While promoting his upcoming film “Daddy Daughter Trip,” Scottsdale actor, comedian, director, and transplant recipient Rob Schneider had the unique idea of giving Butterfly Wonderland a “thank you card” for allowing some scenes are shot there.
Because of his positive experiences at Butterfly Wonderland, Schneider thought the attraction would be the perfect place to give fans and local guests a treat they couldn’t get anywhere else. A book.
“This is my thank you card to the people of Arizona for allowing us to be their neighbors and being so kind to us,” Schneider said.
The film – which will premiere September 27 at Harkins Camelview at Scottsdale Fashion Square before hitting screens exclusively at Harkins Theaters across the valley – stars Scottsdale resident Schneider and his daughter from 9 year old Miranda Scarlett.
It features a book titled “Meara’s Storytime Book,” which has been converted into a children’s book that features nearly eight-minute sketches from the animated film.
“There are eight minutes of world-class animation and there are different types of animation,” Schneider said. “Of course there’s the Pixar, perfect, perfect animation, but I wanted kids today to see what cartoons looked like. Okay, so we did old Merrie Melodies, Warner Brothers-style cartoon animation done by Disney animators and it was so beautiful, I said, ‘We have to do a book.’
The paperback features an almost abstract outline of butterfly wings on the cover highlighted by a 60s-style cartoon insect protruding from the blended background. Its colors were largely inspired by the monarch butterfly – which Schneider says is featured throughout the film.
Schneider noted the four phases of monarch butterflies, explaining that the fourth phase survives the longest. He thought it was a subliminal theme that he could include throughout the film.
“You see the butterfly throughout the film, and (the film is about) releasing,” Schneider said. “It’s about being free, pursuing your dreams, and clinging to your dreams even when it seems impossible.”
Schneider also says that several trips to Butterfly Wonderland over the past scorching summers have only strengthened her and her family’s love for winged insects.
“When we moved here, we wanted to do things with the kids and it was an oasis for us,” Schneider said. “They loved Butterfly Wonderland because we could go there for hours just to see butterflies and then it’s just magical.”
Shooting a movie he jokes is the only movie he’s made his wife will allow their kids to see, Schneider knew the Butterfly Wonderland was to be one of the filming locations for “Daddy Daughter Trip.”
However, he admits shooting a movie in an active butterfly habitat wasn’t the easiest thing to do.
“They’re very fragile and you’re not supposed to touch them at all. I mean, they’re like nature’s origami made out of rice paper,” Schneider said.
Still, he reflects positively on his experience filming with butterflies.
“They released butterflies at our feet so they could fly into the camera,” Schneider said.
Even as a trained actor whose career spans more than three decades, Schneider admits he still felt like a kid when a butterfly landed on him. “You instantly become a child again when a butterfly lands on you,” he said.
Schneider and Miranda Scarlett will be at the Arizona Boardwalk today, September 18, from 9 a.m. to noon and will migrate there again on October 1 for another round of signings.
It will also be the first time Schneider has done a signing and admits he has some nerves about the event.
“I’ve never done it before, I’ve only done it dummy for the real Rob TV series (on Netflix) so I don’t know what to expect,” Schneider said with a laugh. “I hope people show up and hope they like the book.”
He’s also looking forward to another bonding experience with his daughter as the two sign whatever fans bring to them.
“We can’t wait to take pictures or whatever anyone wants,” he said. “If they want me to sign a book, it would be fine if it was mine, but I will sign, I will sign any of my books or David Spades’ books,” he added with a laugh. .