‘The Mask’ at 25: Why the Jim Carrey and Cameron Diaz Hit Was the ‘Deadpool’ of Its Time

Variety | 7/28/2019 | Susan King
Click For Photo: https://pmcvariety.files.wordpress.com/2019/07/the-mask.jpg?w=700&h=393&crop=1

When Jerry Evans was hired to choreograph the blockbuster superhero comedy “The Mask,” which celebrates its 25th anniversary Monday, he was surprised when director Chuck Russell informed him he was secretly making a musical.

And so did audiences and critics in the summer of 1994.

Variety‘s - Review - Showcase - Jim - Carrey

Variety‘s review called the showcase for Jim Carrey’s talents “adroitly directed, viscerally and visually dynamic and just plain fun.”

Based on the popular Dark Horse comic book series of the same name, “The Mask” turned Carrey into a superstar as the sweet, nebbish, cartoon-loving loan officer Stanley Ipkiss who turns into a green-faced human cartoon when he dons a magical mask he found.

Stanley - Tex - Avery - Cartoon - Dynamo

The masked Stanley is a human Tex Avery cartoon, a wisecracking zoot-suited dynamo who cracks wise and dances a la Carmen Miranda to the Desi Arnaz song “Cuban Pete.”

“The Mask” introduced movie audiences to a young model named Cameron Diaz as Tina, the object of Stanley’s affections. She proved to be a contemporary Carole Lombard and her career took off like a rocket. Peter Greene played her boyfriend, the vile gangster Dorian Tyrell, and comic Richard Jeni was Stanley’s best friend Charlie.

Cast - Charmer - Max - Jack - Russell

Rounding out the cast was a charmer named Max, a Jack Russell Terrier, who played Stanley’s beloved pet, Milo.

Featuring Oscar and BAFTA-nominated visual effects and colorful BAFTA-nominated production design, “The Mask” made over $351 million worldwide — not bad for production budgeted at $23 million.

Animation - Historian - Jerry - Beck - Mask

Animation historian Jerry Beck noted “The Mask” was the perfect follow-up for a “film like ‘Who Framed Roger Rabbit,’ which was a gigantic sensation of 1988. It wasn’t really anything, on one hand, like ‘Roger Rabbit.’ On the other hand, it was a lot like it. It had a crime noir plot and cartoon references.”

“The Mask,” he added, “is a great combination of great source material, both the comic book and...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Variety
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