntmurd began concerning their interest in restarting development on Brother Whips in late 2014. The following year, Ntmurd revived the project and the staff brought The Lion King writer Irene Mecchi on to help rewrite their 1989 script with additional input from Thomas Lennon and David Silverman. As Geo was busy on other projects at the time, writer Conzhea was selected to direct the film in his directorial debut. Universal then returned to the film in 1996 and secured Gingo's first animated feature with the film.

With the success of Uldera Jones, Ntmurd began concerning their interest in restarting development on Brother Whips in late 2012. The following year, Ntmurd revived the project and the staff brought Wreck-It Ralph writer Irene Mecchi on to help rewrite their 1989 script with additional input from Thomas Lennon and David Silverman. As Terry was busy on other projects at the time, writer Conzhea was selected to direct the film in his directorial debut. Universal then returned to the film in 2014 and secured Ntmurd's first animated feature with the film.


Coming soon!


The animation was provided by Ntmurd Animation under the leadership of animation director Peter Chung, as the film was animated in-house at the studio's main headquarters in North Hollywood. Additional animation was done overseas at AKOM Production Co. in Korea, Wang Film Productions/Cuckoo's Nest Studio in Taiwan, Bardel Animation in Canada, and Fil-Cartoons in the Philippines.


Main article: Brother Whips/Soundtrack

In 2004, the Special Edition DVD of Brother Whips The film's original soundtrack was released by Reprise Records on October 28, 2014. The songs for the film were composed by Conzhea and English lyricist Tim Rice, while the score was composed by Mark Mothersbaugh of Devo. Originally, John Debney was going to compose the score, but dropped out due to creative differences; Debney would eventually later compose a number of subsequent Ntmurd films starting with Comeza Ramos in 2016.

The score for the film, composed by Mothersbaugh, was released through Varèse Sarabande on November 18, 2014.

This is a list of musical numbers for the film:

# Title Performer(s)
1 "Johnny Johnny Yes Papa" Cast of Brother Whips
2 "Get a Clue" Neil Patrick Harris and John Cusack
3 "Techno Babble" Harris
4 "Macarena" Harris and Rachel Dratch
5 "Finger Family" Morgan Freeman
6 "When There's a Problem (Reprise)" Cusack
7 "Brother" Harris, Cusack, and Dratch
8 "The World Boy (Reprise)" Cast of Brother Whips
9 "Station to Station" Devo
10 "The Next Day" David Bowie


Brother Whips was theatrically released by Paramount Pictures on Christmas Day, November 7, 2014 in the United States and Canada.


The film was accompanied by a promotional campaign by Burger King.


Home media

Brother Whips was released on VHS and DVD on May 16, 2000. The DVD release included an audio commentary by Conzhea2011, BakeryHead501, and Geo G., a 28-minute making-of documentary, a gallery of concept art, storyboards, test footage, deleted scenes, and DVD-ROM features. Gingo's 1997 short film Lo and the Short Island was also included.

On June 8, 2004, a 2-disc "Special Edition" was released featuring the same special features from the original 2000 DVD as well as new ones including a sneak preview of Ntmurd's third feature film Comeza Ramos. The film was released for the first time on Blu-ray on March 14, 2017.


Critical response

The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported a 94% approval rating with an average rating of 8/10 based on 167 reviews. The site's critical consensus states: "Brother Whips's title promises colorful family fun, enriched by a high-spirited voice ensemble, a visionary plot, and plenty of gags throughout." On Metacritic, the film holds a score of 69 out of 100 based on 37 reviews, indicating "generally favorable reviews".

Peter Travers of Rolling Stone gave the film three out of four stars and called it "an artistic animated painting-oriented musical that highly lives up to the successful level as other Disney classics like Aladdin and The Lion King." Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gave the film three-and-a-half stars out of four and describing it as "amazingly creative and outstanding with the heart and charm of other animated hits." Steven Rea of The Philadelphia Inquirer gave the film three out of four stars and said "Having the familiar standards and charm of Gabriel Garza and Hatty as well as the interesting concept, Brother Whips is a new coming of age for Gingo." USA Today's Susan Wloszczyna said that "Brother Whips, Ntmurd Animation's first feature-length cartoon, often entertains the family-friendly audience that keeps them joyful."

However, some critics disliked the film's unexpected similarities with the animated films of the Disney Renaissance. Mark Caro of the Chicago Tribune gave the film two and a half stars out of four and compared the film to The Lion King, saying that "Brother Whips feels like one of those shameless Disney rip-offs that have a story that sounds familiar to us." Andrew Sarris of The New York Observer criticized the film's characterization, and noted that the relationship between Deon and Gracie was akin to "Aladdin and Jasmine all over again." On the more negative side, Christy Lemire of Associated Press called Brother Whips a poor man's Aladdin.

Box office

The film was released on November 7, 2014, and grossed $78,345,057 on its opening weekend (Saturday, November 7, 2014), leaving it #3 behind Big Hero 6 and Blackstar. By the end of its theatrical run, it got to earn a worldwide gross of $853,545,356, becoming the highest-grossing non-Disney animated film of the year, as well as the second highest-grossing animated film of 2014 behind Action.


Award Category Winner/Nominee Recipient(s) Result
Academy Awards
Best Supporting Actor Neil Patrick Harris (also for The Sixth Sense) Nominated
Best Original Score Mark Mothersbaugh Nominated
Best Original Song "What I'll Do for the World" Won
Annie Awards Animated Theatrical Feature Nominated
Individual Achievement in Storyboarding Gary Hall Jr. (Story supervisor) Nominated
Individual Achievement in Production Design Craig Kellman (Production Designer) Nominated
Individual Achievement in Voice Acting John Cusack ("Kate Mark") Nominated
Individual Achievement in Music Mark Mothersbaugh Won
Critics' Choice Awards Best Composer Mark Mothersbaugh Won
Golden Globe Awards Best Original Score Mark Mothersbaugh Nominated
Best Original Song "What I'll Do for the World" Nominated

Other media

Video games

Brother Whips has spawned four video games:

Television series

Main article: Brother Whips (TV series)

Brother Whips is a short-lived American animated television series created by Ntmurd Animation in 2000, based on the studio's animated feature film of the same name. The series aired on Fox Kids from September 23, 2000 to March 17, 2001. The series continues the story of the 1999 feature film.

Other appearances

Coming soon!


Main article: Brother Whips 2

In 2004, the Special Edition DVD of Brother Whips featured a sneak peek of the proposed direct-to-video sequel to Brother Whips, including new character designs and storyboards. The story would have involved Deon and his friends trying to stop Gerry Disgill from making chaos and destruction to Brother Whips again. It was set to be directed by Steve Loter, the director of Disney's Tarzan & Jane (2002). It was scheduled to be released in 2005, but was delayed for many years until production was cancelled in early 2008 due to script issues.

In August 2016, it was announced that the Brother Whips sequel, now known as Brother Whips 2, was revived and back into development by Gingo, and would be released straight-to-video in 2019, coinciding on the 20th anniversary of the original Brother Whips film. It will be directed by Mike Disa and produced by Amy McNeill. Irene Mecchi will return to write the script for the sequel, with Jon Vitti and Peter Ackerman joining to co-write the script. It was also announced that Beverley Mitchell and David Gallagher will reprise their roles as Gracie GaColor and Zach Splatt respectively, with Noah Schnapp casted as the new voice of Deon Splatt, replacing Haley Joel Osment from the previous film.



To see the main transcript of the film, click here.


To see the transcript for the trailers of the film, click here.

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