July 22, 2010

JAMES MARSDEN plays dog in CATS AND DOGS: The Revenge of Kitty Galore

Warner Bros. presents James Marsden (The X-Men trilogy) and Chris O’Donnell (Batman and Robin) in Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore, a comedy in 3D that blends live action with state-of-the-art puppetry and computer animation.

In the film, Kitty Galore, formerly an agent for cat spy organization MEOWS, has gone rogue and hatched a diabolical plan to not only bring her canine enemies to heel, but take down her former kitty comrades and make the world her scratching post. Faced with this unprecedented threat, cats and dogs will be forced to join forces for the first time in history in an unlikely alliance to save themselves—and their humans.

Though Marsden and O’Donnell share the screen, director Brad Peyton explains, “they rarely got a chance to interact in person, but even so, their work came together in a way that created its own chemistry and in that sense they truly were a partnership.”

That’s because Marsden was providing the voice of rookie dog agent Diggs, a German Shepherd with leadership issues, while O’Donnel plays Diggs’ compassionate human partner on the police force, Shane.

“It’s a lot of fun,” says Marsden. “This movie doesn’t take itself too seriously, although, at the same time, the characters behave as if the fate of the world was really at stake. Dogs using headsets and computer keyboards, throwing grenades; it’s all played straight and that’s what makes it so funny. The more determined they are, the crazier it is.”

While Kitty Galore grooms herself for greatness, another drama plays out on the streets of San Francisco. K-9 Officer Diggs is about to execute the latest in a series of screw-ups that will land him back in the concrete kennel.

Marsden understands how the over-eager German Shepherd sabotages his potential. “He has the best intentions in the world but not the best judgment. Wanting to be the maverick, the hero, he recklessly takes the lead in every situation, with disastrous consequences. He’s likeable and has real ability, but no self-control. Sadly, for all the confidence he shows on the outside, he’s beginning to have real doubts.”

“He knows he keeps messing up, but he just can’t help himself,” adds O’Donnell. “When Shane and Diggs go out on a job, sure enough, he jumps into action before he’s told. Shane knows he’s trying hard and it’s frustrating for both of them because every time they face a tough call the dog does something to make it worse—spectacularly worse.”

As the story opens, Shane and Diggs are on a case. Used car impresario Crazy Carlito (Paul Rodriguez) is living up to his name by going nuts at his car lot, threatening to blow it all up. Against orders, Diggs lunges at Carlito’s backside for a massive chomp, prompting the startled salesman to toss his detonator skyward… with unfortunate consequences.

The incident ends Diggs’ budding law enforcement career. Heartbroken, Shane campaigns to have his former partner retired to domestic life at his own home, but the department insists he’s state property and locks him in a cage.

It’s there, alone and at his lowest point, Diggs gets a second chance most mutts can only dream about: an offer from elite canine protection agency DOG. They’ve been watching Diggs and think he’s got what it takes to be a good agent—but only if he drops the lone wolf act and learns to work with the pack.

O’Donnell recalled the old adage about never working with children or animals, saying, “My first shot involved a baby and a dog. The dog has to go over to a crib, pull a blanket up over the baby and walk away, and all I have to do is say a line. I’m thinking, ‘the baby is perfect, the dog is perfect…if I can’t get this right on the first take I’m going to look really bad.’ It was a lot of pressure!”

Opening soon across the Philippines in Digital 3D and regular format, Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore is distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.

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