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DEATH TO SMOOCHY

About The Locations
Principal photography on Death to Smoochy began January 17, 2001, in New York City. Although the production used several exterior locations in New York, including locations in Chinatown, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the world-famous Coney Island restaurant Nathan's, the majority of the three weeks of shooting took place in Times Square. 

Tourists and New Yorkers alike got "Smooched” if they came anywhere near "The Crossroads of the World” during late January or early February. Smoochy billboards, pixel boards and video footage of the puffy fuchsia rhino peppered the world-famous tourist hub. (By all accounts, the production was the first ever to construct a massive visual effects green screen right in the middle of the Square.)

Military Island, the cement median "island” located just south of where Times Square splits between Broadway and Seventh Avenue, served as a home base for the filmmakers, cast and crew. 

"I'm glad we shot most of the love scenes and attempted suicide scenes on that little island,” says Robin Williams. "It gave us a sense of controlled distance. Times Square is Blade Runner time, especially at three a.m. in the middle of a snowstorm.” 

But the crowds in Times Square weren't the only witnesses to Williams' outrageous antics-as-Rainbow Randolph, like the scene in which Randolph douses himself in gasoline and threatens to light himself on fire to protest Smoochy's rising popularity. "I feel like I've been witnessing a career funny performance from Robin,” Edward Norton attests. "It's honestly one of the funniest characters I've ever seen him do. I was incredibly impressed by his restraint and discipline in terms of the use of his own comic wizardry, because he really danced beautifully with the script.” 

"I worked with Robin for about a week, and it was a week of bliss,” Catherine Keener adds. "Edward and I would look at each other, trying to maintain composure, and most of the time, we couldn't get through scenes without laughing.”

After wrapping work in New York, the production moved to Toronto, where the cast and crew completed another twelve weeks of filming. In addition to several weeks of work on sound stages, the production also utilized facilities at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) headquarters; the gritty waterfront docks of nearby steel town Hamilton, Ontario; and two weeks in the city's historical landmark, Maple Leaf Gardens, which served as the locale for the show-stopping musical climax of the film, "Smoochy on Ice.”

"In the conceit of the film, ‘Smoochy on Ice' is actually written by Sheldon to reflect all the things that have happened to Smoochy during the course of the story,” DeVito explains. "All of the plot twists and turns are reflected in this little ice opera, including the gunplay, the Nazis and all of Randolph's outrageous attempts at revenge.”

The ambitious ice opera - as well as all of Rainbow Randolph's dance numbers, Smoochy's numerous musical routines, and the seminal Clunky Wunky dance – was designed by award winning choreographer Barry Lather.

In choreographing Smoochy's routines, especially for the ice show, Lather collaborated closely with Edward Norton. "Edward had specific ideas for the way he thought Smoochy would move, and I incorporated that movement into the routines,” says Lather, who has choreographed music videos for Janet Jackson and Prince, skating routines for Olympic Gold Medallists Kristi Yamaguchi, Scott Hamilton and Katarina Witt, and he co-choreographed the elaborate 2002 Britney Spears Pepsi commercial campaign. "I also had to anticipate how those steps would translate when he performed them in costume. Everything worked really well. Edward was very focused and consistent – he nailed it take after take.”

"Danny created an environment that allowed a lot of creative exploration,

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