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He directed one of the greatest animated films of all time. Now he returns with the surprising children's film of the summer - voila! culture


Rob Minkoff, who directed "The Lion King," is back with "Samurai on All Fours," an animated film based on "Hot Saddles" by Mel Brooks, who also co-produced the remake. an interview

He directed one of the greatest animated films of all time.

Now he's back with the surprising children's movie of the summer

Rob Minkoff, who directed "The Lion King," is back with "Samurai on All Fours," an animated film based on "Hot Saddles" by Mel Brooks, who also co-produced the remake.

In the interview, he tells a story he has not yet told about the production of "The Lion King" and explains why he learned to love his Bar Mitzvah

Avner Shavit


Friday, 05 August 2022, 00:05

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The trailer of the movie "Samurai on All Fours" (Red Cape)

Rob Minkoff entered the pages of cinema history in 1994, when he directed "The Lion King" - one of the most successful, beloved and cult animated films in history.

It is impossible to reproduce such success, but the director continued to work consistently and release worthy films under his hands, even if they are obviously less famous.

The Jewish-American filmmaker directed, for example, the two films in the "Stewart Little" series and "Mr. Peabody and Sherman", and now comes another long film from his pen - "Samurai on All Fours", whose directorial work also includes Chris Bailey and Mark Costier.

The film is released here this weekend, a few weeks after it was released in the United States.

Originally, its name was completely different - Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank"".

Initially it was called "Blazing Samurai", inspired by the classic on which it is based - "Fiery Saddles", the classic western by Mel Brooks, who signed on as a producer on the remake, and also contributed his voice to one of the characters.

"Hot Saddles", as I remember, described how a corrupt governor seeks to create chaos in the town under his control for his own economic interests, and therefore appoints a black sheriff to the place, thinking that the racist white residents will rise up and thwart him.

"Samurai on all fours", as the name implies, transfers this frame story to the animal world.

This time, the arch-villain appoints a dog to be the samurai to protect a town of cats, knowing that they will put their feet up on all fours, creating mayhem that will serve the bastard's interests.

The result is cheeky, surprising, cute and entertaining, and will delight adults as much as children.

The king of "The Lion King".

Rob Minkoff (Photo: GettyImages, Vivian Killiela)

"I joined the project after they had already started developing it, and the original idea was that the remake would also deal with human characters, albeit with animation. I thought it was a problematic idea," says Minkoff in an interview with Walla!

Culture on the occasion of the film's release.

"When 'Hot Saddles' came out in the seventies, dealing with racism in a comical way was bold and edgy, but today it's too sensitive. I thought to myself that if we made an animated film about racism between blacks and whites, it wouldn't be appropriate, and that's where the idea came from to keep the simile but To change the parable - to add an allegorical dimension and present this story through an action about dogs and cats."

"The Lion King" also has a "message" and so do your other films.

Is that something you find important in the projects you direct?

"I liken movies to dinner. There's nothing wrong with a movie that entertains you and passes the time. It's like a meal that fills you up. But if that meal can also take you on an emotional journey, that will activate all your senses, lift your spirits and give you something To think more - then it's a more complete meal."

The film is about the eternal conflict between dogs and cats.

Why do you think these animals hate each other so much?

"First of all, I'm not sure it's sweeping. There are dogs and cats who get along. As for those who don't - the thing is, these two are the most popular pets. They share similar spaces, but they have very different personalities. Dogs are happy to be everywhere. They just want to be petted They have their stomachs. They can lie down on their backs in a second at any given moment and place. Cats behave like the owner of the house. For them - it's not them who live in your house, but you who live in theirs."

More in Walla!

"The Lion King": the director of the film is proud of being "violent and scary": a special interview

To the full article

From the movie "Samurai on All Fours" (Photo: Red Cape)

The film comes out with us in a dubbed version and an original version.

In the original, behind the voices is an impressive and star-studded team.

According to Minkoff, the first to join the team is of course Brooks, who at age 96 contributes some great jokes.

"Mel Brooks is a national treasure and a force of nature," says Minkoff.

"How to explain his energies? My mother is the same age, and she's also full of energy, so it's probably something in the genes. It's also his positive attitude, and the way he looks at life's tragedies in a comical way, which is of course a very Jewish trait."

