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'Puss in Boots' Director & Harvey Guillén Break Down the Wagon Scene

"Throughout the movie, there's like five hundred hidden kitty paws." 'Puss in Boots: The Last Wish' director Joel Crawford and Harvey Guillén (Perrito) break down the first action scene featuring Puss, Kitty and Perrito all together in a wagon chase.

DreamWorks Animation’s ‘Puss in Boots: The Last Wish’ is available now on Digital, 4K UHD, Blu-ray & DVD.

Released on 03/04/2023


[Joel] What about this?

[Harvey] A hidden hidden kitty paw.

Oh, you found it. Yeah.

Pointed it out. Found it.

Throughout the movie, there's like 500 hidden kitty paws.

499 to go.

Hi, I'm Joel Crawford, the Director of

Puss and Boots, The Last Wish,

And I'm Harvey Guillen and I play Perrito.

[Joel And Harvey] And this, is Notes On A Scene.

[suspenseful music]

Oh, cool, another member of the team.

[Puss And Kitty Together] We are not a team.

This is the first time Puss, Kitty, and Perrito

are all in one scene together.

[glass shattering]

[Joel and Harvey laughing]

[Joel] Right here.

This is the dysfunctional trio.

[Harvey] That's the priorities.

That's a true dog, right?

That's a true dog.

That's what's on his mind.

Yeah. He found-

There's danger happening here, a lot of danger.

[Joel] These shards of glass.

[Harvey] Wow, I didn't even notice those.

[Joel] Just almost missed Puss, yeah.

And Puss landed really hard, right?

[Harvey] Yeah.

[Harvey] But Kitty Softpaws, as always, soft paws.

This whole movie is about connections.

And it's about, especially Puss in Boots,

who's been living a life of solitude.

And what I love about Perrito is that

he just always wants friends.

And he's just there and then he...

There's just so much love in his heart.

That's really good.

I found a sandwich in here.

I think it's tunafish.

[Puss yelling]

[Harvey] I love how angry Puss is

when he slaps the sandwich out of Perrito's hand.

There's what's called character effects animators

that do the contact with the,

to make it look like he's actually

[Harvey] holding it. Pressing

onto the bread.

[Joel] Yeah. And then you see

[Joel] the action. Later you'll see

when there's breadcrumbs that fly off,

that's another department that did those.


And we were like, We need more breadcrumbs,

It was a hard slap.

And that's the first time that we see him

in his fashion sense

which is this great sweater that he is wearing

which I'm kind of matching with him today.

Right, perro.

[horse neighing]

The conceit in this scene is

that it's kind of this badass action chase

in the style of a fairytale kind of painting.

And the animation is a mix of CG animation

but also hand drawn.

All these flaming arrows being shot through the air

are hand drawn by an effects artist.

Every curve of the flame is paid close attention to

and you can really feel how designed it is

and it just actually makes all the action

that much more exciting.

[Puss] Eyes on the road.

Who is this guy?

I'm Puss' best friend.


We're always going, we're making a comedy here

but what's underneath the comedy?

And like I said, this scene is about connections

that Puss is rejecting and so we built that in

where we tell the animators be meaner to him.

Really push his face.

And that was a note we gave to the animator.

I remember we were recording this

and I remember you saying like, Oh, the wagon's moving.

So I did one take and I was like, I'm Puss' best friend.

Just regular.

And it was like, no, the wagon's moving.

So I was like oh, I'm Puss' best friend.

Yeah, like keep moving.

So I think for like an hour I was just bouncing up and down.

I'm Puss' best friend.

Over and over and over.

I'm Puss' best friend.

No he isn't.

And his therapy dog.

Definitely not.

Finally, you need therapy.

Our writer is brilliant at this, Paul Fisher,

who layers in so much foreshadowing in the dialogue.

I love this.

Her saying, You need therapy.

And it's a joke here, but Puss does and he does receive it,

and it helps him.

It does.

We could all benefit from therapy.

There's a texturing department

that puts a surface onto this kind of CG flame

and so it looks like someone painted that.

Usually in any kind of CG animated movie

there's something called emotion blur.

Which is very much the same in live action

where if the camera's moving, the character's moving.

Puss' cape would be blurred

and Kitty is leaning forward

and she would usually be blurred to make it feel real.

But because we committed to go,

This is a a fairytale painting style.

We actually fought the computer a little bit

and said don't do the motion blurs.

Trust me.

Trust you?

Like I did in Santa Coloma?

Really, Santa Coloma?

Si, Santa Coloma.

We wanted to set up this Santa Coloma heist.

When Kitty says Santa Coloma,

visually the whole screen lights up with fire.

That's what's in her heart.

[Harvey] Yeah.

She's like, You did something bad.

[Harvey] Yeah.

Nothing is by accident.

And I'd say that's the same whether you're

directing a live action movie or an animated movie.

Everything is intentional.

Every visual, every sound is saying something to

support the narrative that you're creating.

