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Will Arnett Gets Squirrelly in the Animated 'The Nut Job'

Matt McDaniel
Yahoo Movies
January 13, 2014

When we hear squirrels, it sounds like a bunch of random, high-pitched squeaks. But maybe to their ears they speak with the deep, sonorous tones of, say, a Will Arnett.

Arnett introduces our exclusive clip from his upcoming animated comedy "The Nut Job," where he provides the voice of Surly the squirrel. Surly accidentally torches the tree in the park that provides the food for him and his furry friends, so he hatches a scheme to bust into a nut store and stuff his face (literally, because he's a squirrel). But first he has to contend with the store's guard dog, Precious the Pug, voiced by Maya Rudolph (Arnett's former co-star on TV's "Up All Night").

Arnett has always had a sideline gig doing voice-over work. His first paying job was for a health insurance company in Boston when he was 23 years old, but he already had a low, gravelly voice that belied his age. He's played supporting roles in several animated films in the past, including "Ratatouille," "Monsters vs. Aliens," "Horton Hears a Who" and "Despicable Me."

Surly (Will Arnett) and Precious (Maya Rudolph) in 'The Nut Job'
Surly (Will Arnett) and Precious (Maya Rudolph) in 'The Nut Job'

Arnett was signed to provide the voice of K.I.T.T. the talking car for the remake of "Knight Rider," but the show had a product placement deal with Ford which conflicted with his contract as the voice of GMC trucks. Val Kilmer eventually took that part, but Arnett will shortly be taking on one of Kilmer's past roles; he'll be the voice of Batman in February's "The Lego Movie."

"The Nut Job" will be in theaters on Friday.