The best new character introduced in The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian, the new Narnia movie, is a computer-generated (CG) creature—small, but fierce in nature and an expert with the sword. Ladies and gentlemen, meet Puss in Boots...er...make that Reepicheep.
OK, one’s a cat and one’s a mouse, but outside of that and their country of origin, there isn’t much difference between the two feisty cute-as-a-button characters.
The brave little guy
Chalk it up to the involvement of Andrew Adamson, who used the sword-wielding Puss to fine effect in Shrek 2 without quite realizing how heavily he was drawing on Reepicheep, the mighty mouse featured in C.S. Lewis’ Prince Caspian. “Having done Puss in Boots, I’d already used up some of my best ideas,” Adamson says. His dilemma was solved when he met English comedian Eddie Izzard at the end of an audition process when the film-makers talked to more than 100 actors. “I found Reepicheep when I found Eddie,” Adamson says. “I remember talking to him at 10 o’clock on a Friday night, and I asked if I could call him every Friday night because he made me laugh so much.”
By turning Reepicheep into a posh British swordsman, the film-makers achieved some distance from Latin lover Puss in Boots. Reepicheep will come into his own in the next Narnia movie, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. Here, the warrior mouse accompanies Caspian, Lucy and Edmond on a journey to find Aslan’s country at the end of the world and teaches the kids’ annoying cousin, Eustace, a lesson or two about courage and civility.
“If you think Reepicheep steals this movie, wait till the next one,” Adamson says. “The little guy will be huge.”
The LA Daily News
©2008/The New York Times