Animation - Pre-Production 2006

    • Year of production
    • 2006
    • Genres
    • Animation, Family, Comedy
    • Countries
    • Languages
    • Budget
    • 25 - 50 M$
    • Duration
    • 95 mn
    • Director(s)
    • Giuliano DRAGULEANU
    • Writer(s)
    • Giuliano DRAGULEANU, Steve PARK
    • Producer(s)
    • Andy BIRMINGHAM (Mercey Films), Frits HARKEMA (Quintus Films), Johann WIENER (Genius 3D), Ovidiu HALMAGEAN (Genius Productions)
    • Synopsis
    • In 1930s New York a cockroach befriends a hamster while the latter is looking for his missing family.
      A Hard Life details the adventures of two friends – Joe, a charismatic and fearless cockroach, and Tommy, a funny, simple-minded but loyal hamster – as they journey through 1930’s New York in search of Tommy’s family and Joe’s personal answers.
      The two are immigrants, recently landed in New York, and a bond is quickly formed between them. Their journey takes them throughout Brooklyn in search of the psychic, blind and rather hungry snake, Ramah, who directs them to Manhattan, the big city, where Tommy’s family is being held in a mysterious place called “Travellafaire”, and a tall building that holds the answers Joe seeks.
      In Manhattan, however, Joe is waylaid by the lure of the underworld. The sly words of Ralph, a cockroach Don, prove too attractive for Joe, and in his naïve desire to help his friendship is tested sorely. It is only through the friendly advice of Tommy and the Don’s ‘girl’, Elizabeth, that he is
      persuaded to cut loose and continue with them on the quest to find Tommy’s family, the mafia hot on their heels.
      In their escape the trio come to the Empire State Building. Joe recognises this as the place that Ramah mentioned he would find the answers to his missing father. Against Elizabeth’s will they enter the building and befriend a colony of wasps who are under the control of the evil Don Sicarius, a praying mantis that runs the entire city. Searching for answers, Joe secretly meets with Sicarius and discovers that his father used to work with Sicarius, until Sicarius had him killed. Driven by a new purpose, Joe resolves to help the wasps take back the building and win their freedom. He abandons the quest to find Tommy’s family, and ignores his friend’s pleas. Joe assumes the role of general of the wasps and coordinates gorilla-scouting missions on Sicarius’s patrols. All the while Tommy and Elizabeth urge him to continue on their original goal. As the night of the major assault draws near Joe can no longer tolerate his friend’s constant nagging and orders them from the building.
      Lost without his friend, Tommy is unable to continue his quest to rescue his family and concedes to the idea of returning with Elizabeth to his homeland. All seems lost but for the undying loyalty of friendship. Torn between revenge and the love he has left behind, Joe must make the ultimate decision. As the battle is about to begin he abandons everything he strove to achieve in the hope of reconciling with his friends.
      Having attempted to retrieve Joe, Tommy finds Joe has disappeared. Joe, in the meantime, has mounted a daring rescue operation to rescue Tommy’s family and return them to him. But is he too late? Tommy and Elizabeth have already left for the docks; Tommy’s family is being transported from „Travellafaire” to an unknown location. Joe will have to push himself to the limits, even at the risk of his own life, in order to reconcile himself and restore the friendships he so recklessly discarded.
    • Production schedule
    • Prep & start Production Aug.2006, Production 2007, finish production, post & release 2008
    • Beginning of shooting
    • Aug 01, 2006
Distribution Country
Release date
Local title
Company Country Roles