Big Plans for DreamWorks Animation from ShoWest

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We have a whopping long write-up of the International Day presentations from ShoWest to come, but at the Paramount Pictures International presentation, President Andrew Cripps said that DreamWorks Animation was very optimistic that their summer animated movie Kung Fu Panda will be the “Next Shrek” and it’s a big movie for DreamWorks, not only being their first movie that will be rolling out in Digital 3D and on IMAX screens, but also because they’re hoping for it to be a franchise ala Shrek and Madagascar with Cripps hinting that they’d like to produce one, two or more sequels if it does well.

The newest thing that Paramount had to show at their International Day presentation was a teaser for the sequel to DreamWorks’ 2005 animated hit Madagascar, which was originally going to be called Madagascar: The Crate Escape, but is now rumored to have a name change to “Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa.” The teaser started with Ben Stiller’s Alex the Lion and Jada Pinket’s Gloria singing the “I Like to Move It” song as the foursome say goodbye to their lemur friends in Madagascar, but then King Julien (voiced by Sacha Baron Cohen) announces that he’ll be going with them along with his trusty second Maurice, and they all board on the plane flown by the penguins. The plane then runs into problems and crashes (presumably back in Africa) and they’re all stranded again with the closing gag being Alex asking how long it would take to fix and the penguins telling him “6 to 9 months” which he misinterprets as “69 months” and suggests that number seems pretty random, at which point one of the penguins pulls out a big knife. One has to assume that this teaser or some variation will appear with Paramount’s summer movies.

Today, DreamWorks will be previewing their early 2009 animated movie Monsters vs. Aliens in 3D during the ShoWest Opening Ceremony and tonight, a lot of people will be seeing Kung Fu Panda in full, plus there’s likely to be a lot of big surprises from Paramount and DreamWorks over the course of the day.

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