VIPAccessEXCLUSIVE: Director Kirby Atkins Talks About Working With His Daughter In The Paramount Animated Film, “Mosley” And The Biggest Takeaway From The Movie In His Interview With AlexisJoyVIPAccess!

Director and creator of Paramount Movies' Mosley, Kirby Atkins
Photo Courtesy of Kirby Atkins

A story about self-discovery, strength, and courage, Paramount Movies‘ Mosley will inspire, empower, and encourage everyone to follow their heart. There are movies that are made to make an impact and Mosley truly is one of them. This film is one that is fitting for all ages. Kids will love the glorious animation, the fun-loving characters, and all of the light-hearted humor. But, weaved within the story are important topics of freedom and oppression, to name a few, that help evoke conversations between kids and their families watching. Writer / director, Kirby Atkins poured his heart and soul into this project. The idea for the film originated when he was a child and was developed over several years to be the magnificent film it is today. Needless to say, all of Atkins’ hard work has paid off as Mosley is a brilliant and touching story that teaches a lot to all viewers.

The movie follows a thoriphant named Mosley. Thoriphants are a unique, four-legged species that are almost like elephants… but not. However, thoriphants weren’t always four-legged. In fact, as seen in the movie, Mosley’s son discovers a cave that had drawings of their ancestors known as the “Uprights.” The Uprights are a different kind of thoriphant – they have hands and they can walk on two legs. For quite some time now, the remaining thoriphants had been hoping that the Uprights would come and save them from the maltreatment they had been experiencing. Mosley decides to take matters into his own hands and embark on a challenging journey to find the Uprights and free his family and friends.

Mosley is a movie that will make you feel and think. There’s something for all of us to learn from this outstanding story. It’s clear to see all of the passion that creator Kirby Atkins put into bringing this film to life. It truly is a special one as he even got to work with his daughter in the movie, who voices the role of Rue. This remarkable flick is perfectly executed and sends the powerful message that there always is something worth fighting for.

AlexisJoyVIPAccess had a marvelous time interviewing the mastermind behind Mosley, none other than the terrific Kirby Atkins all about what inspired him to have created this exceptional film, what it was like for him to have worked with his daughter on this project, advice he would like to send out to Mosley as he ventures off on his big adventure, and so much more only in our VIPAccessEXCLUSIVE interview. Atkins even revealed something he learnt from creating the character of Mosley – see what he had to say in our VIPAccessEXCLUSIVE interview below.

Read my VIPAccessEXCLUSIVE interview with the phenomenal Kirby Atkins below and be sure to watch Mosley available now on digital and On Demand.

AlexisJoyVIPAccess: Congratulations on all of the stellar success with your career. Your incredible film Mosley just recently released and what an awe-inspiring story it is. So, can you first off tell us what inspired you to create this film? 

Kirby Atkins: I’ve always thought it interesting the tendency in fairytales to anthropomorphize animals. Human beings generally have power over creatures much stronger than ourselves, mainly because of hands and tools and a certain amount of self-consciousness. How difficult would it be to have that self-consciousness but not have the physical ability to manipulate your world? How hard would it be to not evolve as far as your heart was meant to go? We all feel such desire to be more than we are. Mosley is about that ache and the hope of somehow transcending it.


AlexisJoyVIPAccess: What was the creative process like making Mosley

Kirby Atkins: I would call it “crock-pot cooking” in that it took years letting the story simmer in my mind. I’ve worked on many animated features, but always felt like the medium could do more. It usually is so binary. There are “adult” animated films that are dark and not made for family audiences, and then there are the “family” films that usually are overrun with gags and fart jokes. Why not make a family drama? Mosley is the movie I always wanted to see in this medium and, in that regard, it felt like going “off road” from what is usually done. Scary, on some level, but rewarding in the way art can be when it busts out of the box.

AlexisJoyVIPAccess: You also got to work with your daughter in this beautiful film and her original recordings from when she was six-years-old was kept in the film over 10 years later. What was it like for you to have collaborated with your daughter on this project and being able to have this movie be almost like a time machine to when she was younger? 

Kirby Atkins: It was the most amazing, creative experience I’ve ever had. She really was such a wide-eyed wonder when she recorded her dialogue, just a six-year-old having a great time and completely immersed in the process – not acting, but pretending like only an uninhibited kid could do. I couldn’t help but become a bit wide-eyed myself as we played out those sequences, and the story really found its feet and heart at that point. It blows my mind to think that during the time it’s taken to develop this film and get it to the big screen, my wife and I raised two children and sent them out into the world. In that way, the movie does feel like a time capsule of sorts – more like a home movie with a really big budget.


AlexisJoyVIPAccess: What are you looking forward to the most for fans to see in this film? 

Kirby Atkins: I really hope people feel something completely different than what they expect. I hope they fall in love with this little family. The movie really is about a small family doing hard times together, which is what we’ve all been experiencing lately with COVID.

AlexisJoyVIPAccess: This excellent movie focuses on finding your courage and heading out on an epic adventure. After seeing the film, fans all over the world would love to see a sequel to this movie. So, if you could see Mosley go on another adventure, what would you like it to be? 

Kirby Atkins: I really wanted to leave certain aspects of the story unresolved. Not everyone gets a happy ending, which is like life. If you think about it, miracles are only miraculous because they don’t happen often, and in this story, not everyone gets a miracle. That being said, there are hints and clues throughout the film about where the story goes from here. What happens to old Turpin? Now that Mosley has rescued his family, how might he rescue the entire species? I think the movie is self-contained and satisfying in itself, but I also wanted it to feel like more adventures were ahead – this family is going to have to take more risks in the future.  Leaving the farm was just the beginning.


AlexisJoyVIPAccess: We all could learn from Mosley and his bravery to take on such an overwhelming journey. If you could have given Mosley any advice before he headed out on his adventure, what would it be? 

Kirby Atkins: When we take chances, they are never neat. They are almost always sloppy and have consequences we never intended. Still, being brave always involves being afraid. You have to bust out and take a risk if you want to change your life. This is what Mosley does and it comes at a cost. My advice to Mosley would be the advice I’d give myself or anyone who finds themselves in a tough spot – do the thing. Just do the thing that needs to be done. We only ever have a little light to see by, and we have to make ourselves move forward if we want to see further ahead.

AlexisJoyVIPAccess: What is something you have learnt from Mosley after creating and developing this character? 

Kirby Atkins: Heroes are people who are riddled with doubt. None of us knows how life will turn for us, but I believe there are certain things we can know and can bet on. We can be brave and kind. We can be fearless when it comes to these things.


AlexisJoyVIPAccess: Lastly, Mosley has so many brilliant takeaways. What is the biggest lesson you’d like viewers to learn from watching this film? 

Kirby Atkins: That the ordinary world is enchanted. That having hands is magical. That you can’t be brave without also being afraid and, in that regard, being afraid is nothing to be afraid of.

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