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Interview: The Making of Disney Pixar’s “Dug Days”

Dug is everybody’s favorite talking dog from the Disney/Pixar film Up and he’s coming to your screens in a five episode series called “Dug Days.” Join Dug for a look into his day to day life as a dog living with Carl Fredrickson in the new series coming exclusively to Disney+ September 1st!

Here is the scoop on Disney and Pixar’s “Dug Days!”

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The Cast and Crew of Disney Pixar’s “Dug Days”

Bob Peterson is the writer and director of “Dug Days.” He also provides the voice of Dug! He’s worked on many other Disney/Pixar projects including Up, Toy Story 3, Finding Dory, Monsters University, and more!

Kim Collins is the producer of “Dug Days.”

Kim Collins (Photo by Deborah Coleman / Pixar)

What to Know About “Dug Days”

Director and writer Bob Peterson shares the context about when “Dug Days” takes place in time. He says, “So, this got started, of course, back on Up. And Dug Days takes place immediately after Up finishes.”

He also explains that “So, basically right after Carl, Russel, and Dug are at the ice cream shop. Carl and Dug look for a new house right after this. Russel goes home with his mom but later moves in next door to Dug and Carl.”

Why Make “Dug Days?”

Bob Peterson talks about the reasoning behind creating a series of shorts surrounding Dug. He simply says, “Well, because dogs are the best. We love dogs and they bring so much to our lives. And we wanted to see Carl and Dug move into suburbia to watch Dug grapple with new challenges of his backyard.”

Peterson also adds, “And also, to watch Carl put into practice having a new adventure, no matter how small, as Ellie had wanted. “

Producer Kim Collins chimes in adding, “When it really comes down to it, these are stories about how Carl and Dug take care of each other.”

The Inspiration Behind Dug the Dog

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Dug is such a lovable and relatable character for many dog owners. Bob Peterson shares the inspiration for the sweet character.

He says, “Back on Up we were so excited when we created Dug because using his collar would allow us to-to hear what a dog might actually think and say” adding, “we could explore canine truths.”

Peterson also shares “We used experiences living with many dogs to write Dug’s character and dialogue. In fact, Dug’s voice is based on how I talk to my dogs.”

Voice Acting During A Pandemic

The coronavirus pandemic changed many things about the world, including how voice actors record their lines.

The now late, Ed Asner reprises his role of Carl Fredrickson in the series. Kim Collins recalls working with Ed in February of 2020. She says, “This was just before we were asked to stay home during the pandemic. It was our only recording session.” Kim adds, “We are very lucky to have cast Ed as he truly is, our Carl Fredrickson.”

Bob Peterson jokes about his experience recording the voice of Dug. Peterson shares that he recorded his voice in, “A spider infested, dusty, and cramped closet below the stairs. I recorded a large chunk of Dug li-lines in here and, uh, one good thing though, is it was hot in there and I lost a lot of water weight.”

Bob Peterson (Photo by Deborah Coleman / Pixar)

Kim Collins chimes in adding, “During the pandemic we ended up recording in a lot of unusual places.  Uh, mostly closets.”

Bob also reveals that they used old lined from Russel’s original voice actor, Jordan Nagai, who was a young boy when Up first came out. Bob explains, “We loved his voice so much that we decided to keep it, keep his kid voice again.  Finding old dialogue from Up with the help of our editorial team.”

Peterson explains, “So, for example, I wrote the-the script for the short Science. We went looking for Jordan lines that matched. Some of the found lines, in fact, were actually better than the written lines.”

A Tribute to Up

Since this series takes place right after the events of Up, Bob Peterson and Kim Collins explain how they pay tribute to the original film in each episode. Collins says, “The look of ‘Dug Days’ owes, um, a lot to the look of Up.”

Bob Peterson explains, “We wanted to have a cozy home for Carl and Dug but also design one which beckons back to Up.” He reveals a fun detail explaining that, “In ‘Dug Days’ we gave Carl a hobby that was not really known about in Up. Uh, woodworking. So, here you’ll see a windmill or a whirly gig that Carl made.”

Collins adds that the woodworking, “Also helped us as filmmakers bridge back to Up by recalling Kevin and her babies who are happily living, uh, together.”

Why Audiences Will Love “Dug Days”

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Kim Collins also shares some of the motivation behind making “Dug Days” so special. She reveals, “As we moved into the pandemic, um, you know, the entire Dug crew realized that these shorts could bring a little bit of sweetness and happiness to people.”

She adds, “That motivation kept us wanting to bring our best creatively, uh, even though, uh, we could only be together as a team through these little, tiny boxes on a screen.”

Bob Peterson reveals, “I think that the-the main themes are one of, uh, relationship with your-with your pets and how much they mean to you, how much you mean to them.”

He ends adding, “And also, you know, what’s going on inside of a-a-of your pet’s head, they are people too. And they react to things. And they have emotions. And so, take time to think through what-what’s happening inside your head-your dog’s or cat’s head because it-it’s complicated and wonderful.”

Pet owners of all kinds will love Disney Pixar’s “Dug Days” on Disney+ September 1!

Shop your favorite Dug products like this Loungefly, Christmas ornament, plush, and hat!

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