Gore Verbinski On Animation's 'Secret Society' And Why He's Watching The Super Bowl

The director talked with The Hollywood Reporter after his "Rango" won the Annie Award for best animated feature.
Greg Grusby/Industrial Light + Magic

“It feels like I’m being let into a secret society,” Rango director Gore Verbinski told The Hollywood Reporter at his first Annie (Animation) Awards, Saturday at Royce Hall at UCLA.

“They collaborate in such a massive way that you don’t really get in live action,” he said of the makers of animated movies. “In live action, as a director you are more of a preserved voice. In animation there are people who really put their egos aside and real collaborate toward a vision that isn’t diluted or compromised by that collaboration. It is a very specific type of person (who works in animation).”

The International Animated Film Society embraced Rango and its director at the Annie Awards. The film won four categories including the top award for best animated feature; best writing, which went to Verbinski, John Logan and James Byrkit; best editing, to Craig Wood; and best character design, to Mark “Crash” McCreery. Rango was also voted the ‘membership’s favorite award.’

“I’ve always been fascinated with animation,” Verbinski said. “It lends itself to surreal interpretation of emotions. I always wanted to do an animated film, and (with Rango) it seemed like it was the right time.”

He added: “I wouldn’t be interested in a sequel, but I would definitely be interested in another animated film. It’s been a blast.”

Incidentally, before directing features such as Rango and the first three Pirates of the Caribbean films, Verbinski helmed what has become a classic Super Bowl ad—the original Budweiser “Frogs” commercial. This ad famously featured three frogs in a swamp that make the sounds of “Bud,” “Weis” and “Er.”

Reminded of this spot, he said he would be watching today’s Super Bowl. “I really enjoy it; it’s a lot of fun seeing great spots.”