Open Road Films has acquired all US rights to the 3D animated family film The Nut Job and set a Jan 17 2014 release date.

Liam Neeson, Katherine Heigl, Will Arnett, Brendan Fraser, Stephen Lang, Sarah Gadon and Jeff Dunham are among the leading talents contributing to the voice cast.

The co-production from Toronto-based ToonBox Entertainment, South Korea’s Redrover Co and Warner Bros-based Gulfstream Pictures follows the exploits of a mischievous squirrel and his rat friend who plan a nut store heist.

Peter Lepeniotis directs from a screenplay he co-wrote with Lorne Cameron based on the former’s 2005 short film Surly Squirrel.

Graham Moloy and WK Jung produce and Mike Karz and Bill Bindley of Gulfstream Pictures serve as executive producers alongside Jay Ahn, Daniel Woo, Hong Kim and Tom Yoon.

Open Road’s Tom Ortenberg [pictured], Elliott Kleinberg and Ben Cotner negotiated with Susan Williams and Stephen Zager of Loeb and Loeb on behalf of Redrover, ToonBox and Gulfstream.