Prolific filmmaker’s multimedia empire gets animated
Tyler Perry’s… unique sensibilities and recurring stable of outlandish characters have made him a rich man and an icon among audiences often underserved by Hollywood, but they’ve also made him a frequent punchline for pop-culture pundits and some film critics. His first mainstream-crossover attempt, Alex Cross, was dead on arrival, but he’s earned some of the best (acting) reviews of his career recently for his supporting turn in Gone Girl.
But second looks from critics or not, Perry isn’t abandoning his moneymaking Madea character any time soon. The first trailer has debuted for Madea’s Tough Love, the actor/director/screenwriter/playwright’s first stab at an animated family feature. The plot finds the ever-rambunctious Madea (a sarcastic, violence-prone old woman played by Perry himself) sentenced to community service at a run-down children’s center. Other characters from the Madea “universe” appear in the trailer, as well.
Originating in Perry’s 1999 stage production of I Can Do Bad All By Myself, Madea is far and away Perry’s most well-known creation. Her presence (usually at the center but frequently on the periphery) is the main connective-tissue that links dozens of Perry’s plays, films and television series into a loosely-canonical “shared universe.” He has said that the character, who combines an abrasive personality with a commitment to family and a stern moral code, is based mainly on his own mother and aunt.
Madea’s Tough Love is due on DVD and streaming in January 2015.