with Ratchet And Clank Director Kevin Munroe and Voices behind its Animated Characters – James Arnold Taylor (voice of Ratchet) and Bella Thorne (voice of Cora.)
RATCHET AND CLANK
Meeting And Interview
The voices behind the animated characters in RATCHET AND CLANK are superb. Check this out: Paul Giamatti, John Goodman, Bella Thorne, Rosario Dawson, Jim Ward, James Arnold Taylor, David Kaye, Armin Shimerman, and Sylvester Stallone.
Directed by Kevin Munroe, be open to some unexpected angles in the movie. If you are not familiar with the game on which the movies is based on, the story is based on on the PS2 game about two buddies and friends who stumble upon each other unexpectedly. The two become heroes not only in the eye of their galactic nation, but also form an incredible friendship between each other.
Two unlikely heroes struggle to stop a vile alien named Chairman Drek from destroying every planet in the Solana Galaxy. Ratchet is the last of his kind, a foolhardy “lombax” who has grown up alone on a backwater planet with no family of his own. Clank is a pint-sized robot with more brains than brawn. When the two stumble upon a dangerous weapon capable of destroying entire planets, they must join forces with a team of colorful heroes called The Galactic Rangers in order to save the galaxy. Along the way, they will learn about heroism, friendship, and the importance of discovering one’s own identity.
Being invited by Disney, Dreamworks, and Gramercy Studios for a movie promotional event is always an event! There is a lot of work that goes behind the scenes to make any new movie release a success. Hundreds of people labor in their professional area to add the top-notch quality that will make a movie a special, unique and a blockbuster.
I would like to share a few precious moments from this amazing and life-changing press junket with the Director Kevin Munroe, and actors Bella Thorne (Cora) and James Arnold Taylor (Ratchet).
When we are at the press junket – we are working non-stop to bring awareness to the details, format, story, actors, directors, movie overall for the online crowds. Everywhere we go, we do a life snapshot, so to say, of the moments we live through.
I love press trips as they give us, bloggers, that live connection with each other. Yes, we work like crazy, meaning non-stop, during those days. But the camaraderie and the sharing that goes on during those intense days are invaluable. For both, professional and personal growth.
There is plenty of opportunities to get to know the characters from the movie we are PRing and promoting. Look, this Ratchet is the best I’ve seen so far. Thank you much for the person behind that suit who made our time and picture-taking memorable.
All the interviews for RATCHET AND CLANK were held in the Four Seasons Hotel at Beverly Hills. I LOVE this place! The exterior is marvelous. Look at the Marilyn Monroe statue that is a hallmark for this hotel in Hollywood! Just that alone is worth visiting here!
I am very impartial to live flowers. The Four Seasons is bursting with floral arrangements everywhere you go! Obviously, I could not, but snap a few on my way to the interviews.
Selfies is the way to rely on when we are on the trip like this one. Nobody is there to take your pictures. So, I took a ton of selfies this trip as well. Follow along, you’ll see more of them.
One of the most stunning floral compositions in the waiting hall of the Four Seasons at Beverly Hills. Cala lilies reflect festivity in a very subtle way. Truly enjoyed it when I was there.
What is not shown to us in the majority of cases is how all those press junket operate. Obviously, I cannot show it all, but these quick glimpses that are allowed to be unveiled make me thankful for all the labor of love that all these professionals put to make each interview, each photo session a success.
Here’s a makeup station ruled by the makeup pro Calvin Scott. He is a a makeup artist for celebs and folks like us.
Do you recognize some brands you use in your daily life? I got a couple in my own makeup drawer!
Calvin Scott shared a few tips on the makeup application and what to do with brushes and sponges when they are dirty. I need to follow up on this one with you in a separate post.
It’s never too late to freshen up those lines and put some new eye shadow!
All interviews, photo sessions are being monitored and coordinated by the head person through her computer monitor.
Here’s what she sees: multiple screens with different interview areas.
Kevin Munroe, the Director of RATCHET AND CLANK, has been an amazing person to interview and get his insights from the moment the movie was conceived and filmed.