Later, Samuel L. Jackson also joined, voicing the cat who acts as a mentor to the dog and instructs him on how to be a samurai.

"We wanted to contrast Samuel's rough energies with an innocent character that is easy to impress. It's easy to make such a character pale and colorless, but after a lot of searching we ended up with Michael Cera, and he brought a lot of innocence to the character but also a lot of character. It's hard to design a character of a dog, because we've already seen every So many dogs in cinema. Every time we developed something, I said - 'No, he's too similar to that dog,' but in the end we managed to find the unique voice of the samurai dog."

The villain is voiced by Ricky Gervais.

Is it because there's a rule in Hollywood that the bad guy must always speak with a British accent?

"No, really not, we just thought that Ricky would be the most suitable for the role, because of his witty sarcasm and mocking tone, and he also happens to be British."

There are elements in the original that you did not refer to, but of course you did not skip a tribute to the most famous scene in "Hot Saddles" - the scene of the farts around the campfire.

"When the movie came out, I couldn't go see it in the cinema, because there was a viewing restriction. My older brother was already old enough to go, and when he came back he said, 'I just saw the funniest movie I've ever seen,' and the first thing he talked about was the fart scene. He couldn't believe the sight his eyes".

When you make a film, do you think about how the audience will react to it and what ages it will be suitable for?

"When I was working as a young animator, I connected with the veteran and legendary animator Chuck Jones, and the first question I asked him was the question you presented to me now. He told me in response - 'We don't think about the audience, and we don't think about age ranges, we just try to entertain Ourselves'. I can tell you that at least in Hollywood, there is always some kind of interaction with the audience, and we do test screenings before the commercial distribution, and if necessary change something in the film based on the reactions."

More in Walla!

The secrets behind the dubbing of Disney films: a fascinating and wild conversation with Eli Gorenstein

To the full article

From the movie "Samurai on All Fours" (Photo: Red Cape)

Following this, Minkoff tells me a story about the test screenings of "The Lion King", which as far as I know he has not told before.

This story involves him and the legendary Jeffrey Katzenberg, who at the time was the head of Disney's animation division, the studio that produced and distributed the blockbuster.

"When we made the film, it was clear to me that it had a spiritual dimension, and I remember wondering how the audience would react to it, since different viewers come from different religions. I asked myself how they would react to this film, which has some kind of alternative religion in it," he says.

"Before one of the test screenings, I asked the interviewer who checks the audience's reactions to ask the viewers about the religious aspect. Then we met for dinner to discuss the results of the screening. The interviewer returned with his cards, and started saying 'Regarding the question about the religious aspect..' Katzenberg who was the boss The elder got stressed and started asking, 'What are you talking about? What religious aspect?', so I calmed him down immediately and said, 'Don't worry, we're not trying to promote a certain religion, but to give the characters a set of spiritual values.' I think if you look at the film, you see that there Many spiritual elements, for example when Rafiki sits in the lotus position."

More in Walla!

Hakone Tate: The new "Lion King" is a heavy, clumsy, ugly - and unnecessary movie

To the full article

A spiritual film.

From "The Lion King" (Photo: Forum Film)

You know that the voice actors of the Hebrew version of the original "Lion King" have become icons.

There was also drama, when the remake of the film came out, Scar's original voice actor was replaced, and his fans signed a petition to change the evil of the cut.

"The truth is, I didn't follow the Hebrew dubbing of 'The Lion King', or of 'Samurai on All Fours.' That's how I understood why I needed the Bar Mitzvah. At the time, I only did it because that's what my parents expected of me. Today, I look at my Bar Mitzvah with much more appreciation and nostalgia."

Did you also know that Simba is one of the most popular names for dogs in Israel?

"Really? This is strange in the context of our previous discussion about the conflict between cats and dogs in 'Samurai on All Fours'. After all, the meaning of 'Simba' is 'lion',

A lion is a member of the cat family.

So it's like calling your dog 'cat'.

  • culture

  • Theater

  • Cinema news


  • The Lion King

  • Mel Brooks

  • Samuel L. Jackson

  • Michael Serra

  • Ricky Gervais

Source: walla

All tech articles on 2022-08-04

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