BEHIND THE SCENES INFUSING SOME HUMANITY INTO DISNEY'S INSPECTOR

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					                   BEHIND THE SCENES:
          INFUSING SOME HUMANITY INTO DISNEY’S
                    INSPECTOR GADGET

                              By Dr. Ted Baehr and Dr. Tom Snyder

      INSPECTOR GADGET is a comedy with a thousand moving parts that uses a vast
array of gizmos to help good overcome evil. However, it was the human aspects of the
story that the filmmakers really wanted to infuse into their movie.
      “We wanted to give Inspector Gadget (the hero of the movie) an innocence,” Producer
Jordan Kerner said, “a way of looking at America from a simpler time, a Jimmy Stewart or a
Gary Cooper, a character who embodies all the honest, basic character traits that Ameri-
cans idealize and would like to embrace again today.”
      Kerner said the movie will be nostalgic for a broad range group who have grown up
watching the TV cartoon, from older teenagers to people about age 40.
      “We hope they’ll find our interpretation has a lot of fun, romance and heart,” he said.
      Kerner believes the message of the movie is that the human heart and the human
spirit prevails over machines.
      “It isn’t about a technological fix,” he added. “It’s about the human spirit taking over
and allowing Inspector Gadget to come back to life. Inside the character lives the Jimmy
Stewart of old. He lives in a sophisticated world but sophistication is not always something
to aspire to.”
      Joely Fisher commented on her role as Brenda, the attractive scientist who takes the
broken body of security guard John Brown and builds Inspector Gadget from her father’s
plans: “She’s a smart girl and cares about humanity, but she’s still silly and likes to giggle.
He was the perfect guy but not really for her.”
      Doing a movie with lots of special effects was hard to do.
      “It’s a different sort of mindset,” Fisher said. “You still have to create a character who’s
believable. Then, you have to stop and wait for the mechanical arm to come in.”
      Special effects genius Stan Winston, who created the dinosaurs for JURASSIC PARK,
said, “We’re there to help Matthew Broderick create that character. We help him create the
performance.”
      “This film was so much fun,” he added. “It’s great for families with kids, young kids, old
kids. I love being part of entertaining families and kids.”
      Winston discussed the issue of violence in the movies.
      “I think there’s an extreme situation that’s happened in our business that in some ways
is well-founded and in some ways is over the top. I still enjoy terrorizing you and having fun
scaring you. We have to be careful not to get too serious and blame filmmakers and vio-
lence when it’s in a fantasy world.”
      Actor Matthew Broderick, who plays Inspector Gadget in the movie, said, “Doing all the
physical comedy was fun for me. I liked getting to play the evil twin. The evil Gadget was
easier to do because he doesn’t care about anything.”
      Rupert Everett, who, for the first time in his career, plays a villain in a movie in IN-
SPECTOR GADGET, also said he found playing a villain to be easier than other roles.
      “I had a lot of fun,” he said, “because you can do whatever you want. You don’t really
need to have a reason to act (crazy).”
       Like Broderick, he likes to do as many different kinds of movies as he can.
       “I like to see people do different genres. It’s boring to see someone do the same type
of thing all the time.”
       Broderick said, “I try to find material I enjoy reading myself, whether it’s for kids or
adults, but I’ve never made movies that deliberately exploited violence. I’ve been very
proud of my stage work, such as the revival of HOW TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS WITH-
OUT REALLY TRYING and BRIGHTON BEACH.”
       Michelle Trachtenberg, 13, who plays Inspector Gadget’s niece, Penny, said, “All the
people involved were really fun. It was a blast coming on the set all the time. I’d like to do a
little bit of everything in the future. I’d like to do a dramatic role.”
       Michelle, who played the title character in HARRIET THE SPY, always has a tutor on
the set of her movies.
       “Education is always first for me,” she noted, “but I hope to be an actress all my life.”




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