You probably know his work from his Christmas special Donner, adaptation of Kingdom Hearts and The Mask (my all-time favorite!) into animated series. The most recent piece he co-produced with Lucasfilm was feature Strange Magic.
Kevin Munroe has his own luck, as put it himself, and privilege to work alongside with George Lucas for four years. When I asked how working with such phenomenal artist like George Lucas influence his creativity, here’s what he said.
A huge influence – you kidding me? He’s one of the chief reasons I do what I do.
It was 1977 when that first movie came out, and it was a Red Theater, with the curtains opening, and I actually had like a box of pop [I talk about it like it’s the 40s.] It was a box of the red and white striped pop. It was such a clear moment. And at that moment, getting the toys, and re-creating that, to me, it was movies at the time, but the notion of taking these characters, and having them do stuff.
I remember sitting down with my dad – it was the day after Christmas, and I’d gotten like a Vader and a Storm Trooper. I was trying to re-create the thing that I had seen in the movie. And so I told him. And he was the Storm Trooper, and I was Vader. And I said, “Tear this ship apart until you find those plans.” And my dad said, “But if we tear the ship apart, we’re gonna die in space.” And I was like, “Ahhhh.”
And so I think that was the moment when I became a director. And so – but no. But no – and it was incredible. It was film school, all over again. I admire that guy so much.
It’s one of those things where you just – like, everybody has their opinions of what they think about him. But to be able to go and work with him, week in and week out – in editorial, specifically – ‘cause like if he has one sandbox that he plays in, it’s to take a movie and to move things around, and figure out what it is.
And so I just learned so much. It was more film school than I think I’d ever done before in my life. And it was like four years of incredible work. It was great. Yeah.
One of the incredible moments I experienced when talking and asking a ton of questions to Kevin Munroe is that all his creative process is based on a very essential ingredient – storytelling! All elements in any type of production do matter.
When you design a character, just from the way they dress, to the way they stand, to the way their hair is – all that stuff – that can inform story; that can inform who they are. And I love the idea of when a design is so crisp and clear that you just go, “I need no words, at all.”
And so to me, I think that’s probably the directing aspect of it. I just love the combination of all those things, and figuring out – and the balance of it.
Bella Thorne is one of my most recent discoveries. I first met her during the interviews for the Alexander #TheVeryBadDay movie. She portrayed a girl-friend of Alexander’s brother. The girl who thought a ton of herself and was far from being patient or tactful. Bella Thorne was brilliant in that movie.
In RATCHET AND CLANK, she is the voice of Cora, the superhero girl who is not afraid to boss Ratchet around! She opened up to us that Cora is the character she truly identifies with.
[Identifying] pretty much in almost every aspect – super tomboy; you can’t probably tell from the way I’m dressed, but in my personal life, you know, I definitely wear what she’s wearing in the movie. She is not afraid to boss Ratchet around.
At the end of the day, she might, like – shoot first, and then ask questions later, which isn’t the best thing, but I think in her case, it works.
And at the end of the day she just wants what’s best for the team.
Bella shared with us how the recording process affects what she does and says for the character.
There’s so many different things that go into it [recording]. And you know, when you’re acting, you’re not acting with just your voice; you’re acting with every part of you, which is, really small things like, “Wow, would my character grab her hair this way? Maybe she wouldn’t because, you know, she’s very naïve, and she’s this, and this, and this.”
There’s like a lot of things that go into consideration. But really on this one, I’m watching a character and I’m just trying to be as most like her, and make her come alive as I can.
Yeah, it’s pretty different, but I still use my body a lot because just in the fluctuations of your voice, they change so abruptly – when you just move your shoulder forward, just like the smallest bit. But the most annoying part was, I wear a lot of jewelry that’s under here. And every time, I’d be like, “Oh, my God, I’m gonna go kill him right now.” Then it would be like – clink, clink, clink, clink. That would be annoying.
Bella Thorne writes books and directs as well. She is so passionate about the entire creative process from scratch.
My goal was to have my first self-directed short film premiere at South By Southwest next year, and hopefully some other festivals. I love the creative process.
