The home release of Spies in Disguise, an animated feature from Blue Sky Studios, mixes the action of a classic spy movie with a focus on gentler conflict resolution. The DVD/Blu-Ray/Digital multi-screen edition is available today, March 10th, 2020.
We were invited to a press event at Blue Sky Studios where we met some of the development team, and the directors, Nick Bruno and Troy Quane.
1. What is it about?
Featuring super-spy Lance Sterling and scientist/gadget-creator Walter Beckett, Spies in Disguise is a kid-friendly variation on the classic espionage movie. The pair comes together to save the world when Lance is accidentally transformed from the world’s greatest spy into a pigeon (albeit an incredibly brave and suave pigeon). Spies in Disguise has the action of a spy movie, while showcasing Walter’s gentler methods of conflict resolution.
2. Who provides the star power in the movie?
Will Smith stars as Lance Sterling, the “spy in disguise,” along with Tom Holland as Walter Beckett. Rounding out the cast is Rashida Jones (spy team leader Marcy), Ben Mendelsohn (the villainous Killian), Reba McEntire (spymaster Joyless), Rachel Brosnahan (Walter’s late mother and inspiration, Wendy), Karen Gillan (spy specialist, Eyes), DJ Khaled (spy specialist, Ears), and Masi Oka (villain Kimura).
3. Will I, the adult, enjoy the movie?
Rotten Tomatoes rated Spies in Disguise a solid 75% Fresh… yes, you will most likely enjoy it.
4. Will the kids enjoy the movie?
The action from Killian’s criminal exploits is perfectly tempered with avian-centric humor. The other members of Lance’s flock provide some slapstick comedy. The kids will laugh, the kids will cheer… it’s a win all the way around.
5. Why the PG Rating?
Spies in Disguise earned its PG rating because of the action sequences and some mild scares when Killian gets particularly violent. Generally, the movie is pretty innocent and is similar to most other recent animated features.
6. Is a re-watching worth it?
We found a few items that were overlooked in the first viewing, and some foreshadowed items that the kids caught onto during the second screening. You will also want to check out the “Super Secret Spy Mode” during a second viewing… more on that later.
7. What lessons can the kids take away from the movie?
Walter’s gentler methods of conflict resolution in Spies in Disguise promote less violent (and in this case, very funny) disagreements. Kitten holograms, inflatable protective hugs, and sticky trapping goo are some of the weapons of choice for the oddly effective team.
8. Is the soundtrack any good?
The score for Spies in Disguise was composed by Theodore Shapiro (who has composed for films including 2016’s Ghostbusters, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, and the upcoming Trolls World Tour).
Lance carries his own soundtrack and spy-worthy speakers built into his tuxedo, combine that with Will Smith’s swagger and it makes the soundtrack an integral part of the character. The extra features in the home release include music videos (and “making of” shorts) for “Then There Were Two” by Ronson & Anderson Paak and “Freak of Nature” by Mark Ronson & Dodgr.
9. What special features are included in the home release?
There are great extras included on the home release Blu-Ray, including:
- Super Secret Spy Mode In-Movie Experience – watch this one the second time around, the directors will share great Easter eggs throughout the movie.
- Infiltrating Blue Sky Studios – absolutely watch this, it features many of the people that we met on our tour of the studio.
- The Top Secret Guide to Gadgets – if the kids (or you) are a technology lover, watch this one for details of Lance and Walter’s hardware.
- There is much more, including the exclusive “Lunch Break” short that is packaged with the digital download.
10. Is there anything during or after the credits?
At the very, very end of the credits there is a 32-bit style animation that drops down and says, “We did it.”—it is the same character that Walter uses for the game-version of himself jumping balconies in Venice.