Spies in Disguise
Spies in Disguise is a 2019 American computer-animated spy comedy film produced by Blue Sky Studios and distributed by 20th Century Fox. Loosely based on the 2009 animated short Pigeon: Impossible by Lucas Martell, the film is directed by Troy Quane and Nick Bruno (in their feature directorial debuts) from a screenplay by Brad Copeland and Lloyd Taylor, and a story by Cindy Davis. It stars the voices of Will Smith and Tom Holland, alongside Rashida Jones, Ben Mendelsohn, Reba McEntire, Rachel Brosnahan, Karen Gillan, DJ Khaled, and Masi Oka in supporting roles. The plot follows a secret agent (Smith) who is accidentally transformed into a pigeon by an intelligent young scientist (Holland); the two must then work together to stop a revenge-seeking cybernetic terrorist, and return the agent to his human form.
|Spies in Disguise|
Theatrical release poster
|Story by||Cindy Davis|
|Based on||Pigeon: Impossible|
by Lucas Martell
|Music by||Theodore Shapiro|
|Distributed by||20th Century Fox|
|Box office||$133.9 million|
The film premiered at the El Capitan Theatre on December 4, 2019, and was theatrically released in the United States on December 25, 2019. It has grossed $133 million worldwide and it received generally positive reviews from critics, with praise for its animation, action, music, and Smith and Holland's voice performances.
Lance Sterling, a cocky secret agent of H.T.U.V. (Honor, Trust, Unity and Valor), is sent to recover an attack drone from Japanese arms dealer Katsu Kimura in Japan. As soon as the buyer, cybernetically enhanced terrorist Killian, arrives, Sterling breaks in against the orders of H.T.U.V. director Joy Jenkins, defeats Kimura and his gang, and manages to escape with the briefcase containing the drone. Sterling returns to H.T.U.V. headquarters to confront Walter Beckett, a socially inept MIT graduate and outcast young scientist, for equipping nonlethal weapons into his suit. Walter tries to convince Sterling that there is a more peaceful way to save the world, but Sterling fires him before he can explain his latest invention: "biodynamic concealment".
Sterling discovers the briefcase to be empty and is confronted by Marcy Kappel, a security forces agent, who reveals footage of Sterling (actually Killian in a holographic disguise) leaving with the drone, labeling him as a traitor. Sterling escapes the H.T.U.V. and decides to track down Walter to help him disappear. Meanwhile, Killian breaks into the H.T.U.V. weapons facility.
While searching Walter's home for his invention, Sterling unknowingly ingests the concoction and transforms into a pigeon. Before Walter can start making an antidote to change him back, Marcy and other H.T.U.V. agents chase the duo through the city, but they escape in Sterling's spy car. The two track down Kimura to a resort in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. There, they learn of Killian's whereabouts in Venice, Italy before Marcy and the H.T.U.V. can capture them again. On their way to Venice, Walter attempts to make the antidote, but fails.
Arriving in Venice, Walter is confronted by the H.T.U.V., who are unaware of Sterling's condition. Revealing that she knows about Wendy, Walter's mother who was a police officer who died on duty, Marcy tries to convince him to help turn Sterling in, but Walter refuses. Suddenly, a drone distracts the H.T.U.V. and allows Walter and Sterling to escape. The two discover the drone carrying the H.T.U.V. agent database, and Walter manages to retrieve it. However, Killian shows up, takes the database, and prepares to kill Walter. With help from hundreds of pigeons in the surrounding area, they distract Killian and flee. Disguised as Sterling once more, Killian escapes the H.T.U.V., shaking Marcy's suspicions of Sterling upon her seeing him with a robot hand.
Whilst underwater in a submarine, Walter reveals he planted a tracking device on Killian and locates him at the weapons facility. Walter manages to perfect the antidote and successfully turns Sterling human again. Reaching Killian's hideout, Sterling is concerned about Walter's safety and sends him away in the submarine. Once inside, Sterling confronts Killian, but is defeated and captured as Killian reveals he has mass produced hundreds of drones to target everyone at the agency using the database as revenge for killing his crew in a past mission led by Sterling. Noticing Walter returning in the submarine, Killian destroys it; unbeknownst to them, Walter survives with the help of one of his inventions.
Once Walter frees Sterling, the two escape and contact Marcy for support as the drones approach H.T.U.V. headquarters in Washington D.C. Walter attempts to hack into Killian's bionic arm. When Killian realizes this, he tries to flee with a drone, but Walter catches up. Walter risks his life by trapping Killian in one of his protective gadgets and deactivates the villain's arm as he falls, but Sterling, who has turned himself back into a pigeon, successfully flies for the first time and carries him to safety with help from other pigeons, while Killian is found and arrested.
Despite saving the world, Sterling, back in his human form, and Walter are fired for disobedience. However, they are later reinstated by the H.T.U.V. as the agency could learn from Walter's more peaceful ways of handling villainy.
- Will Smith as Lance Sterling, "the world's most awesome spy," who is accidentally turned into a pigeon.
- Tom Holland as Walter Beckett, a socially inept scientific genius who graduated from MIT at age 15 and designs gadgets. He inadvertently turns Sterling into a pigeon with a new invention of his and must now help Sterling change back to his human form.
- Jarrett Bruno portrays a younger Walter.
- Rashida Jones as Marcy Kappel, a security forces agent of internal affairs who is in pursuit of Lance Sterling.
- Ben Mendelsohn as Killian, a powerful technology-based terrorist mastermind with a left bionic arm which controls an array of weaponized drones that threatens the world. Killian is Sterling's arch-enemy and his main mission objective. Killian is never identified at any point in the film, with the protagonists casually referring to him as "Robo-Hand".
