Friday, July 14, 2006

"Ant Bully" director John Davis

I had a delightful conversation with writer-director John Davis at a reception before a screening of his new film, "The Ant Bully." Tom Hanks, who had read the book to his son and enjoyed it, sent a copy to Davis, the creator of the "Jimmy Neutron" series to see if he was interested in making the movie. He was, and after eight months writing the script and more than three years producing the film, he was very happy to be showing it, especially to the audience at this screening, a very excited bunch of kids on a field trip.

Davis told me that the movie had many challenges, from the technological (he said everything they ever did for "Jimmy Neutron" was not adequate for this film) to the logistical (his cast of superstars, including Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Nicolas Cage, and cult favorite Bruce Campbell were each recorded separately), to the conceptual (the drawings are based on real insects but mandibles didn't look "right" on the female characters so they left them off). But the result is worth it -- a terrific film sure to be a huge hit with kids.

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