First and foremost, Cedric was asked to explain why the franchise was so popular.
“I just think it’s kind of an identification with the animals as people. When I was first invited to be involved, I just thought the storyline just kind of resonated with people. For example, ‘I’m in New York doing it big and yet I’m a lion.’ [Or] being in a zoo with that desire to go to Africa, see it, feel it and know what you are. Then their adventures just got more and more interesting having gone to Africa, seen the family and realized like it’s OK what I am, but now I can trust going back to being a better me, you know? I just thought it was a real smart way to show that journey because it’s something that we all kind of can identify with, about growing, being in the infield…and pursuing whatever dreams you have.”
Every character has its own special appeal and Cedric told EURweb’s Marie Moore what he thought Maurice’s raison d’etre was.
“I think he’s kind of the voice of reason in this kind of craziness,” Cedric admits. Their erratic behavior takes from one continent to another. “In the third one, they get caught up in Europe, with people chasing them and it’s like ‘The ‘Bourne Identity’ animation,” he laughs. “Do you know of an animated movie that goes to this many places? It’s a good thing Ben Stiller is in this movie or else we wouldn’t have the budget to do this in animation,” he says in jest.
“I play an ex-R&B singer that gets the calling later in life,” he reveals. “I based it on the joke I used to do, [i.e.] ‘what if R Kelly became a minister?’ So the songs that he used to sing as an R&B singer was not something you want your pastor to have to sing, like ‘Spanking Ain’t Just for Kids’ [Laughs]. So it’s about that transition.”
On a more serious matter, we discuss the upcoming election.
“The expectations that anyone person can just come and get America on track in a four year period is ridiculous,” he says, “ And I would like the President to have the opportunity to be able to finish the task that he started. I think that he’s done a lot of rights for things that were going wrong. Of course there are always fingers that can be pointed at a number of different things, but again this was a huge mechanism that was being run and off. The car companies were failing, the banks were going down, the housing market was crashing. He had to get those little girls a dog. I mean come on!”
And just like the funny man that he is, Cedric the Entertainer was able to bring some brevity to a serious conversation without distorting or disrespecting the Commander in Chief.