Three of the nine will be sequels to previous successes (Kung Fu Panda 2, Madagascar 3, and How To Train Your Dragon 2), and the rest will be originals – albeit, with Puss In Boots being a spin-off from the Shrek franchise.
The release schedule looks as follows:
– Kung Fu Panda 2, 26th May, 2011
– Puss In Boots, 4th November, 2011
– Madagascar 3, 8th June, 2012
– Rise Of The Guardians, 21st November, 2012
– The Croods, 1st March, 2013
– Turbo, 7th June, 2013
– My And My Shadow, 8th November, 2013
– Mr. Peabody & Sherman, 21st March, 2014
– How To Train Your Dragon 2, 20th June, 2014
Looking down the list, it doesn’t seem too far-fetched a prediction to expect the studio to have nine very successful films on their hands. The three sequels will naturally attract and build on the original audience, and Puss In Boots will undoubtedly bring in the Shrek fans amongst us.
I personally was a really big fan of the original Kung Fu Panda film, and am very much looking forward to seeing Po and the Furious Five back in action in two and a half months. The original cast will be reprising their roles, now fighting against the evil Lord Shen, peacock emperor, voiced by Gary Oldman, who of course has much experience playing darker, more sinister characters.
The third in the Madagascar series definitely looks promising at the moment. The second in the series, Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa, didn’t bring in as much as the first did at the box office in the States, but made up for it by bringing in more than the first worldwide, and personally I think both are excellent films. Interestingly, DreamWorks’ statement does not mention director Eric Darnell as being one of the scriptwriters this time around. Instead, that duty has been given to Noah Baumbach, who has proven his dexterity in writing with past films like The Squid And The Whale and Fantastic Mr. Fox.
Of all of the nine films, though, the one I am most looking forward to – and sadly, one I will have to wait another two and a half years to see – is Me And My Shadow, which DreamWorks has previously announced as being a combination of CG and traditional animation. Though the cast’s voices are yet to be announced, Mark Dindal is signed on to direct, whose previous experience in both fields with Chicken Little and The Emperor’s New Groove would certainly suggest this is going to be a film worth waiting for. It tells the story of:
“Shadow Stan, an extremely frustrated shadow who yearns for a dynamic life but happens to be stuck with Stanley Grubb, the world’s most boring human. Finally pushed to the brink, Shadow Stan breaks the singular rule of the Shadow World — “They lead, we follow” — and takes control of Stanley!”
Something about that one rule of the Shadow World, “They lead, we follow,” just makes me really want to see this film.
So it looks to be an incredibly successful few years ahead for DreamWorks Animation. They will be releasing at least two films a year until 2014, with everything kicking off for them in a couple of months’ time with Kung Fu Panda 2. I must confess, I’m a little bit sad that the sequel no longer has the subtitle “The Kaboom Of Doom” but I am nonetheless very much looking forward to its release in May. The first full trailer was released a few days ago, coupled with the few teaser posters that have surfaced in recent months, suggest that the team will be returning with another great movie that almost everyone will enjoy.
For a full run-down of the rest of the films, you can read the descriptions in the following press release:
DreamWorks Animation SKG, Inc. (Nasdaq: DWA) today announced its feature film release slate through 2014. The Company’s current plan features six original films and is anchored by three sequels based on its hit Kung Fu Panda, Madagascar and How to Train Your Dragon franchises.
DreamWorks Animation’s theatrical release schedule is currently planned as follows: Kung Fu Panda 2 for May 26, 2011 and Puss In Boots for November 4, 2011; Madagascar 3 for June 8, 2012 and Rise of the Guardians for November 21, 2012; The Croods for March 1, 2013, Turbo for June 7, 2013 and Me and My Shadow for November 8, 2013; Mr. Peabody & Sherman for March 21, 2014 and How to Train Your Dragon 2 for June 20, 2014.
At DreamWorks Animation, our creative ambition has never been greater and the release schedule we’re unveiling today is designed to give our movies the time and resources they need to realize their full potential so each one can become a true event for our audiences,” said Jeffrey Katzenberg, Chief Executive Officer of DreamWorks Animation.
“Thanks to the extraordinary talent base at DreamWorks Animation today, our feature film slate is full of both original story ideas and exciting new franchise chapters that will form a solid foundation for the studio’s creative output through 2014,” added Bill Damaschke, the Company’s Chief Creative Officer.
Below is additional detail on the feature films that comprise DreamWorks Animation’s theatrical release schedule:
Kung Fu Panda 2 will be released on May 26, 2011. It is being directed by Jennifer Yuh Nelson (Kung Fu Panda), produced by Melissa Cobb (Kung Fu Panda) and written by Jonathan Aibel & Glenn Berger (Kung Fu Panda). It stars Jack Black, Angelina Jolie, Dustin Hoffman, Gary Oldman, Jackie Chan, Seth Rogen, Lucy Liu, David Cross, James Hong and Michelle Yeoh. In the sequel, Po is living his dream as The Dragon Warrior, protecting the Valley of Peace alongside his friends and fellow kung fu masters, The Furious Five. But Po’s life of awesomeness is threatened by the emergence of a formidable villain, who plans to use a secret, unstoppable weapon to conquer China and destroy kung fu. Po must look to his past and uncover the secrets of his mysterious origins… only then will he be able to unlock the strength he needs to succeed.
