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Simon Pegg On What Makes The Ice Age Adventures Of Buck Wild So Much Fun - Exclusive Interview

It's hard to believe almost 20 years have gone by since Simon Pegg made a name for himself with the zombie comedy "Shaun of the Dead." Since then, his career has exploded, and he has gone on to appear in some of the biggest film franchises in history, including "Star Wars," "Star Trek," and "Mission: Impossible."

Another massive franchise he's a part of is the animated "Ice Age" saga, in which he has played one-eyed weasel Buck since 2009's "Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs." It's a role fans have really grown to love; so much so, in fact, that Buck has gotten his own movie, "The Ice Age Adventures of Buck Wild," which stars Pegg and is streaming exclusively on Disney+ starting today, January 28.

In the film, thrill-seeking possum brothers Crash and Eddie have had enough of living under the watchful eye of their older sister Ellie and embark on a journey to find a place of their own. However, they quickly encounter trouble and are rescued by the adventure-loving, dinosaur-hunting Buck, who helps them navigate the treacherous Lost World.

In an exclusive interview with Looper, Pegg answered a few quick questions about what makes the "Ice Age" franchise so much fun — both for the actor and the audience.

The Adventures of Buck Wild isn't just for kids

You've been voicing Buck for a while now. What's been the most rewarding part of that? And what's the funniest memory you have related to the "Ice Age" franchise?

Oh, I think just getting to play Buck is a reward. As an actor, you hope to get to play interesting characters, and I find Buck to be one of the most pleasurable characters to play. He's enormous fun. He's very high energy. He's lovable. Anytime I get to step into his little paws, I'd leap at the chance.

In terms of memories, there's a funny thing — I've never actually met any of my co-stars in person. That happens a lot when you do animation. I met Justina Machado, who plays Zee in this movie — who's Buck's soulmate in a way – for the first time yesterday.

But it's been a lot of fun, and I think the best memory for me was getting to sing "Figaro," the opera [song], for "Ice Age: Collision Course." I worked with an opera singer, and the actual vocal session was produced by Mark Mothersbaugh of Devo. For me, that was amazing, because I'm a big Devo fan. So, this character's just been a hoot, from start to finish.

Now, did you feel a lot of pressure this time around, since the movie is mainly focused on you, and has your character's name in the title?

Well, yes and no. I have been hinting at a Buck spinoff for 12 years, and I finally got what I wanted, so I was happy to be in this position. I knew that I had a great script and a great ensemble cast, so it wasn't just going to be entirely on my shoulders. We have the boys, Crash and Eddie. Those characters are very beloved, and then we have Zee and Orson, these new characters. Orson's the bad guy, and Zee's a counterpart to Buck. She's the female equivalent of Buck, albeit, slightly more sane. She's as capable, as brave, as daring as he is, but she's a bit more centered. So, yeah, that's been a real pleasure.

A lot of your onscreen acting is more adult-oriented, for lack of a better term. "Shaun of the Dead," "Paul," even "Mission: Impossible." What does doing an animated kids' movie allow you to do as an actor that other onscreen roles don't?

Well, you can't rely on the tricks that you might use in a more grown-up film, cursing or whatever, which is an easy laugh sometimes, particularly in comedy. I always think "Ice Age" is one of those films that is very much aimed at everybody. I did "Ice Age" in the first place because my wife was pregnant and I wanted to do a film that my child could watch. As you say, I'd done a lot of grown-up films, but Tilly was born the same year the film ["Dawn of the Dinosaurs"] came out. So, she grew up with those movies, and it was my joy to be able to watch them with her. There are so many jokes in these films that kids just won't get, and not because they're lewd or adult, there's just stuff in there for the grown-ups, too. I think the best animations have that.

"The Ice Age Adventures of Buck Wild" is now streaming exclusively on Disney+.