The story behind Paws Of Fury: The Legend Of Hank (2022) is more interesting than the movie itself. After years in development hell, numerous delays, and multiple production changes, the movie formerly known as Blazing Samurai is finally in theatres. Voiced by Michael Cera, Hank is a lowly dog who finds himself charged with rescuing a town full of cats from a ruthless villain.
Originally intended to be a spoof of Mel Brooks’ 1974 comedy classic Blazing Saddles, Paws Of Fury also features the voices of Samuel L. Jackson, Ricky Gervais, George Takei, and more. Brooks himself even makes a voice cameo as Toshi the cat. There are plenty more movies featuring action, silly gags, and furry friends that fans of Paws Of Fury will enjoy.
The Lion King (1994)
The original 1994 movie The Lion King is a classic. When his father Mufasa dies, Simba abandons his homeland at the urgency of his evil uncle Scar. Simba must face his fears and return to fight Scar if he wants to regain the throne.
Directed by Disney veteran and Paws Of Fury co-director Rob Minkoff, The Lion King is full of drama, action, and humor. Like Hank, Simba is an unlikely hero who discovers he had the courage inside him all along and must stand up to his wicked uncle.
mr. Peabody & Sherman (2014)
Animation lovers looking for a more recent Rob Minkoff movie should check out mr. Peabody & Sherman. Modern Family star Ty Burrell voices Hector J. Peabody, a talking beagle who invents a time machine to go on adventures with his friend Sherman. When Sherman steals the time machine to impress his friends, he accidentally alters the course of history and the two friends must work together to restore the time-space continuum.
It’s a strong, fun-filled family caper complete with memorable characters and sharp punchlines. Considering it was Minkoff’s first outing as a director in a decade, mr. Peabody & Sherman showed audiences he still had a knack for quirky and interesting animation. Paws of Fury shows that Rob Minkoff is still a big deal in 2022.
Kung Fu Panda (2008)
In Kung Fu Panda, Jack Black voices Po, a lazy panda who is accidentally mistaken for the Dragon Warrior. In order to save China, Po is forced to face off against the evil Tai Lung. The movie was a huge hit for Dreamworks and it ended out spawning two sequels, multiple spinoffs, and a new series on Netflix. as a franchise, Kung Fu Panda always seems to have new content.
Obvious samurai comparisons aside, Kung Fu Panda is another animated movie where the unlikely hero has to whip themselves in shape in order to save the day. Parents and kids alike will enjoy the action, comedy, and drama that the film brings to the table. The sequels leave something to be desired but the original Kung Fu Panda is worth re-watching.
Brother Bear (2003)
Despite receiving mixed reviews, Disney’s Brother Bear is one of the studios true hidden gems. Kenai avenges his brother’s death by hunting down and killing the bear who murdered him. Kenai is transformed into a bear by the Spirits and must go on a quest to find true inner peace which will allow him to change back to a human.
Paws Of Fury co-director Mark Koetsier worked as an animator on Brother Bear. Not only does the movie have a lot of heart, but it was also commercially successful, grossing $250 million on a $46 million budget. It’s one of the last traditional 2D animated movies Disney made before permanently transitioning to mostly 3D movies.
Gnome Alone (2017)
Paws Of Fury was stuck in production limbo for several years but the animation was eventually taken over by Cinesite Studios. One of Cinemas earlier full-length animated movies is Gnome Alonea fantasy-comedy film about a girl named Chloe who discovers the mysterious lawn gnomes in her new house are actually alive.
like Paws Of Furythe original release date for Gnome Alone changed several times. The film finally had a limited theatrical release overseas and found a home on Netflix in October 2018. It’s also notable that Fall Out Boy lead singer Patrick Stump voices three of the gnomes that befriend Chloe.
The Star (2017)
Before his turn as Jupe in Jordan Peele’s nopeSteven Yeun provided the voice for Bo the donkey in The Star. Based on the Biblical Nativity story, The Star is a classic family-friendly animated comedy with enough talking animals to keep kids giggling for days.
The film was also animated by Cinesite Studios, and distributed by Sony Pictures Entertainment. Though it received mixed reviews, The Star actually received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Original Song for “The Star” by Mariah Carey. The Star may not be one of Steven Yeun’s best movies, but it’s still worth a watch.
The Secret Life Of Pets (2016)
A mellow Jack Russell terrier named Max spends his lazy days at home, waiting anxiously for his beloved owner Katie to get home. When Katie adopts another dog named Duke, the two pups battle it out for territory but have to find a way to work together to avoid being caught by Animal Control.
Max is the same kind of passive-aggressive anti-hero that fans of Hank from Paws Of Fury can relate to. He’s irritated by Duke’s antics but is reluctant to do anything about it at the same time. With a funny cast that includes comedians Kevin Hart, Jenny Slate, and Ellie Kemper, to name a few, The Secret Life Of Pets is a home run for viewers with a soft spot for furry friends.
The LEGO Batman Movie (2017)
In Paws Of Fury: The Legend Of Hank, Michael Cera voices Hank, the titular star who is using his samurai skills to become a hero. Cera is also known for his voice role as Robin in The LEGO Batman Movie. Some even argue that it’s one of the best Batman movies.
Also known for his roles in Superbad , Junoand Scott Pilgrim vs. The WorldCera’s turn as Robin is the perfect comic relief opposite Will Arnett’s narcissistic Batman. He continues his comedic run with an appearance in Barbiedue in theaters next year.
The Incredibles (2004)
Another animated superhero movie worth watching is Pixar’s The Incredibles. Directed by Brad Bird, the movie follows the Parr family as they attempt to hide their superhero identities from the public.
At night, Bob and his superhero buddy Frozone listen to a police scanner and secretly jump into action to get their thrills. Fans of Samuel L. Jackson’s voice as Jimbo, the samurai sensei in Paws of Fury will love his delivery and inflections in The Incredibles. He also has some of the most memorable one-liners in the movie.
Kubo and the Two Strings (2016)
Fans of samurai warrior movies will love Kubo and the Two Strings. The film uses a unique stop-motion animation style to tell the story of Kubo, a 12-year-old boy with one eye who is searching for an answer as to what happened to his father when he was young.
Kubo and his animal friends Monkey and Beetle go on a quest to discover the truth while avoiding his evil grandfather the Moon King. With astounding visuals, a strong story, and a diverse cast, Kubo and the Two Strings might just be the best animated samurai tale ever told.
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