Who does not remember “D’Artacão and the Three Mosques”? If you were born in the 70s, 80s or even 90s, you probably remember how to sing the opening song of this cartoon that shaped several generations. Inspired by the French musketeer D’Artagnan, D’Artacão and the Three Musketeers followed the comic adventures and misadventures of D’Artacão after he moved to France to become one of the king’s musketeers. There he met new Muscat friends: Aramis, Mordos and Dogos. He also falls in love with the beautiful Julieta, the queen’s maid.
In Portugal, “D’Artacão e os Três Moscãoteiros” was originally broadcast on RTP1 in 1983. It then aired on several other channels, such as TVI in 1995, Canal Panda in 1996, and again on Disney Channel in 2010 and 2011 in 2004 and 2009.
The famous mosquito nets are back in Portugal, this time in cinemas. “D’Artacão and the three Moscãoteiros – The Film” opens on Thursday, July 29th. Nuno Markl will play the Mouse Pom, D’Artacão’s best friend. Maria Emília Correia and Francisco Pestana give characters from around the world a voice again after doing the same thing in the original series. You will play the queen mother or father of D’Artacão. D’Artacão is played by Vasco Palmeirim, who spoke to NiT about this premiere and revealed some of the secrets of the new film.
Tell us a little about the story of this new film.
This is basically an adaptation of the original story by Alexandre Dumas (via D’Artagnan) and is the story of a little dog who goes to Paris on two missions: getting into the mosquito nets and at the same time trying to figure out who it is, who the father set up. D’Artacão’s father is a former mosquito net who was asked to leave the mosquito nets for some reason. The father always said he wasn’t to blame and someone hired him. In between there are many adventures: As soon as he arrives in Paris, he meets Julia and falls madly in love with her, gets to know the mosquito nets in a somewhat unconventional way and plans duels with everyone on the same day, and from there it’s an adventure that too Includes power games and twists in the plot. It’s a really fun hour and a half story that kids will love.
Do you think this project will attract a new audience?
We’re going to be talking about two different audiences here: first, the audience that saw it, that’s my audience, the 80s audience that D’Artacão saw and fell in love with and still remembers the song, for example . I want to honor D’Artacão. I don’t want them to say “it’s not the same”, I want it to be the same. This is then the first audience. It is you who are now going to the cinema with the second audience, your children, and you may be able to find a place in your heart for D’Artacão and his friends because I think D’Artacão has many values in Him. Great for kids: loyalty, sincerity, camaraderie, thirst for adventure, not being afraid of anything and that’s very important for kids today.
Besides D’Artacão, what other characters did you accompany in your childhood?
Bugs Bunny came with me. Coyote and Bip Bip have always fascinated me, I cried with laughter. There are very outstanding cartoons. I have cartoons and comics that have been with me all my life and that’s why I see with great pleasure that D’Artacão is back. It’s like being back, like it’s never gone.
D’Artacão’s music is the music everyone knows.
Everyone knows it, but there is something very funny: nobody remembers learning to do it. You’ve heard it so many times that the song suddenly crosses your mind and that’s another factor that shows the power of this cartoon and story. Nobody has ever forgotten D’Artacão’s music, that’s right.
How did you feel when you were offered this role?
I felt honored, I was glad that they were thinking of me and then I felt the burden of responsibility because giving D’Artacão a voice, like an Angry Bird, for example, is something newer. There is a very strong emotional charge at D’Artacão. I was very happy, took responsibility and wasn’t afraid, but I didn’t want to imitate the original either.
If you compare this experience to previous voice over experiences, do you think this was more difficult because of the pandemic and the weight of the character itself?
Personally, I looked at this character like any other I’ve ever made, doing my best, sometimes listening and saying that I can do better because I always want to do my best. Regarding D’Artacão, I will not deny that there was a very strong additional emotional weight because I remember D’Artacão perfectly because it was something that came with me.
Have you tested your D’Artacão voice in front of your friends and family?
No no no. One of the things I did was not try to voice D’Artacão. My D’Artacão voice is the one that came out of me, it is a voice with emotional accents, from time to time it growls, sometimes it is gentle, it is a very versatile dog in terms of emotions. At D’Artacão it was very much me too, it was natural. I think people will quickly realize that Vasco is doing it, but most of all I want people to understand that it is D’Artacão.
Do you think that when your children see the film, they immediately recognize their father’s voice?
I think so. The eldest quickly realizes that it is me. The other day I gave the “Sing” on SIC – it was seven o’clock in the morning and I was already up because I have two children – and my son, who was having breakfast, said: “Dad, it’s you”. And he didn’t even watch the movie. They already record their father’s voice from time to time. It happened to me that I have friends of mine who, driven by their children, go to the cinema and only at the end realize that it is me when I tell them. It’s really fun to see that sometimes it’s the kids who hear the voices. As for my children, I think they will understand that it is the Father who gives a voice.
They were considered to be the public figure with whom the Portuguese most sympathize. How did you find out about this news?
I thought it was impossible. I was already very well placed, was already third and I think second, but I was always behind Ricardo Araújo Pereira. Now I was the first to think something was wrong. But then I thought about it and came to a very funny conclusion: The guys feel sorry for me, not because I put a picture like that, but because I’m on the radio in the morning, then I’m in “Joker”, then I’m in “The Voice” means that it’s more about my work and what I do in my work than about what I show on a daily basis.
Thanks to these films, even children feel with you.
Exactly. You empathize with the voice and then find out who the person behind the voice is. I not only accompany a lot of the children’s things, but at some point they also see the cartoons and say: “This is Vasco who makes the Christmas carols” or “This is Vasco’s voice that gives the ‘Joker'”. It’s great not only to please the older ones when they take the kids to school or at breakfast, but also the younger ones who drive to school and listen to Rádio Comercial or when they go to the movies and see Palmeirim gives this dog a voice.