Puss in Boots director responds to Eddie Murphy’s dig

Watch: Puss In Boots: The Last Wish Director Joel Crawford Laughs At Eddie Murphy’s Diss

Puss in Boots: The Last Wish director Joel Crawford has laughed off Eddie Murphy’s recent suggestion that his character Donkey deserved more of a Shrek spin-off than Puss in Boots, which returns to theaters in The last wish from February 3.

“They made Puss in Boots movies, they should have [done] a donkey movie Donkey is more fun than Puss in Boots. “I want to say that I love Puss in Boots, but he’s not as funny as Donkey!” Murphy told him recently speak.

“Oh, classic donkey,” Crawford responded when Yahoo relayed Murphy’s dig to the filmmaker.

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“It’s a lot of fun because it’s very characteristic of Donkey and Puss In Boots.

“The two are always chasing each other over who gets Shrek’s appreciation.”

Donkey (Eddie Murphy) and Puss in Boots (Antonio Banderas) in Shrek the Third, 2007. (Dreamworks/Alamy)

Defending Gato as a character worth coming back to, Crawford says the feline hero is more complex and interesting than people realize.

“I think what’s been surprising people is the depth of this character,” explains the director. “And that is something that Antonio [Banderas] I was interested in the early conversations when we talked about where this story would go, the story of what a meaningful life can be.”

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“Tony was really excited to show the world that possibility isn’t just a fun companion, but there’s so much more to him, he’s actually showing vulnerability and love and joy in these different expressions. And I think that’s really resonating with audiences, even more than just comedy.”

Puss in Boots: The Last Wish (Universal/Dreamworks)

Puss in Boots: The Last Wish (Universal/Dreamworks)

With the links between Shrek and Puss In Boots: The Last Wish still strong, Crawford confirmed that the team “laid a lot” of Easter eggs in the latest adventure, without sharing all of their film’s secrets.

There are, but I don’t think I should say what they are. That’s the fun!”

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“We put a lot of Easter eggs here, but there are also things that stand alone in the movie. Details related to the characters that, if you look again and freeze, there is a lot to rediscover again and again.

Although Crawford has previously worked as a storyboard artist on Shrek Forever After, Puss in Boots: The Last Wish marks his first time in the franchise’s director’s chair.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - DECEMBER 13: Joel Crawford attends the

Joel Crawford attends the world premiere of Puss in Boots: The Last Wish, 2022. (Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images)

“Expectations were definitely high with this next chapter of Puss in Boots, where it’s been over a decade since it last appeared on the big screen.”

“A big part of it was finding the best way to tell this story of a cat in its ninth life in an honest and meaningful way. That came down to how we expressed that this film is about life and how special it can be and who we can share it with.”

“It’s been wonderful to see people not only fully embrace Puss by coming back and feeling the love for the character, but also seeing a deeper side to her. That’s been really rewarding, I think, as a director.”

Puss in Boots: The Last Wish (Universal/Dreamworks)

Puss in Boots: The Last Wish (Universal/Dreamworks)

With Crawford now in command of the Puss in Boots ship, there’s now a distinctive change in the franchise’s animation style. Although Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse served as the inspiration, the dynamic visual feel comes from classic Japanese anime.

“Into The Spider-Verse really opened up opportunities for the entire animation industry,” shares Crowford.

“But Akira (the 1988 animated film) was a huge inspiration, with that industry open to expressing animated films in different styles.”

Read more: Into The Spider-Verse Sequel Announced

“It feels heightened because we’re using what we call shrink animation, where you can see expressions and poses longer.”

A still from Katsuhiro Otomo's seminal 1988 Akira animation.  (UK manga)

A still from Katsuhiro Otomo’s seminal 1988 Akira animation. (UK manga)

“In contrast throughout the film, we wired him to propel his journey from the fairytale point of view of ‘I’m going to live forever’ to grounded moments of ‘Oh wow, I have a life and these are the people you can share it with’”.

With Shrek 5 and more Puss in Boots adventures on the horizon, Crawford doesn’t miss the importance of contributing to core childhood memories.

“I think something really exciting is taking on something that’s been around for over 20 years, like the Shrek world set up, it’s your childhood memories that are now adults in your 20s and 30s.”

“I am very fortunate to be a part of continuing the next chapter of Puss in Boots.”

Puss in Boots: The Last Wish is now in UK cinemas. Watch a clip below.

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