One of the unfortunate things about this film was this character was already created when I came in, and stepped foot inside her. So that was fun and, you know, interesting. But I would love to do some more live action animation, where actually get to go behind the scenes and really go and literally create this character, because anything behind the scenes, to me, is just so cool.
I’m never in my trailer. I’m always right behind the director, seeing what he’s doing. They probably think I’m annoying.
At the end of the interview, Bella Thorne got into a selfie with me. Yei!
You probably know James Arnold Taylor because of his animated character Fred Flintstone, and Huckleberry Hound, Wile E. Coyote, Leonardo the Ninja Trutle, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Johnny Test. The viewers of “Animation Domination/Sunday Funday” has his voice, too!
James Arnold Taylor has been a voice for many commercials including Strawberry Mini-Wheat. He was featured in the documentary I Know That Voice. Try to find and watch it – it’s very informative and interesting. His achievement as an actor, entertainer and motivational writer and speaker, host and emcee, truly highlights the multi-talent of this creative artist. To get yourself inspired and into a place of creativity, get a hold of his first book JAT 365. It is a daily reader of inspirations and motivations for the pursuit of dreams. If you are looking for some more support in figuring things out while staying on the path of pursuing your dreams – highly recommend to read this book.
When asked if he had gotten so many acting opportunities due to his positive attitude, James Arnold Taylor responded in this way.
I’d like to think so. Yeah, I think it really is. Thank you, by the way, and thank you for getting the book. And it’s a little book, Daily Inspirations, 365 Daily Inspirations for the Pursuit of Your Dreams. And it’s a journal. I want other people to be able to achieve what I’ve achieved in my life.
As a kid that sat there at four years old going, “I want to do voices.” And I pursued it with a passion. And here it is. And I tried to stay positive. And I had a lot of crazy stuff going on around me as a kid, and stuff that kids shouldn’t see. And so I thought, “I want to stay positive.” And it was really what kept me alive in some of those instances.
So I know for a fact that it plays a part in my life, and it plays a part in my career. And I’m so grateful to be here with these incredibly talented people.
The whole interview was infused with Taylor’s genuine interpretation of life and work and living like it’s his best passion of all. During such interviews that go more like a sincere conversation, something magical happens. The creative energy of the interviewed penetrates everybody in the room. We live and breath and exchange life’s experiences and leave the room transformed and enriched with new know-how of the process of life and living.
James Arnold Taylor shared with us the best encouragement he’s received in his life. It was this story he told us.
When I was 19 years old – there’s a fellow by the name of Don Messick. Now, some of you may know Don, but you certainly know his voice. He was Scooby Do. He was Papa Smurf. He was Mr. Ranger. He was Boo Boo Bear. And he lived not too far from me. I grew up in Santa Barbara, California. He lived there. And I was working in radio. And we did a commercial together in his home studio.
And I went, “This is the best thing in the world. I’m gonna do that someday.” So I called him up – he was in the phonebook. And I called him up after we worked together, and I said, “Hello, Mr. Messick, we worked together. And I was just wondering if maybe I could take you to breakfast some time, and I’ll buy it. You know, it’d be wonderful to talk to you about voiceover, and it’d be really great if you could just talk…”
And he was like, “Yeah, sure, fine.” I went, “Okay.” And he took me to breakfast, and talked to me, and told me stories about being Droopy Dog, and Scooby Do, and all of that. And it was so inspiring, and he was so wonderfully humble, and giving of his time. And I thought, “I – I gotta do that.”
Yes, you can get the best advice ever. Yet, you gotta take risks in life to reach your dreams. The biggest risk James Arnold Taylor has ever taken that ever paid off was…
Well, Fred Flintstone, going for that, because nobody thought I could be the voice of Fred Flintstone, 5’4”, looking like Barney Rubble, you know. So – the director literally looked over me in the first session. He went, “Where’s the actor? Where is – no, not you, can you get.” “It’s me.” Right, you know. And so it was a risk. It was a risk. But yeah, I think that was pretty good.
Asking for anything – is a risk. Well, I went for it and asked James Arnold Taylor for a selfie with me! That was pretty good.
Get excited about the remake of the game in this upcoming movie!