Puss in Boots: Final Want creators checked out Shrek to reinvent Shrek

“When the first Shrek film got here out, it was fairly groundbreaking,” Joel Crawford, co-director of Puss in Boots: The Final Want, advised Polygon in a latest interview. “With CG, it was so spectacular [with] the element that you might really feel, and audiences had been wowed by that chasing of photorealism. So so as to make, 20-something years later, Puss in Boots: The Final Want really feel like a fairy story for our time, we mentioned, We have to push it.”

And he and co-director Januel Mercado did. Not like the 4 Shrek motion pictures and the primary Puss in Boots film, which all take a regular strategy to photorealism in lighting and design, The Final Want is extra stylized. The backgrounds are lush. The lighting seems to be much less photographic and extra like an impressionist portray. The actions are extra exaggerated and attention-grabbing. It’s an enormous departure from what audiences have come to anticipate from the Shrek franchise, but it surely was a departure the filmmakers had been desirous to take.

“It’s been over 10 years for the reason that final Puss in Boots, and over 20 years for the reason that first Shrek got here out,” Mercado says. “We’re all the time speaking about simply how marvelous animation know-how and its visible storytelling has advanced over time. We felt like there’s been sufficient time the place we may retain the essence of this world and these characters, however we may take full benefit of the brand new know-how and types [with] which to share these tales. We weren’t about to overlook that chance.”

Mercado and Crawford had been impressed by animated tasks like Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, Arcane, and The Dangerous Guys, not only for their use of stylized animation, however for his or her celebration of the mediums that impressed their tales. For Spider-Verse, that was comedian books. And for The Final Want, that meant fairy-tale illustrations.

Kitty Softpaws (Salma Hayek), Perro (Harvey Guillén) and Puss stand in a garden of watercolor-like flowers and trees

I’ve been excited about the shading on Puss’ hat right here for weeks now.
Picture: DreamWorks Animation

“I keep in mind rising up with kids’s books,” recounts Mercado. “Particularly fairy-tale books and illustrations, and the way vivid these spreads can be, and the way easy they’re for teenagers, with simply easy texts and storytelling. However I keep in mind as a child spending hours simply wanting on the drawings and the work, and seeing all the small print which are within the environments. […] We needed to do the identical with the movie medium for Puss in Boots.”

“Our manufacturing designer, Nate Wragg, was actually the one who helmed find out how to categorical our particular story,” explains Crawford. “Particularly on this fairy-tale model. And so it was a trial-and-error factor the place we have a look at issues and go, Oh, that’s too flat and graphic, or That’s too life like. And so it’s actually a means of discovering it.”

The animation wasn’t the one ingredient Crawford and Mercado hoped to evolve with The Final Want. In any case, again in 2001, Shrek was groundbreaking not only for the CG, however for the edgy humor and extra mature references that impressed a tonal shift in American animation for the following decade or so. To maintain Puss in Boots related for the 2020s, the filmmakers needed to revisit that sharp wit, but additionally broaden the themes the film may take care of and inform a deeper story.

“With the unique Shrek motion pictures, there’s a enjoyable play on what we all know as fairy tales and Disney princesses that we love. There’s all the time that subversive take that’s intelligent and hilarious to expertise,” says Mercado. “It’s all the time similar to, Oh man, that is enjoyable. I’ve by no means thought of it this fashion. It’s cool to show issues on its head. That was one factor we needed to return to and proceed as one a part of the fold. And the opposite aspect of additionally it is a real message, and [an] emotional story to inform.”

Puss in Boots: The Final Want is presently obtainable on demand and on DVD and Blu-ray.


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