Made a decade after 2011’s Oscar-nominated Puss in Boots, the sequel that debuts Dec. 21 takes a darker flip because the eponymous feline, voiced by Antonio Banderas, is pressured to confront his mortality. “He’s burned by eight of his 9 lives, and he’s on his final,” director Joel Crawford says, explaining that whereas a cat’s 9 lives make for a enjoyable premise, the filmmakers used it to speak a few extra severe topic. “You’ve one life, how are you going to reside it? That’s such a robust theme that’s related for everyone.”
He provides that Dreamworks Animation’s Puss in Boots: The Final Want goals to ship “what everybody was anticipating: the swashbuckling enjoyable of a Puss in Boots, but additionally broaden the world, even within the look.” The story begins with a music and playful motion sequence. After an unlucky accident, Puss will get information from his physician that he’s on the final of his 9 lives, which he brushes off, then retreats to a bar for a glass of leche. There, he’s confronted by the Wolf, a bounty hunter (who later reveals he’s Dying himself), and a sword struggle ensues.
For the pivotal sequence, Crawford and co-director Januel P. Mercado took some affect from Sergio Leone’s spaghetti Westerns and Akira Kurosawa’s movies. “That is the second the place it will get gritty and all the things modifications tone. You get faster cuts within the motion, you get longer moments of pause, very similar to a Western,” Crawford says. “The second the place Puss will get lower [by the Wolf’s blade], Januel did this close-up of Puss’ eyes — it’s the Sergio Leone close-up — after which he did that little drop of blood operating down his head.”
That’s the second that we see Puss’ emotion change as he realizes the stakes of his scenario. “It’s a surprisingly darkish scene,” says head of story Heidi Jo Gilbert. “A lot of the viewers isn’t anticipating to go in and see that darkish of a scene in a Puss in Boots film.” Crawford provides that it was editor Jim Ryan’s thought to create the second when Puss’ lives flash earlier than his eyes.
Viewers will discover a brand new visible model, which manufacturing designer Nate Wragg says was aimed toward making the film “really feel like a recent fairy story,” conceived by researching a extra “impressionistic strategy” to portray.
“The Puss in Boots character earlier than the Shrek franchise was born out of fairy tales, and the Shrek franchise [the first film, 2001’s Shrek, won the first Oscar for best animated feature] has a whole lot of enjoyable in that artistic area,” he explains. “When these films have been created, what we might do rather well in CG animation was a extra naturalistic really feel.” He says with the most recent pc animation software program (together with some written by DWA for The Final Want), “we’re in a position to carry a distinct artistic imaginative and prescient to the pc and up onto the massive display screen. Quite than specializing in a naturalistic feeling for the world, [we] actually [tap] into an illustrated, fantasy, fairy-tale expertise for the viewers, to assist carry it again to its early roots — however then with all of the wonderful bells and whistles, if you’ll, that we are able to apply with [today’s] instruments.”
That is evident within the bar second between Puss and the Wolf. Explains Crawford, “The purpose of the scene was to have Puss really feel worry and pay attention to his mortality for the primary time. With the ability to specific that, not actually however impressionistically, was like having one other software in our toolbox.”
This story first appeared within the Dec. 16 challenge of The truestarz journal. Click on right here to subscribe.