‘The Willoughbys’ Director on Casting Will Forte and Adapting Lois Lowry’s Book for Screen

The Willoughbys” hits Netflix this Wednesday, the latest in the streaming platform’s slate of animated, family-friendly features.Based on the Lois Lowry books, the film follows the four Willoughby children, who live in a house where their self-centered parents neglect them, depriving them of love.

The children devise a plan to send their parents on a long vacation and, in the process, end up finding out the true meaning of family when they meet Nanny, voiced by Maya Rudolph.“Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs” director Kris Pearn had read the books and responded to the “idea of subverting children’s literature on its head,” he says.

“It was obvious [Lowry] was making fun of Roald Dahl.”Pearn’s idea in adapting the books was to play with the tropes of animated family films.“What if we did ‘Grey Gardens’ meets ‘Arrested Development’ for kids?” he says.He knew he

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