- Reba McEntire as Joy Jenkins, the director of H.T.U.V. (short for Honor, Trust, Unity and Valor) and Sterling's superior.
- Rachel Brosnahan as Wendy Beckett, a police officer and Walter's late mother.
- Karen Gillan as Eyes, an H.T.U.V. specialist in spectral analysis and quantum optical thermography who is paired with Ears.
- DJ Khaled as Ears, an H.T.U.V. specialist in communications who is paired with Eyes.
- Masi Oka as Katsu Kimura, a Japanese arms dealer and an associate to Killian.
- Carla Jimenez as Geraldine
- Olly Murs as Junior Agent #1 (Uncredited)
- Bex Marsh as Italian Tourist
- Peter S. Kim as Joon
- Stefania Spampinato as Italian Woman
- Eddie Mujica as Agency Accountant and Male Tourist
- Emily Altman as Lead Agency Lab Tech, Scooter Girl
- Claire Crosby as Unity
- Randy Trager as Terrance
- Mark Ronson as Agency Control Room Technician
- Matthew J. Munn as Weapons Lab Soldier
- Kimberly Brooks as Lance Sterling's Car (Audi RSQ e-tron)
- Krizia Bajos as Receptionist
- Reggie De Leon as Weapons Lab Tech
- Casey Roberts as Launch Control Voice
Agency employees are voiced by Tawny Newsome, JB Blanc, Adrian Gonzalez, William Christopher Stephens, Bex Marsh, Peter S. Kim, Gabriel Conte, Jess Conte, Nick Bruno, and Troy Quane.
Marcy's Agents are voiced by JB Blanc, Christopher Campbell, Adrian Gonzalez, Peter S. Kim, and William Christopher Stephens.
Pigeon voices are provided by Jarrett Bruno, Nick Bruno, Randy Thom, and Randy Trager.
On October 9, 2017, it was announced that development was underway on a film based on the animated short Pigeon: Impossible (2009), with Will Smith and Tom Holland set to voice the lead characters.
In October 2018, new additions to the voice cast included Ben Mendelsohn, Karen Gillan, Rashida Jones, DJ Khaled and Masi Oka. In July 2019, Reba McEntire and Rachel Brosnahan joined the cast, and in September 2019, Carla Jimenez was added as well.
|Mark Ronson Presents the Music of Spies in Disguise|
|EP and soundtrack album by |
|Released||December 13, 2019|
|Singles from Mark Ronson Presents the Music of Spies in Disguise|
On June 11, 2019, it was announced that Mark Ronson would be the film's executive music producer. Head of Fox Music Danielle Diego expresssed excitement at working with Ronson, stating that "his unique blend of vintage soul and funk exceptionally captures the soul of [the] film." On November 22, 2019, an original song for the film entitled "Then There Were Two," performed by Ronson and Anderson .Paak, was released. Two days later, an extended play album was announced, titled Mark Ronson Presents the Music of Spies in Disguise and featuring five new songs written for the film, as well Rob Base & DJ E-Z Rock's "It Takes Two". The EP was released digitally on December 13, 2019 by RCA Records.
|1.||"Freak of Nature"||Mark Ronson & Dodgr||3:27|
|2.||"Then There Were Two"||Ronson & Anderson Paak||2:32|
|4.||"They Gotta Go"||Lil Jon||3:18|
|5.||"Rocket Fuel"||DJ Shadow featuring De La Soul||3:14|
|6.||"It Takes Two"||Rob Base & DJ E-Z Rock||5:00|
|8.||"Bye Bye Bye"||NSYNC||3:20|
The film was originally scheduled for release on January 18, 2019, by 20th Century Fox. The release date was delayed to April 19, 2019, and then to September 13, 2019. On May 10, the date was delayed once more, to December 25, 2019.
Spies in Disguise is the first release by Blue Sky Studios as a unit of The Walt Disney Company, after Disney's purchase of Fox. This allows ticket purchases to be eligible for Disney Movie Insiders points.
The first trailer and teaser poster were released on November 1, 2018. The second trailer was released on July 1, 2019 and the final trailer was released on September 27, 2019, though a "super secret" trailer was released on November 18.
In the United States and Canada, the film was released on Wednesday, December 25, alongside Little Women and the expansion of Uncut Gems, and was projected to gross $19–23 million from 3,502 theatres over in its five-day opening weekend. The film made $4.8 million on Christmas Day and $4.1 million on its second day. It went on to make $13.2 million during its opening weekend, for a total of $22.1 million over the five-day Christmas frame, finishing fifth. In its second weekend the film made $10.1 million, finishing sixth. In its third weekend, it grossed $5.1 million, dropping 50.9% from the previous weekend and finishing at the 10th position.
On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 76% based on 107 reviews and an average rating of 6.46/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "A cheerfully undemanding animated adventure that's elevated by its voice cast, Spies in Disguise is funny, fast-paced, and family-friendly enough to satisfy." Metacritic gave the film a weighted average score of 54 out of 100, based on 22 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews." Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A–" on an A+ to F scale, while those at PostTrak gave it an average 3.5 out of 5 stars.
|Award||Date of ceremony||Category||Recipient(s) and nominee(s)||Result||Ref(s)|
|Golden Reel Awards||January 19, 2020||Outstanding Achievement in Sound Editing – Feature Animation||Leff Lefferts, Jeremy Bowker, Randy Thom, Bjorn Ole Schroeder, Samson Neslund, David Farmer, Michael Silvers, Larry Oatfield, Chris Manning, Shelley Roden, John Roesch||Pending|||
|Annie Awards||January 25, 2020||Outstanding Achievement for Character Design in an Animated Feature Production||José Manuel Fernández Oli||Pending|||
|Outstanding Achievement for Music in an Animated Feature Production||Mark Ronson, Theodore Shapiro||Pending|
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