Thursday, March 6, 2014
Tinsel & Tine Intro: It's nice having a staff, wish I could pay them, but at least when I can't cover an interview or event, it's fun to be able to send someone who I know will represent Tinsel & Tine as I would. For the interview with the director of DreamWorks Animation's Mr. Peabody & Sherman, Rob Minkoff, T&T was represented by both Candace "Candi's Corner" Cordelia and Draw-tographer Diane Roka. Thank you Ladies!
A Dog and His Boy - “The Original Modern Family”
|Artwork by Diane Roka - Portrait of Rob Minkoff during Interview at Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia|
|Drawing by Diane Roka - of Rob Minkoff "Mr. Peabody & Sherman" Director|
“I think it’s because I’m crazy (laughter). I don’t ever like to give up on anything. Perseverance, for me, was key.” Minkoff noted that even while it looked as though he stepped away from the animated movie world, that was, in fact, not the case. The length of time it took for #MrPeabodyandSherman” in between other projects, just may have made it appear that way. “I was actually, probably, just finished with the first Stuart Little movie, a live action movie, with an animated character in it. So, it wasn't really so much thinking that I stepped away from it for so long; it wasn't really intentional… it was just a matter of how long it actually took us to get it to the screen.” Minkoff went on to describe the process of the pre-production work for Mr. Peabody & Sherman, which, for a movie geek like me, was very attention-grabbing.
|Rob Minkoff and Candance Cordelia|
|Penny, Mr. Peabody & Sherman from DreamWorks Studios|
If you end up going to see “Mr. Peabody & Sherman”, and come out of the theater wondering if there were any places visited and historical figures met that unfortunately ended up on the cutting room floor, you will be pleased to know that Ancient Rome with Emperor Nero and Ancient China with Confucius are on that list. But, Rob Minkoff has a good explanation. “There were just one too many places to go. We just couldn't have quite so many, so maybe it will make an appearance in another episode.”
In doing my research, I gasped a few times reading the IMDB list of featured actors cast for this movie, so I had to ask about the process of working with them, especially Mel Brooks (voice of Albert Einstein):
“It was a lot of fun. Working with Mel Brooks is always a particularly amusing kind of thing. He’s a larger than life personality. He acts exactly like you would expect him to act. He sort of takes over when he does his work. And it was kind of great for me because I had worked with him so many, many years ago in a short film that I directed for Walt Disney World [“Mickey’s Audition”]. It was about Mickey Mouse coming to Walt Disney studios in the ‘20s and being discovered in a screen test. Mel Brooks played the director of the screen test. It was the very first live action movie that I directed. I was 27 years old, maybe 28, and I got to work with Mel Brooks and it was incredibly intimidating, as you might expect! I remember him putting me through my paces. I mean, really challenging me in every possibly way you can imagine, but I sort of stuck with it. It was a trial by fire. So having overcome that and now making this movie [“Mr. Peabody & Sherman”] and getting to work with him again was a lot of fun.” stated Minkoff.
Also worthy of note, was learning that Robert Downey Jr. was going to voice the character of Mr. Peabody from the start! However, he became too busy with other roles to commit to Minkoff’s project: “We were going to use him…we weren't able to audition him so we could only base it on what we knew about his other work…thinking about Sherlock Holmes and Tony Stark, those characters are kind of exceptional…so Mr. Peabody sort of felt like it would a good fit for him…the problem was he was getting started on The Avengers and got so busy that we literally were trying to get him into a recording studio and could not…it was getting on to be too long and we all got kind of frustrated and said, ‘We have to make the movie, so we’re going to have to look elsewhere."
|Artist/Draw-tographer Diane Roka with Rob Minkoff|
Minkoff hopes to shoot many projects in the future, one of them being a fantasy live-action film called “Chinese Odyssey”. A dream project he would love to work on is “Calvin & Hobbes”, but he would not make it as a live-action movie. Sadly enough, according to Minkoff, the creator of the beloved comic strip, Bill Watterson, does not want his characters to be adapted onscreen.
Judging from the discussion, waiting 12 years for “Mr. Peabody & Sherman” was well worth waiting for.
Tinsel & Tine: Even though, I wasn't available to meet director Rob Minkoff :( I did get a chance to screen Mr. Peabody & Sherman, and I really liked it. It's not a laugh riot like a Madagascar or Despicable Me, but I can honestly say, it's super clever, completely entertaining and heart warming, with just the right amount of angst and Sci-Fi action. T &T's LAMB Score: 4 outta 5 Lambs
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