“Hayden is a joy to work with, and she’s a very, very charming, sweet, talented actress and her sweetness and her charm comes out even when she’s playing a tough character. She has a unique ability that a lot of actors don’t have to make a character, who’s in the process of doing a big heroic moment, charming. And she’s also very, very good with acting out the physical stuff. So it was great when we had the action scenes with Red. Hayden just got into it. She’s an action star, so she knows how to do all that stuff. And she sang that song in the middle of the movie [“I Can Do It Alone”]. She’s really an incredibly talented person.”

3. Winks and Nudges
Hey, that happened in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. That looks like the scene from Mission Impossible. And that sounds a lot like Star Wars. What’s the big idea …

“Our film is very much layered. So while there’s stuff going on for the kids to enjoy, while there’s action and drama or great character moments, while there’s comedy and wit, there’s also this other level going on which if you notice that chunks of the film are shot like other movies. Sets are pulled from other movies. There are homages in there, and that’s because I’m a film fan and I know that my audience ... well, this isn’t the first film everybody’s seen. And why shouldn’t Mom and Dad chuckle at the fact that the gingerbread house where the witch lives is actually the house from Psycho? It doesn’t distract from the kids’ enjoyment from what’s going on, but it adds a layer for Mom and Dad.”

2. Japeth the Goat
Um, so what’s that crazy, singing mountain goat doing in this scene? And that one? And THAT one?????

“Well, Japeth is my favorite character in this film. I love classic Warner Bros. cartoons. I mean everything doesn’t have to be an intellectual French film. Sometimes it’s just fun to watch a goat fall down something or fall on something. Japeth is my favorite character. I think he’s infinitely funny, and every now and then you just want to make your cartoon as silly and as cartoony as possible. I don’t think it takes away from the rest of the film, going on these little breaks. Well, you know you’ve got an action film going on, and so you have to build tension. But I’m aware of the fact that there are kids in the audience, so I need to break the tension before it gets to the point where anyone would be, in any way, scared or upset because I’m not going to let that happen in a family film for me. I want your kids to enjoy it, and be comfortable and be relaxed. This film is exciting, but it’s safe. And Japeth is a big part of that.”

1. All 3D, All the Time
Yawn. So if you’ve seen one 3D animated film, then you’ve seen them all, right? Not so fast …

“Unlike a lot of the films you see that are in 3D, the whole movie is designed to work in 3D. So the result of that is that it pulls you in and can add an emotional depth to the scenes where it will bring you closer to the character’s point of view. But it can also add that extra edge of excitement and the thrill ride when we’re doing the big intense action stuff. I think it’s a tool that’s used well in this film. I’m very proud of the team that put the shots together. And so I would say if you’re willing to go to the effort to come see this film, you will have a great experience as a family. You’ll enjoy it yourself. It’s funny. You’ll be excited, you’ll be drawn in. The 3D is definitely worth it, and well thought out and wasn’t just slapped in at the end to get more money out of you. I hope I respect my audience and appreciate the time and effort they put in to see the film and want them to feel like I care about them. And I want them to have a good time.”