In conversation with the creators of the funniest movie character of recent times, Steve The Monkey
It turns out writing dialogue for a character that can barely say anything isn't easy...
Out of all of the recent animation movies, Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs is probably the most underrated. The two movies did okay-ish at the box office, and (again) okay-ish with the critics, but hindsight will most likely prove to be the series' biggest friend.
A big part of the reason why they work so well comes down to the iconic Steve The Monkey, a sort-of-monosyllabic pet who wears a thought translator that usually verbalizes a single desire that the Neil Patrick Harris-voiced monkey wants at that very moment:
Clip via jesseslifker
In short, we love Steve The Monkey, and we had the opportunity recently to chat to Phil Lord and Chris Miller, the directors of the first Cloudy Meatballs and writers for both of them, so we had to ask was it like to write dialogue for the most funny character of recent times:
Phil Lord: "What is funny about Steve The Monkey is that his dialogue was actually kind of hard to write, because his dialogue needed to be something that was dumb and basic for an animal, but also could be misinterpreted by Flint as something profound and deep and sort of 'being there' quality."
Chris Miller: "Every line was a puzzle piece."
Phil Lord: "So it seems like it was being just silly in the recording booth with Neil Patrick Harris, but at the end of the day it actually was very, very carefully planned out, believe it or not!"
Lord and Miller are also the guys behind The LEGO Movie, 21 and 22 Jump Street, and the currently-in-cinemas Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse (our review here), which we talked about at length in the interview below, as well as their forthcoming sci-fi epic Artemis, which you can read all about here.