If you grew up in 90s like I did, you probably spent your allowance on some exceedingly uncomfortable plastic inflatable furniture, wasted countless minutes AIM chatting with SmarterChild, and rocked out to Weezer's Blue Album, like I did. You probably also saw Dumb and Dumber. A few times.
All of the above are reasons why I was extremely stoked to hear that the Mutts Cuts van was coming to NYC. Not only would I be able to pet the furry van in all its glory, but I would also be able to live out my childhood fantasies of pissing in a bottle and giving it to a cop. OK, that last bit didn't happen, though I did pet that van intensively, as if it were my own. Behind the ears and everything.
When you hear a vehicle like this is coming to NYC, the obvious first-stop on the docket is NYC's motoring mecca, Classic Car Club Manhattan. Walking into CCC I was greeted to quite a sight, in all its shag cloth glory, there it was. The song Mr. Boombastic bumped through my head as I walked 'round and 'round this dog styled effigy. True to form the van was all ready to groom some furry friends, with enough dog food on board to keep a whole kennel at bay. But cleaning dogs wasn't on the agenda.
After shooting this angle and that angle and exhausting our short supply of dog-van jokes, we hit the road. Driving a Ferrari or McLaren in NYC will get you some glances from pedestrians and cab drivers, maybe an
un approving nod here or there, but NYC tends to be pretty jaded when it comes to high end cars on the streets. The Mutts Cutts van evoked some of the most emotional responses from on-lookers I've ever seen. Seeing a person's face go from shock, to recognition, to reminiscence, to pure adoration was sublime.
We contacted Production Designer Aaron Osborne for more details on the van and how it came to be:
What was the original platform for the van?
The body is a '84 Ford Econoline van.
How long did it take to create?
When all is said and done about a month.
Did you make more than one?
Well it is suddenly showing up in Canada, Ireland, and the remote islands in Fiji!!!
So while there can only be one Mutt Cutts there might be a few out there, and yes we were involved in most!
Have you made any other notable film cars?
On "that's my boy" with Adam Sandler, I recreated Vanilla Ice's Mustang from "Ice Ice Baby" as well as:
Fraida Felcher's (Kathleen Turner) van also in "Dumb and Dumber To"…
Really since I started designing movies with "Don't Be a Menace in South Central While Drinking Your Juice in The Hood" where I found myself outfitting Janet Jackson's postal van with large scale soviet missiles and putting dayton rims on wheel chairs, I find every show provides amazing car challenges, BUT none more iconic than the Mutts Cutts van.
But for the Mutt's Cutts van..
I went to Cyril O'neill at Ghostlight Industries, they have made a ton of amazing cars. His shop was amazing and they provided great knowledge and support.
What was the toughest part of this build?
Finding the proper shag carpeting and getting that mutt to not overheat.
What was your favorite part of of this build?
As the production designer of the movie my favorite part was finding the original van and using it in the film, as you can see by the poster that baby rides again! No one knew where it was, it was like a detective job finding that thing….. And when we did….. It was like a giant chia pet with moss and mold growing on it for twenty years.
Dumb & Dumber To hits theaters everywhere Friday November 14th.