[Harvey] Look at this like, I didn't notice this before,

but like we've all seen a piece of wood that's been

cut off in an awkward angle and look at that.

Look at the little details.

Yes. And and there's the

the modeling department builds every single aspect of it.

And I love the shadowing.

See, like, in Puss' hat, it's way darker on this side.

So this side of his body is obviously darker

'cuz the light's coming from, he's back lit.

Right, see it's, I'm using Hollywood talk.

Back lighting, when there's a light behind your back.

Santa Coloma.

[dramatic music]


[Joel] There's something different about Puss In Boots.

Can't put my hand on it.

There's something it, it's...



It's the, yeah.

He's got a beard.

Got a beard.

He has a beard now.

I started as a storyboard artist many years ago in animation

and so I always just, my job was to draw quickly ideas

and as a director I still draw and like

so the co-director and I, when we came up

with this idea of the beard, we were like, oh, that's funny.

He has like a shaggy beard and like

I didn't know when you actually realize that

in animation it's really hard to do anything that is touched

by the character.

They have to painstakingly go frame

by frame and find the interaction with the beard.

We'd get notes and go

is there any way they could cut the beard

off and shave him sooner?

But the really cool thing is the beard was more

than just a, like a sight gag.

It was actually had meaning behind it, you know

Puss In Boots.

When he appeared on the big screen

in Shrek Two was just this awesome larger

than life hero and we needed to take him from hero to zero,

and we basically said, how can we make him lose his mojo?

The beard represents Puss always kind of hiding

behind a facade.

[cats growling and hissing]

Oh. Oh, did you see that?

Yeah, most people miss that, but he caught on fire.

He did.

Perrito is on fire.

[Joel] I don't think he knows he's on fire.

No, he's too in the moment.

Sometimes when I catch on fire

I don't even know what's going around me.

Yeah, and the importance of this,

like they're blowing off.

[Harvey] Exactly, they care more about this magic map and

in the background, poor Perritos on fire.

And so like this scene is, is a really fun one

because it sets up their start point where they don't care

about each other, but it's comedically fun to watch.

[coins jingling]

[people cheering]

[horse neighing]

Good people accept this golden gift.

Look at that, Salma.

Aye Bruce.

[both laugh]

When we were recording the lines with Selma, when

we were reading that, that he's, Puss is trying to

have everybody still celebrate him, she kept like, ugh.

Like while we were reading the lines

she was like rolling her eyes in character.

[Harvey] I love it.

And the animators totally use that

that kind of reference, those kind of things.

They, when you're watching this

like all the characters feel real.

We're making an animated movie

but the characters aren't cartoons.

That they're all grounded.

They're all real.

And when you find

that specificity and that detail, it basically

kind of snowballs where every department who's

creating this movie after leaves your voice.

They, they just find these nuances.


Accept this golden gift from Puss In Boots.

[people cheering]

I noticed this recently, but this is really cool

and you can tell me if this is true.

This is a little bit foreshadowing of the eyes of the wolf.

Dude, nothing gets by you.

Nothing when cameras are on me.

What I love is that that's foreshadowing of what's to

come a few frames later.

Puss hears this whistle.

[wolf whistles]

This terrifying bounty hunter shows up

and he has this ominous whistle.

And like for us, we, we kind of always saw this movie

as like, it has one boot dipped in the

the Shrek fairytale world

and another one dipped in like the spaghetti western world.

Introducing kind of like that bounty hunter and death,

if you will.

Yeah. It's kind of a huge step

because it's inevitable you have to be able to talk

about those things.

And watching the film you're like, I was terrified.

I was like, this is terrifying.

But he does it so with like a suaveness to him.

I guess I kind of wanna be traced by wolf

because like he's so cool and it's just that whistle.

He's kind of cool.

We realized, you know, we're making a comedy

and it's so fun to see, you know

these characters on the screen, but this movie is

about Puss being oblivious to mortality

and this wolf is the one that kinda strikes fear into him

which actually causes him to stop and appreciate

and be vulnerable and like open himself up to connections.

We needed dark moments.

The wolf puts coins on his eyes and points

and that was a nod to Charon's obol,

the mythology of you'd put coins on the eyes of the dead

for the ferrymen to take them over to the underworld

and it was like, there's more to this bounty hunter.

He might be actually death.


So the production designer, Nate Wragg, came up

with this kind of concept that this movie, because it's

in the Shrek fairytale world feels like a fairytale.

What if we just visually make the movie look

like it's a painting?

When the first Shrek came out, it was

like over 20 years ago and computer animation was new.

Everybody was like, wow, you can see the hairs

on their arm and they almost look real.

Everybody was chasing photorealism, but we realized like

we can do anything with animation.

Why are we trying to make stuff look like real life?

Let's bring the audience into a fantasy world.

It was a really cool kind of process where, because it

this fairytale look hadn't been done before,

we were finding it as we were going and it just

looks way more beautiful than I could have ever pictured.

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