The cool tone is also set by the score by one of my favorites, Daniel Pemberton.
PP: There was such a clarity about what Aaron had written, all that book series. When I jumped in the project, it quickly came together what we wanted this movie to look like and feel like. From the beginning of our first presentation of some storyboards, I always wanted to pitch the studio what kind of music I wanted to hear for the film so it was always there from the very get-go. We first talked about Tarantino, and his soundtracks are very specific, is really using mostly needle drops and songs from his online library. I wanted to do that at first and then realized it’s much harder to do than you think. But then when I pitched our ideas to the music supervisor at Universal the first name that came up was Daniel. They told me just go listen to what Daniel does. And I listened. I was like, “Oh, my God, those are some of my favorite soundtracks. Oh yeah, of course.” I called him and he happened to be in LA. I pitched him the movie, and the first thing he did was actually lay out four demos, four tracks, and of course, being Daniel it was perfect, it matched exactly what we wanted. Daniel is the definition of a genius. And he’s been delivering us one of the most amazing scores I’ve ever heard for an animated film.
There’s a lot of very fun technology in the film. If you could have one item in real life, what would it be?
AB: I want the car.
PP: You took the easy one, buddy. I want the thought-controlling helmet.
One of my favorite movie genres is the heist movie. What do you think is the enduring appeal? Why do we love them so much?
AB: It’s one of my favorites, too. It’s almost interactive in a way, isn’t it? You’re involved. I guess it probably triggers the same parts of the brain like you’re watching a murder mystery; you try to figure out things as you go along, which is tremendously engaging. And what’s been so exciting about this project is you don’t see it for kids, you don’t see it in animation. So, it’s been really beautiful to open up kind of a new genre for a family movie.
PP: First is you’re on the side of the bad guys but then they are never really bad. When I was a kid playing cops and robbers, I always wanted to be side of the gangster because it’s slightly outside of the law but then you’re not really bad. But the other part of it I always equate to a magic trick. You’re following a story and then at the end, boom, that’s the reveal of how they did it. And you’re like, “Oh, my God, I never saw that coming, but it all fits together.” And that always felt so appealing to me. It’s always super cool characters. You want to be them.
“The Bad Guys” will be available only in theaters on April 22nd.