In the paws of fate
At first, G-Force seems set simply on eliciting 'awws' from the audience. But this new Walt Disney flick offers much more: 3D effects, animal spies and the fate of the world in the paws of guinea pig secret agents.
If you've ever wondered what mega-producer Jerry Bruckheimer might do with an animal movie, wonder no more.
The film centres around a team of rodents as they try to stop a diabolical billionaire from taking over the world with household appliances.
Directing is Oscar-winning visual effects master Hoyt Yeatman. Yeatman and Bruckheimer previously teamed up on Armageddon and box-office smash hit The Rock.
Yeatman sees G-Force as a leap forward in filmmaking. 'To [combine] a mixture of live action and animation is a big deal,' he says. 'I think we're breaking new ground in that respect. 3D adds another layer; it's almost like going from black and white to colour, from silent to sound'.
The idea for the film came about when Yeatman's five-year-old son brought home the class guinea pig from preschool.
'He started talking about guinea pigs as soldiers, wearing uniforms and little army helmets,' the director says.
'So I said, 'Well, why not have a band of these guys who are secret agents?''
Academy Award winner Nicolas Cage appears in his sixth collaboration with Bruckheimer as a computer specialist mole called Speckles.
'Jerry showed me pictures of the G-Force characters and said I could play any role I wanted,' says Cage.
'When I saw Speckles, something about it got to me.
'It was important to me to create a new voice ... It was also important to me to go into an area that had kind of a zany intensity. To me, that's what would make Speckles fun to play.'
Bruckheimer says: 'Nic Cage has created a terrific voice for Speckles, sort of going back to a 1930s kind of character.
'Then there's Sam Rockwell, who also has a wonderful voice, powerful and strong, as Darwin, the team leader.' Rockwell is best known for roles in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and Charlie's Angels. 'Darwin is a super-spy and has sort of a Steve McQueen guinea-pig vibe, so it's fun to play an action hero,' Rockwell says.
Adding star power, Oscar-winner Penelope Cruz, whom Yeatman says has 'a beautiful, velvety voice', voices Juarez, a martial arts expert.
With 3D photo-realistic beings, quirky characters voiced by famous stars and a story that proves size really doesn't matter, G-Force is set to be a summer family favourite.
G-Force opens Thursday