Donnie Lopez is a gay Latino/Hispanic social and political commentator,…
As I wake up in New York City for another magnificent adventure, I find myself in the company of the Blue Sky Studios team.
With a friendly smile and high hopes, I’m hoping my day will be a magical one. Just an hour away from Manhattan, their building holds a world that seemed to be designed especially with me in mind.
As I walk in and take the elevator up to the second floor, I step out into the lobby to see sculptures and a glass wall and doors with a smiling facing greeting me on the other side. In big bold letters I see the words “Blue Sky Studios.” Instantly, I know this is where the creativity lies.
So, why see Spies in Disguise? Here are the top ten reasons.
You can get in touch with your inner child.
There are few experiences that truly qualify as amazing. Getting a chance to see Blue Sky Studios is on that list. Being able to see firsthand how Lance Sterling, the cool star protagonist, was created and designed was phenomenal. Viewing his clay design to seeing him being drawn and even getting a chance to draw him allowed me, if only a moment, to believe that anything is possible. It brought me back to that moment as a child, where I thought to myself, “I want to make something this cool.”
Spies in Disguise shows an alternative to violence.
When great shows and movies come out and explore the realm of violence, it is often appealing to only see things from that perspective. Yet, here comes a popular hit film that shows that there are other ways of handling situations. That creative innovation and courage to do what needs to be done can be just as powerful as a sword.
It has Tom Holland.
Let’s face it, when the Spider-Man actor comes out and joins any cast, you know it is going to be spectacular. Tom Holland, who plays boy genius Walter with all his splendid gifts for acting, triumphantly steals the spotlight throughout the film. But, perhaps even more amazingly, he manages to make acting seem so easy.
It has a diverse cast.
If the sheer number of amazing voice actors on this film was not enough, they also managed to be inclusive. We have the lovely Reba McEntire, who plays Joyless. Will Smith voices the sleek and angular Lance, who always dresses to impress. The hilarious Rashida Jones plays Marcy. The talented DJ Khaled is Ears. And let us not forget the brilliant Rachel Brosnahan, who plays Wendy with grace and elegance.
It’s family friendly.
With a large amount of films, shows, and streaming services available now, it is nice to know that there are still kid friendly shows and movies available. Spies in Disguise delivers for its audiences exactly what a fun night in with the family could possibly be: comedy, great music, and cute pigeons, minus the popcorn.
It shows that anyone can make a difference.
The drive that Walter has is something that many individuals share. The want to do something more, to change the way we see things, to make the world a better place. Sometimes you have to pair up with someone who is the complete opposite of you to be able to accomplish great things. This film delivers that. Not solely with its two principal characters, but also with its co-directors.
It’s directed by Nick Bruno and Troy Quane.
The handsome Nick Bruno and the striking Troy Quane have joined forces to produce a work that is all about teamwork. What a better way of imparting this message to their audience than by practicing what they preach by co-directing this cinematic work. Both Nick and Troy are family men and together have produced a work that reflects the goodness of what they want to see in the world along with the adventure children want to see. This could not have been possible without these two bright minds at work. Keep an eye out for their character representation.
It has strong female characters.
While on the studio visit, lead sculptor Vicki Saulls told me what it takes to develop these marvelous characters. Rachel Brosnahan as Wendy establishes in the early shots the impact kind words can have on people. Wendy is a police officer and a strong woman who puts her life on the line. Reba as Joyless is the head of the spy organization. Rashida Jones as an unstoppable relentless spy, Marcy, heads the team to bring justice to those that break the law. And don’t forget the oh so cuddly and loveable Lovey the pigeon. Lovey is clearly the smartest pigeon who fights for her friends. All of these characters show depth and are fully realized.
Color themes are important.
Each character is specifically designed with a certain image, shape, and emotion behind them. Dark cool colors are what Lance is all about. He is a cool character with a lot of straight lines and triangles. His dark colors are often used to show him in isolation. The warmer tones that surround Walter’s character are deliberately selected to show a kinder side. The shapes are often curving and circles. The tones are meant to be comforting and inviting. The story artist worked hard to bring this production to its perfect finish.
It has great music and montages.
As with any great film, there are great sidesplitting montages and music that astonishes. The gaming montages are as funny as they are clever. The music that is adapted shows the versatility of the animation and its connection to humor.
The intel acquired at Blue Sky Studios was without a doubt a magical experience. From seeing the creative staff at work and the animation team operating at its high efficiency to meeting the directors to discuss how they achieved their masterpiece, the whole day could be summed up as perfect. This collaboration has produced a work that astonishes and captivates audiences.
Blue Sky Studios is releasing the Spies in Disguise DVD March 10th.
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Donnie Lopez is a gay Latino/Hispanic social and political commentator, writer, entertainment journalist, and professor. He writes on topics that affect Hispanic/Latino culture. With his novel insight, veracity, and sense of humor, he entertains as well as educates the world.