[Article] Tackling Buck Wild Again & Power of Asking for Help

[Article] Tackling Buck Wild Again & Power of Asking for Help
Courtesy Disney+
THE ICE AGE ADVENTURES OF BUCK WILD continues the hilarious escapades of the sub-zero heroes as they create more prehistoric pandemonium. Eager for a little independence, the thrill-seeking possum brothers Crash and Eddie set out to find a place of their own but soon find themselves trapped beneath the ice in a massive cave inhabited by dinosaurs. They are rescued by the one-eyed, adventure-loving weasel Buck Wild, and together, with the help of some new friends, embark on a mission to save the Lost World from dinosaur domination.

Recently, Nightmarish Conjurings took part in the global press conference for the release of ICE AGE ADVENTURES OF BUCK WILD, which featured voice actors Simon Pegg (voice of “Buck Wild”), Justina Machado (voice of “Zee”), and Producer Lori Forte and Director John C. Donkin. During the conference, they discussed everything from bringing the character of Buck to life to introducing a new character to the franchise.

Over the past 20 years, the Ice Age franchise has given fans a total of 6 movies, a slew of short films, and holiday-inspired television specials. In this new movie, the focus has turned towards the character of Buck Wild. Voiced by Simon Pegg, Buckminster “Buck” Wild first appeared in 2009’s Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs and is a one-eyed weasel who is always on the hunt for dinos. When discussing bringing Buck to life in a totally new way, actor Simon Pegg chatted about his approach to the character.

“Well, Buck’s very much in my muscle memory now, because I’ve played him a few times and I was very excited to hear that we’d be doing this. And I just have to get a lot of sleep before sessions because they’re always extremely energetic and Buck is just full-on all the time. And it’s exhausting as Justina will attest. You do a voiceover session and at the end, you are always exhausted because you put everything into your voice. Whereas if you are doing a live-action performance, you have your gesticulations and your expressions to lean on. With this, it all goes through that one facet of your ability to perform and it’s incredibly fun. 

I do love Buck. I have a very strong affection for him, not least because he was born the same year my daughter was born. So, the first time I played Buck was the year my kid was born and she’s grown up with those movies and with him. And weirdly as this new Ice Age installment comes out, my sister just gave birth this week. So there’s a new Ice Age baby to take the stories forward. So, it’s nothing but a joy to play Buck because it has all this kind of emotional resonance for me personally in my own family.” 

Buck (voiced by Simon Pegg) and Zee (voiced by Justina Machado) in THE ICE AGE ADVENTURES OF BUCK WILD | Courtesy Disney

New to the Ice Age franchise is Zee, a badass zorilla who joins her old friend Buck on their mission to stop the dinos from taking over. When it came to the character, actor Justina Machado spoke about her experience in developing the character.

“We developed it together. [Director] John Donkin and [Producer] Lori Forte and I developed a whole character together. It’s so hard to play somebody in control and badass. Those are my favorite characters to play and they gave me the liberty to do that. And we had to figure it out because since I’m a new character we certainly were trying to figure out who she was, what she sounded like. What Simon was saying because you just have your voice to work with. You can’t use like me, I’m very animated, but you don’t see that. You’re just going to hear the voice. So it was just pure fun because the theme is love and family and chosen family and courage and all of those things, that is such a wonderful…I got this job at the beginning of the pandemic. So it was a really wonderful escape to go into a studio and just play this great character. So I just looked forward to every session and it was pretty organic the way it all came about.”

With so many films in the franchise, what makes ICE AGE ADVENTURES OF BUCK WILD stand out amongst the rest? Answering the question from Jana Seitzer at Whiskey and Sunshine, the cast explained:

“I think one of the things as well, for me personally, in terms of Buck as a character, which is a really sweet sort of sub-theme in the film, is about…and it’s quite a male issue, I think, is the capacity to be able to ask for help,” explained Pegg. “Buck is such a loner and such…he’s so used to doing everything by himself, that the idea of relying on his friends, or trusting someone to do something else, is a little bit uncomfortable for him. And in this movie, he learns that it’s not only okay to ask for help, it’s also okay to ask for help as a guy from your female friends and to trust in them to take over.”

Pegg continued on saying, “Buck goes on a real journey for that. And I think a lot of guys growing up are taught not to ask for help because it seemed it’s unmanly, which is terribly damaging. And I think for the film to address that is important. Buck understood that it’s okay to lean on people, it’s okay to ask for help. And you trust the people around you, your herd.”

With such a detailed response, Justina Machado was able to easily fall in step with what Pegg was saying, stating: “I feel like everything has been said. It’s all been said.”

Wrapping up the conversation, Pegg stated: “What’s beautiful about these films is that all that stuff is there, and it makes them feel very rich and very nuanced, but it is just enormous fun. It’s ridiculously silly. It’s relentlessly funny. It’s beautiful to look at. But all of that doesn’t mean anything unless it’s founded in something meaningful and real. And these films always have been that.”

ICE AGE ADVENTURES OF BUCK WILD will start streaming exclusively on Disney+ starting January 28th.

Shannon McGrew
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