Cinco Paul, screenwriter of such highly successful films as the Despicable Me series, Horton Hears a Who and The Lorax, is this year’s celebrity grand marshal for the 10th Annual Reyes Adobe Days, a four-day festival in October hosted by the City of Agoura Hills.
“I’m super excited,” the 19-year Agoura Hills resident told CV Happening. “I was very surprised I was asked as I’m not really a celebrity. Well, the minions are celebrities.”
For eight years, Paul was coaching for Agoura High’s award-winning Comedy Sportz team but left the program when his daughter, Rachel, who was actively involved in the program, graduated. He does, however, occasionally play piano for the group. “It’s an amazing program,” he said of the improvisational group which continues to take top honors in local competitions.
Paul said he is also excited the this year’s student-directed musical will be Bubble Boy: The Musical which he wrote. “I should be involved with that a bit,” he said.
Paul graduated summa cum laude from Yale University in 1986 and went on to attend the USC School of Cinema-Television in 1993. He got his unusual name because he was born on May 5, Cinco de Mayo.
In addition to both Despicable Me films, Paul and his writing partner Ken Dario, a Westlake High graduate, are the creative writing team behind such animated and live action films as Hop, Santa Claus 2 and Dude, Where’s My Car.
“Ken and I met through a church play and started working together,” Paul said in an earlier interview. The duo went on the write Bubble Boy, starring Jake Gyllenhaal, after which they were approached by producer Chris Meledandri to write Horton Hears a Who.
“He had us with meet Audrey Geisel [the wife of the late Ted Geisel aka Dr. Seuss]. She was a little bit leery about another adaptation of her husbands work after Cat in the Hat,” Paul said.
The two assured Geisel that the film would stay true to the original story and ultimately won her approval. The film went on to generate $295 million in ticket sales worldwide, according to IMDB.com.
The writers now have an exclusive deal with Meledandri’s Illumination Entertainment.
He said he particularly enjoys writing for animation, because the process is slower, more detailed and he gets to participate in all voice sessions. “The animation for Illumination takes place in Paris, but the voicing sessions occur here in L.A.,” Paul said. “So we get to be in the booth with the actors and help guide them, although many like to ad-lib. It’s a fun process.”
Up next for the movie scribe is an animated film “about pets in New York,” featuring the voices of Louis CK and Modern Family‘s Eric Stonestreet, schedule for release in 2016. Despicable Me comes out in July of 2017. “And I have another project that I’m super excited about but I can’t talk about it yet,” he said.
In addition to the returning festival favorites, this year’s event will feature a farmhouse tent, which will showcase local artisans–brewmasters, textile artists, jewelers– and a kids corral with camel rides. For complete information and times on all events during the four-day weekend, contact the City of Agoura Hills at 818-597-7361 or visit www.reyesadobedays.org.