July 27, 2010

Neil Patrick Harris Leads the Dog Pack in "CATS & DOGS 2"

Best known by global audiences as the womanizing Barney Stinson in the hit CBS comedy How I Met Your Mother -- a role which has garnered him a combined five Golden Globe and Emmy nominations – Neil Patrick Harris provides the voice of Lou, the commander of dog secret agents in Warner Bros.’ new 3D comedy adventure Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore.

Lou, a bespectacled Beagle, leads the subterranean base of DOG HQ, the nexus of worldwide canine operations, where dog agents watch surveillance monitors, break codes, build and test new equipment and…work out.

Lou was once the pup trainee from the first Cats & Dogs. Now a proud papa with a litter of his own, he’s top dog at HQ. “He takes the job very seriously. Lou assigns the missions. He’s also like the watch commander, saying ‘let’s go, let’s get this done,’” says Harris.

“You can’t have an ego when you’re doing this,” he concedes, not specifically about portraying a dog, but about voice acting in general. “You’re asked, ‘Can you say it this way?’ ‘That way?’ ‘Can you say it like you’re younger?’ ‘Older?’ You do a hundred different readings and it really becomes a chance to be creative. Ultimately, Lou’s voice is pretty much my own, but with more of an official, businesslike tone.”

Lou is assisted by gadget hound Peek (Joe Pantoliano), veteran agent Sam (Michael Clarke Duncan) and alpha agent Butch (Nick Nolte) who’s about to become the reluctant partner of new recruit, Diggs (James Marsden).

Nolte, who voices the gruff Anatolian Shepherd Butch, adds, “Since it’s a human story played out by dogs, you have to think in human terms—meaning, Butch is primarily a cop. He’s an old-timer, he’s been around and has a certain loping pace. Diggs wants to be heroic and that’s probably how Butch was when he was younger so he tolerates him, but at this stage he really doesn’t want the hassle of being saddled with the new recruit.”

Meanwhile, watching everyone’s back is Peek, a resourceful Chinese Crested with a keen nose among noses, the agency’s tech and communications expert. Much like Bond’s Q, Peek has a gizmo for every occasion. “Peek is the geek,” quips Pantoliano, reprising his role from the first film as the voice of the tiny technician. “He’s always at the center of things in the lab, developing gadgets the dogs use in the field.

“It’s amazing how sophisticated the talking-animal technology has become,” he observes. “I used to love watching Mr. Ed because it was never in sync. When the horse talked, it looked like they just gave him something to chew on. We’ve come a long way.”

Also reprising his original role is Duncan as the voice of stalwart Sheepdog Sam. Sam can hardly see through the thatch of hair over his eyes, causing his feline adversaries to underestimate him, but this veteran agent can hear the crunch of kibble or the click of tiny claws a mile away.

“I have a cat and three dogs, so this probably goes on at my house,” says Duncan, of the ongoing campaign between Sam and his pack against their lifelong foes.

But all that could change when Kitty Galore hones her master plan to purr-fection.

Opening soon across the Philippines in Digital 3D and regular format, Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore is distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.

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