Fred Armisen is playing Fetch… Literally!
The 56-year-old half-Venezuelan American actor/comedian has joined the voice cast of Genndy Tartakovsky’s upcoming R-rated animated film Fixed.
The film, which will be completed in September, is an adult comedy about Bull: an average dog who discovers he’s going to be neutered in the morning. As the gravity of this life-altering event sets in, Bull realizes he needs one last adventure with his pack of best friends as these are the last 24 hours with his balls.
New Line Cinema and Sony Pictures Animation are on board.
“Some people might get uncomfortable,” said Tartakovsky. “In 2010, when I pitched it to Sony, we still needed a concept. Then, lightning struck. Right in that room, within five seconds, I went: ‘They find out one of their friends will get neutered!’ Everyone laughed and that was it,” he recalled.
“Back then, adult animation was all about The Simpsons, maybe Family Guy. Now, it’s much more popular and accepted.”
Still, the goal wasn’t to shock, he admits, but to make “a classic movie.”
“Like Lady and the Tramp or 101 Dalmatians, but rated R. If you can look past the balls and the buttholes, you will find a very sweet, charming, sincere story of friendship and romance.”
The film’s unique combination of naughty and nice has attracted Adam Devine, who will voice Bull, and Elba, who will take on his buddy Rocco.
They are joined by Bobby Moynihan (voicing Lucky), Beck Bennett (Sterling), River Gallo (Frankie) and Michelle Buteau (Molasses).
“When Kathryn decided to do it, she told us: ‘I want to be just like the guys. I don’t want to be the sweet girl in the background who doesn’t have any depth to her. Make her a little raunchier.’ Hiring her made this character come alive,” admitted producer Michelle Murdocca. Christian Roedel co-produces.
“I have been doing this for 30 years and when you find someone who knows comedic timing as a voice actor, it’s everything. It makes our job so much easier,” added Tartakovsky.
“Also, I like the voices to disappear. When Idris is doing Rocco, you may recognize him, but then you just settle in.”
Despite its contemporary humor, Fixed actually celebrates the glories of 2D hand-drawn animation.
“It has become a lost art. These days, everything is computer-generated. It was my dream to do this,” he says, calling it a love letter to Bugs Bunny or Tex Avery, or even 1950s Disney. Murdocca added:
“It became this homage. We were able to secure animators we never thought we would be able to get. That’s when it became very exciting.”
Still, Tartakovsky – who co-writes with Jon Vitti – also mentions The 40-Year-Old Virgin” and Knocked Up among his inspirations, especially when developing the “camaraderie” between the characters. As well as his own friends.
“One guy is loud, one nerdy, another one is, well, a little slower,” he howled.
“We have known each other since high school, so when we are making fun of each other, everything is exaggerated. These are caricatures of real people and then we adjusted them to be a little more real.”
At the end of the day, he just wants people to laugh.
“Comedy is the hardest thing, always, but in animation, you create it from nothing. It’s why I got into it. I could draw a little stick figure running, my friends would look over my shoulder and laugh. It’s such an amazing illusion,” he admitted.
“We have four layers of humor here: The raunchy stuff, the physicality, some character humor and dog owner humor. We don’t talk about pop culture; we don’t make fun of the Kardashians. It’s only within this one world.”
The world that includes such places like “The Hump House,” where Bull and his friends end up as well. But it’s nothing compared to the film’s explosive ending, which – teased Tartakovsky – is “raunchy, very sexual but also very heartfelt.”
“Most studios would go: ‘Maybe we make the film, but you can’t have that scene.’ But it defines this movie! I said I wasn’t doing the film without it and luckily, we found the right partners,” he said.
“Doing kids television for most of my career, I have a boundary. I will hit it, but I will never cross it. For this movie, everything had to be over that boundary.”