What do you get when you combine dogs, cats, Michael Cera, Ricky Gervais, Samuel L. Jackson, and a plot ripped straight from an Akira Kurosawa flick? The new trailer for Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank, the newest computer-generated ensemble family film from Paramount Pictures, releasing next month.
But don’t worry, despite its clear influences from films about feudal Japan, such as Yojimbo, Sanjuro, and Seven Samurai, the movie does not appear to be taking itself all too seriously, centering largely on a hard-on-his luck hound named Hank, played by Cera, who is tasked with becoming a defender of a town full of cats.
Seeking to foil the evil plot to wipe their village off the map by the ruthless villain, played by Gervias, Hank became the pupil of a reluctant teacher, played by Jackson, in order to train our underdog to become the role of town samurai working alongside the villagers to save the day. But as you might’ve guessed, hijinks ensue because, well, cats are pretty well known to not get along too with dogs.
The film also stars Mel Brooks, George Takei, Aasif Mandvi, Gabriel Iglesias, Djimon Hounsou, Michelle Yeoh, Kylie Kuioka, and Cathy Shim.
This isn’t the only animated kids movie that has arguably taken influence from Kurosawa; Pixar’s A Bugs Life was ostensibly a remake of Seven Samurai, only with ants and caterpillars and grasshoppers and such.
Check out Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank in theaters July 15, 2022.