The new Disney film "Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day" is based on the beloved 1972 children's book of the same name.
The film's director, Miguel Arteta, hadn't read the book when the opportunity to direct the film came along. But he says what drew him to it was that he'd grown up watching classic live-action Disney movies like "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang," "That Darn Cat," and "Freaky Friday."
That is, after Arteta (who's known for directing dark, independent comedies like "The Good Girl" and "Cedar Rapids") had gotten over the surprise of being offered the film in the first place.
"What surprised me even more," he says, "is how I responded to the story."
"It ended up being a movie that really represented the mayhem and the messiness of being in a family. And having grown up in a Latin American family of six, I really was like, 'Wow, this really gets the feeling of how messy it is to be in a family.'"
And Arteta was happy to find that Disney "was game to push the boundaries a little more," he says. One example? A surprise appearance from "The Thunder from Down Under."
"To end a Disney movie with Australian strippers," Arteta says, "is definitely a little bit forward-thinking from Disney."