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»As for me, it always had to be a Porsche«

On 29 August, "Playmobil - the film" rolls into the cinemas. There, top spy Rex Dasher will fight the villain Emperor Maximus at the wheel of his ultra-modern agent car Porsche Mission E. Why the protagonist drives the brand from Zuffenhausen and why an electric Porsche is not only for movie heroes but also for filmmakers? Director Lino DiSalvo tells us this and more in an exclusive interview.

Interview: Marko Knab Photo: Porsche 08.08.2019 3 min

Mr DiSalvo, in your film the Porsche vehicle Mission E plays a leading role. How did this happen?

I remember that very well: I was in the middle of Los Angeles and discovered this car magazine with the Porsche Mission E on the cover in a bookstore on the side of the road. That immediately fascinated me. I just had to stop and take a closer look. I knew immediately: that was it! The first supercool electric agent car for our spy. We were just developing the figure of our agent Rex Dasher. I went to Porsche with this idea. And everyone thought it was great. I mean, I could have gone to any other brand…

...but you went to Porsche. What makes the brand so special for you?

Let me put it this way: As children we always had posters of exciting cars on our walls. My friends hung up a Lamborghini Countach or a Ferrari. But for me it always had to be a Porsche. This simple silhouette, this clear design, that has always been what I liked best, especially today as an artist. And when I was 14, my father really bought a 911. I thought to myself: It doesn't get much better!

And if you had to describe the fascination of Porsche today - apart from the design?

That can hardly be expressed in words. People often say that a car has a certain character. With a Porsche, you get in and immediately feel this connection. Just like my father's 911 Carrera. It really had character. It's very difficult to describe this feeling. I'd say that's something very, very emotional.

So you drive a Porsche yourself?

Driving yes, in my family there are a few - but I don't own one yet. But I've always wanted to get one. Hopefully that will change now.

With the Taycan?

(laughs) Maybe, maybe! We did a test drive with it today. Boy, the vehicle is unbelievable. A Porsche through and through, even if it is electric. I giggled and laughed with joy all the time.

Are there any similarities between an animated film and a sports car?

Definitely in the making. Just as the car designers and engineers design the concept of the vehicle, we develop a storyboard for our film. We then gradually refine our characters, the engineers and the designers perfect the car. Once everything is in place, it goes into production. As in car construction, we also have a kind of production line: First the shot is drawn, then it goes into the layout, then to the camera and into animation, finally the light is set. This is perhaps less linear than in a car factory, but like there we also work in a large team. And both take a good three to five years from the first draft to the finished product.

Then you had enough time to give Mission E a few agent specials in the film, didn't you?

Of course, we gave Rex's car some features that the real car probably doesn't have. After all, all the big agent cars have special features. But I don't want to reveal them now, just that much: For example, Rex can control his Mission E via the wristwatch.

What is Rex's relationship to his Mission E? Is the car just an agent tool, or is there that special connection that you felt in your father's 911?

You'll see. Without revealing too much: Mission E is more or less the rolling office of Rex. And on the other hand it is Rex's buddy, his partner on all missions.

And what do the two buddies learn in their film?

That there are always obstacles to overcome in life, even with the best planning. But: You can still live your personal adventure. Even if it may not be exactly as you imagined it, it can still be very fulfilling.

Meaning: Such an unplanned detour can definitely enrich life?

Exactly. We are what we are because of the challenges of life. And when we master them, we always emerge a little stronger.