John Carter might have Martians, flying ships and sexy young lads with long hair — but the real star of the show is his giant hound, Woola.
So when we sat down with director Andrew Stanton at the John Carter junket, we found out everything we possibly could about the speedy pooch who will stole our hearts. Plus get a look at some early concept art of Woola, when John Carter was a lot more Confederate-looking.
Tell us about our favorite character in John Carter — Woola!
Andrew Stanton: Woola is what Edgar Rice Burroughs coined as a Calot. They're these sort of pony-sized, big lizard desert toads with ten legs. Everybody thinks he has six, but there's four little little ones hidden under there — and they can move incredibly fast across the desert.
Why make Woola just like an Earth dog?
There was a talk, for awhile there, that we needed to make it [Woola] a little more alien-esque in how it looked, and how it sounded. But I thought that it was so fantastical that it needed some grounding, "So we're just going to go as straight dog as we can with it." Because I think that is something that is very familiar — it's something you can connect to. The same way that you find the human qualities in Tars Tarkas, this big green four-armed character. You find the animal, dog, man's best friend quality in Woola. So we pulled anything. We pulled anything we could to help us associate it with a puppy.