Travel consideration provided.
Earlier this month, I flew to Los Angeles for the Ratchet & Clank event. During my trip, I attended a press conference with the film’s cast and director, and it was a fun Q&A that provided insights, laughs – and even a voice impression or two!
We began our interview by speaking to Ratchet & Clank’s director and writer, Kevin Munroe.
BEEB ASHCROFT: You’ve worked on both films and video games in the past. Do you feel like that gives an advantage in being able to translate this video game into a good movie?
KEVIN MUNROE: Yes, and no. I think at the end of the day, it’s all about just finding a good story, and really trying to find that. I was working at a company called Shine Entertainment, back in the mid-90’s. I was Canadian – I was – I still am Canadian, I guess. (laughs) But I came down to California, and I had animation training. And so where do you get a job? And video games at the time were really friendly with that. And so my first “in” was through video games. And the company had done a game called Earthworm Jim, that felt like you were playing a cartoon. And so that, to me, always resonated. And from there, that project I think gave birth to a lot of projects like Ratchet and Clank, and these very sort of character driven kind of properties and stuff.
And so I think knowing kind of the background of that, I think I tonally knew what everybody was going after. It was a very familiar world for me I think, coming from the silliness of that sort of Shine-y Entertainment, Earthworm Jim era, like Hooper, and Crash Bandicoot and all those things came about. And what’s great now is that it’s all about the story. It doesn’t matter if it’s a game, or if it’s a movie, or a TV show. It’s all about just experiencing, even on your phones – you can just experience a story anywhere. And so ultimately, it came down to that.
During the chat, we were joined by actors Bella Thorne, who provides the voice for Cora in the film, and James Arnold Taylor, who voices Ratchet in both the movie and original video game.
BEEB ASHCROFT: Ratchet and Clank is such a playful project, that I was wondering what the most fun part of doing these voices was for you?
BELLA THORNE: The snacks. The snacks. It’s very fun.
JAMES ARNOLD TAYLOR: You had better snacks than I did, though.
BELLA THORNE: The most fun about playing it was probably playing like a bad ass female was super cool. When I walked in you guys were just like, “No, yeah, you can just use your dark voice, your…”
KEVIN MUNROE: She was like, “Are you sure you don’t want me to sound more girly?”
BELLA THORNE: He was, “No, no, no, no. Yeah, you can even go deeper.” And I was like – no.
KEVIN MUNROE: I will say when it’s too far. Trust me.
BELLA THORNE: Yeah. No, no, no, I sound like a man, guys. We don’t want to think that a man is actually Cora. The most fun part was yeah, was probably getting to stress my personality to its limits, just because I wasn’t playing like, so different of a character from me.
JAMES ARNOLD TAYLOR: Yeah, and she does an amazing job at it. It’s so fun. I was just telling her, we were walking down the hall, it was like – I’m afraid of her character, in every way. And it is great to be able to do that. That’s the funnest thing for me is [that] the character of Ratchet is my regular voice. And that’s kind of a first for me. I’ve been, you know, Fred Flintstone, and nobody expects Fred to come out of me, or Obi-Wan Kenobi, or Johnny Tatstu’s an 11 year old kid and totally awesome and all that, you know, and that’s cool. Or if I’m doing Christopher Walken when he can’t do it – I come in, it’s great. Or Jay Burshell, or Michael J. Fox – well, wait a second; this is heavy. So I’m basically just trying to impress you all with voices. (laughs) But Ratchet – I get to be me. And so it’s very cool to get to do that, and get to work with these people, and get to work with Kevin again. We worked together on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. So it’s just been a blast to see this transition.
Ratchet & Clank hits theaters this Friday!