American Pie mainstay Thomas Ian Nicholas switches genres to become a young Walt Disney struggling to make his mark as an animator and studio boss.

It might be a first time feature for director Khoa Le, but he had a superstar of independant film on set by way of Jon Heder (Napoleon Dynamite), who plays Walt’s brother Roy.

The film follows Walt (played by Thomas Ian Nicholas) from his childhood days to his time as an up-and-coming artist looking to break into the animation business. While it still awaits distribution, the movie’s trailer (provided by Deadline) allows a preview of the drama awaiting Disney and his budding business partners.

Based on the Timothy Susanin biography Walt Before Mickey: Disney’s Early Years 1919-1928, the film is able to magnify the events of a difficult decade preceeding Disney’s success and the release of Steamboat Willie.

Fellow cast members include Taylor Gray (Star Wars Rebels, Bucket And Skinner) as Friz Freleng, and David Henrie (Wizards Of Waverley Place, How I Met Your Mother) as Rudy Isling, and Hunter Gomez as Hugh Harman – all instrumental in establishing the Walt Disney and Warner Bros marques as those of premier animation producers. — AFP Relaxnews