Puss In Boots will be released on November 4, 2011. It is directed by Chris Miller (Shrek the Third) and produced by Joe Aguilar (Merry Madagascar) and Latifa Ouaou (Monsters vs. Aliens). It is being written by Tom Wheeler (The Cape). Andrew Adamson (Shrek, The Chronicles of Narnia) and Guillermo del Toro (Pan’s Labyrinth) are serving as executive producers on the film, which stars Antonio Banderas, Salma Hayek, Zach Galifianakis, Billy Bob Thornton and Amy Sedaris. Way before he ever met Shrek, the legendary Puss In Boots goes on a heroic journey, teaming up with mastermind Humpty Dumpty and the street-savvy Kitty Softpaws to steal the famed Goose that lays the Golden Eggs. It’s the adventure of nine lifetimes!
Madagascar 3 will be released on June 8, 2012. It is directed by Eric Darnell (Madagascar, Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa) and produced by Mireille Soria (Madagascar, Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa) and Mark Swift (Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa). It is being written by Noah Baumbach (Fantastic Mr. Fox) and once again stars Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, David Schwimmer, Jada Pinkett Smith, Sacha Baron Cohen, Cedric The Entertainer and Andy Richter. Alex the Lion, Marty the Zebra, Gloria the Hippo, and Melman the Giraffe are still fighting to get home to their beloved Big Apple and of course, King Julien, Maurice and the Penguins are all along for the comedic adventure. Their journey takes them through Europe where they find the perfect cover: a traveling circus, which they reinvent — Madagascar style.
Rise of the Guardians, based on the forthcoming books by William Joyce, will be released on November 21, 2012. It is directed by Peter Ramsey (Monsters vs. Aliens: Mutant Pumpkins from Outer Space) and co-directed by Joyce. The film is being produced by Christina Steinberg (Bee Movie, National Treasure) and Nancy Bernstein, long-time head of Production at DreamWorks Animation. Rise of the Guardians is being written by Pulitzer Prize winner David Lindsay-Abaire (Rabbit Hole) and executive produced by Guillermo del Toro and Michael Siegel. It stars Chris Pine, Alec Baldwin, Hugh Jackman, Isla Fisher and Jude Law. More than a collection of the well-known childhood legends, Rise of the Guardians is an epic adventure that tells the story of a group of heroes — each with extraordinary abilities. When an evil spirit known as Pitch lays down the gauntlet to take over the world, the immortal Guardians must join forces for the first time to protect the hopes, beliefs and imagination of children all over the world.
The Croods will be released on March 1, 2013. It is being written and directed by two-time Academy Award® nominee Chris Sanders (How to Train Your Dragon, Lilo & Stitch) and Kirk DeMicco (Space Chimps) and produced by Kristine Belson (How to Train Your Dragon) and Jane Hartwell (Shrek). It stars Nicolas Cage, Ryan Reynolds, Emma Stone, Catherine Keener, Clark Duke and Cloris Leachman. The Croods is a comedy adventure that takes us back to a previously undiscovered era in the history of our planet known as the Croodaceous, when nature was still a work-in-progress… full of never-before- seen creatures and landscapes. Audiences will relate to the hilarious family antics as an imaginative and resourceful newcomer helps the Croods navigate their way through the fantastic world beyond their cave.
Turbo will be released on June 7, 2013. It is being directed by David Soren (Merry Madagascar), who first brought the project to the studio, and produced by Lisa Stewart (Monsters vs. Aliens). It is being written by Darren Lemke (Shrek Forever After) together with Soren. Turbo tells the story of an ordinary garden snail with an impossible dream: to become the fastest snail in the world. When a freak accident gives him extraordinary speed, Turbo sets out to try to make this dream come true.
In Me and My Shadow, which will be released on November 8, 2013, the studio will pioneer a groundbreaking combination of both CG and traditional animation techniques seamlessly together throughout the film. The film is directed by Mark Dindal (Chicken Little, The Emperor’s New Groove) and produced by Melissa Cobb (Kung Fu Panda, Kung Fu Panda 2) and Teresa Cheng (Shr ek Forever After, Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron). It is being written by Tom Astle and Matt Ember (Get Smart). Me and My Shadow tells the story of Shadow Stan, an extremely frustrated shadow who yearns for a dynamic life but happens to be stuck with Stanley Grubb, the world’s most boring human. Finally pushed to the brink, Shadow Stan breaks the singular rule of the Shadow World — “They lead, we follow” — and takes control of Stanley!
Mr. Peabody & Sherman will be released on March 21, 2014. It is directed by Rob Minkoff (Stuart Little, The Lion King) and produced by Jason Clark (Monster House, Stuart Little) and Denise Nolan Cascino (Megamind). It is being written by Craig Wright (United States of Tara, Six Feet Under). Robert Downey Jr., Susan Downey, Bullwinkle Studio’s Tiffany Ward and Classic Media’s Eric Ellenbogen are serving as executive producers on the film, which stars two-time Academy Award® nominee Robert Downey Jr. Based on Jay Ward’s classic cartoon, Mr. Peabody is the world’s smartest person who happens to be a dog. He and his “pet” boy Sherman discover that someone has stolen their time traveling WABAC machine and is changing moments in history to disastrous and comical results. It’s up to this most unexpected of father-son teams to somehow put a stop to this villain before his actions destroy the space-time continuum in Mr. Peabody & Sherman.
How to Train Your Dragon 2, the sequel to the Academy Award®-nominated original film from 2010, will be released on June 20, 2014. It is being directed and written by Dean DeBlois (How to Train Your Dragon) and produced by Bonnie Arnold (How to Train Your Dragon). Also based on the book series by Cressida Cowell, the sequel is being executive produced by Chris Sanders (How to Train Your Dragon) together with DeBlois. How to Train Your Dragon 2 again stars Jay Baruchel, Gerard Butler, Craig Ferguson, America Ferrera, Jonah Hill, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, TJ Miller and Kristen Wiig.