Mel Brooks’ “Shining Saddles” remains a comedy classic to this day, while “Paws of Rage: The Legend of Hank” transforms its template in a very unexpected way. “Paws of Rage” transfers the influence of Mel Brooks to the samurai era, but that’s only half the story. The other half is that the main samurai character in the film turns out to be a dog.
When the warlord Ika Chu (Ricky Gervais) tries to subdue the village of Kakamucho, a new samurai defender named Hank appears in the village. Unfortunately, Hank has many disagreements about the fact that he is a dog protecting the cat population in the village. However, Hank’s determination to prove himself as a samurai is as strong as any challenge he faces, including the burly right-hand cat Ika Chu Oga, voiced by George Takei.
We will talk with George Takei about the creation of “Paws of Rage”, about his role as a huge feline henchman Augie and about some important elements that he hoped to convey through the film.
Screen Rant: How did you become a part of Paws of Fury?
George Takei: Well, they showed me a picture of the character they wanted me to play, and what I saw was a huge, obese character — a big, big, fat character — and I said: “I train regularly, every day.” In the morning I do 100 push-ups in the bedroom and am proud of my physical form. How dare you imagine me as a fat fat girl! And they said, “Oh no, he’s got muscles, they’re down!” So I said, “Okay, I’m using this as a learning opportunity to tell people, “Learn about proper healthy eating and exercise!”
I took on the role, and he’s the best samurai for this lord, a tiny, miniature cat, and this cat has an ego the size of a mountain. He is very arrogant, very aggressive and very selfish. I can teach something through this character, and we have these opposites converge – as in life, we have many opposites.
The title of the movie is “Paws of Rage: The Legend of Hank”, and Hank is the only lonely dog in this cat country. So Hank is determined to become a samurai, and by the rubber band, he’s going to be a great samurai, and he’s apprenticed to a retired, old, gray-haired samurai who sounds like Samuel L. Jackson, learns from him and becomes a hero. and the legend of this movie.
What was your favorite or most outstanding moment in the movie, besides the role of Augie in “Paws of Rage”?
George Takei: Well, it’s a delightful comedy; a ridiculous comedy. There was a moment during the recording when I literally couldn’t stop laughing. Ika Chu, for whom Ogha works, is building a huge, monstrous palace, the largest and best palace that can exist in this country. Everything is big, doorways, hallways, ballrooms and even toilets, and this sequence of a giant toilet that can’t work, I kept breaking down.
There’s a lot of fun in the movie, so it’s a great family movie that people can watch in theaters. We have been quarantined for more than two years, so finally you can become a family, part of a community of moviegoers and enjoy this movie about cats and one heroic dog.
Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank: Synopsis
Check out also our other interviews with the stars of “Paws of Rage: The Legend of Hank” by Michael Sera and Aasif Mandvi.