Josh Gad lends voice to Bailey, narrator in ‘A Dog’s Purpose’

Known to tens of millions as the voice of Olaf in Frozen, Josh Gad lends his voice to Bailey, the real star—the heart and soul throughout the entirety of Universal Pictures’ new family adventure, A Dog’s Purpose.

Director Lasse Hallström and Amblin Entertainment reached out to the Tony Award-winning actor with high hopes of finding the voice of Bailey.

His unparalleled vocal abilities are just as melodic as they are humorous and emotional, and the filmmakers were certain he would be the production’s perfect Bailey. “After hearing what Josh did with Olaf in Frozen, I had a pretty good sense of his talents and why he would be great for the role of the narrator. But when we started our work, I was truly moved at what an amazing match he was for the visuals of the dog and how he connected to that character,” says Hallström.

Gad, who was under the impression that he was being asked to consider doing voiceover work for a talking dog, but was he in for a surprise. Gad reflects on the casting process: “I have always been a huge fan of Lasse Hallstrom’s and have been longing for the opportunity to work with him. I got a call one day saying there was a new movie that he directed and wanted me to be a part of. I got extremely excited and was told that the movie was shot already. I did not understand.”

The performer continues, “My initial reaction was that I did not want to do a talking animal movie, but Leslee Feldman (VP of Casting at Amblin) told me to watch the film before I made my decision. She handed me a tissue box and said, ‘Here, you are going to need this.’”

“I watched the film—realized it was not a talking dog—and was so moved and blown away by it that I felt compelled to be part of it. If someone walked in, they would have thought I was robbed at gunpoint and watched a family of squirrel’s burn down because I was sobbing. After completing the part, I can honestly say that I have not felt this way about a project I have been involved in since Frozen. Anyone watching this is going to be in awe of the beauty, the truth and the entertainment of what Lasse has put together,” says Gad.

Based on author W. Bruce Cameron’s beloved best-selling novel, A Dog’s Purpose, from director Lasse Hallström shares the heartwarming and surprising story of one devoted dog who finds the meaning of his own existence through the lives of the humans he teaches to laugh and love.

Over the course of five decades, a single voice—that of an indefatigable dog—takes us along a riveting and uplifting path that speaks to the heart of anyone who has ever loved an animal. Although he is reincarnated in the bodies of multiple canines through the years, it is his unbreakable bond with a kindred spirit named Ethan that carries and inspires one dog throughout his journey to find a true purpose for his boy.

Opening across the Philippines on March 1, 2017, A Dog’s Purpose is distributed by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.

MOVIE REVIEW: The LEGO Batman Movie

Coming from someone who is not a fan of any superhero character, I could immediately give my thumbs-up to The LEGO Batman Movie for making me more curious about the world of the Caped Crusader (whose only movie I’ve seen is Batman v. Superman plus some cartoons). It’s quite nostalgic to watch this spin-off with The LEGO Movie in mind—the entirety of which I enjoyed thoroughly back in 2014. I can’t think of any other animated movie filled with such spellbound fun that leaves an enjoyable aftertaste even after some time. It might have been terrible for me to look for one adorable song from The LEGO Batman to equal the first movie’s Everything is Awesome but everything else just works sufficiently to keep me entertained.

The story is more laugh-inducing with Batman’s indifference towards his ‘greatest enemy’—The Joker. It builds up tension between the archenemies and provides a good picture of both character’s soft spots. Will Arnett’s Batman may seem serious but his character develops for the better. On the other hand, Zach Galifianakis’ Joker is simply hilarious however much he tries to look evil or plot against Gotham City. When the Joker asks Batman if he seriously feels nothing special about their relationship, the latter just cracks with a soon-to-be-classic quote, “Batman doesn’t do ships. As in relationships… You mean nothing to me. No one does.” When these lines are followed by a closeup of Joker’s flabbergasted reaction, it’s a tough feat not to laugh out loud seeing how Batman’s words have shattered the Joker’s feelings.

Batman’s character in this film is as lonely as it could get. It is painful to watch how this is stressed with everyone else partying and celebrating without minding the hero of their city. He lives in a mansion with Alfred (Ralph Fiennes) as his butler and Apple’s Siri as his sentient supercomputer—a bountiful living, indeed—but he is a sad, lonely man. Things change when he meets the playful Dick Grayson (Michael Sera) who would become his adoptive son and sidekick, Robin. Not to mention, the entrance of Rosario Dawson’s Barbara Gordon into Batman’s life made him realize the importance of teamwork, let alone companionship. All of these could be your typical framework of a family-oriented movie but The LEGO Batman appears to have set these standards to make things more familiar and more accessible.

With a number of jokes and comic book references and an abundance of characters (villains and allies alike) to serve the fans, The LEGO Batman Movie goes beyond the expectation of delivering visual treats all throughout. The ride is all worth it. Should this be the direction Warner Animations Group intends to go, we are all off to see more memorable adventures with The LEGO Ninjago Movie opening this September and the sequel to The Lego Movie in 2018.

WATCH: Pure enchantment in ‘Beauty and the Beast’ final trailer

Disney has released the final trailer of “Beauty and the Beast,” giving fans a longer peek than before to its enchanting story.

Check out the final trailer below and watch the film in Philippine cinemas starting March 16, 2017.

Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” is a live-action adaptation of the studio’s animated classic which refashions the classic characters from the tale as old as time for a contemporary audience, staying true to the original music while updating the score with several new songs.

“Beauty and the Beast” is the fantastic journey of Belle, a bright, beautiful and independent young woman who is taken prisoner by a beast in his castle. Despite her fears, she befriends the castle’s enchanted staff and learns to look beyond the Beast’s hideous exterior and realize the kind heart and soul of the true Prince within.

The film stars: Emma Watson as Belle; Dan Stevens as the Beast; Luke Evans as Gaston, the handsome, but shallow villager who woos Belle; Oscar® winner Kevin Kline as Maurice, Belle’s eccentric, but lovable father; Josh Gad as Le Fou, Gaston’s long-suffering aide-de-camp; Golden Globe® nominee Ewan McGregor as Lumière, the candelabra; Oscar nominee Stanley Tucci as Cadenza, the harpsichord; Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Plumette, the feather duster; six-time Tony Award® winner Audra McDonald as Madame De Garderobe, the wardrobe; Hattie Morahan as Agathe, the enchantress; Nathan Mack as Chip, the teacup; Oscar nominee Ian McKellen as Cogsworth, the mantel clock; and two-time Academy Award® winner Emma Thompson as the teapot, Mrs. Potts.

Directed by Oscar® winner Bill Condon based on the 1991 animated film, “Beauty and the Beast” is written by Evan Spiliotopoulos and Stephen Chbosky and Bill Condon.

“Beauty and the Beast” will be distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures International.