CinemaCon: Kung Fu Panda 2 and Puss In Boots Interviews


Part of Paramount Pictures’ lengthy presentation at CinemaCon last night was showing footage from DreamWorks Animation’s upcoming movies Kung Fu Panda 2 and Puss In Boots, similar to what we saw a few weeks back, only this time it was shown in RealD 3D and it looked a bit more finished than what we saw.

Instead of showing the entire first half of the movie again, they showed three action clips from Kung Fu Panda 2, essentially the first fight with the wolf bandits, Po and the Furious Five sneaking into Shen’s village and the resulting chase, and their confrontation with Shen’s cannons. Afterwards, Jack Black came out and did a bunch of improvised schtick, singing a bit of Celine Dion in homage to the Colosseum’s ongoing resident and doing somersaults and some faux kung fu moves to entertain the audience of exhibitors.

The Puss In Boots footage actually went on longer than what we had already seen–again, see our earlier preview–showing Puss go into the backroom after Kitty Softpaws once she reveals her identity, and he gets all amorous proclaiming he’s a lover not a fighter. There he encounters his former friend Humpty Alexander Dumpty, voiced by Zach Galifianakis, and we learn a bit about their relationship, and the three of them try work out how they’re going to resolve the problem of Kitty trying to steal Puss’ score, Jack and Jill’s magic beans. They begrudgingly agree to work together to get the magic beans they’ll need to steal the giant’s golden eggs, and that pretty much sets up the central plot of the movie. The footage looked absolutely fantastic in 3D though, and it really helped to capture the mood they’re going for with the spin-off compared to the “Shrek” films.

Before the presentation, we had a chance to talk to Jack Black, Kung Fu Panda 2 director Jennifer Yuh Nelson and Puss in Boots director Chris Miller about their respective movies as well as the potential for sequels being that DreamWorks Animation has already announced they plan on doing three or four more “Kung Fu Panda” movies after the upcoming sequel.

Jack Black

We asked him whether kids tend to recognize him more as Po for his voice than for his face, about what kind of training he did for the role, whether he’s up for voicing Po for three or four or however many movies is necessary–he actually gives a good analogy for each movie being like the season of a television show–whether he jots down ideas for improvised dialogue he might want to do in future movies, and Po’s placement with the Furious Five compared to the first movie.

Jennifer Yuh Nelson

We talked to her about surprised we were about the amount of action in the sequel, moving into the director’s chair for the sequel, delving into Po’s past, whether she was surprised by how people have reacted to the first movie, how far in advance they’ve been planning for future “Kung Fu Panda” movies and how she feels about showing unfinished footage from a movie in progress.

Chris Miller

We asked him when he found out that Jeffrey Katzenberg wanted to do a Puss in Boots spin-off prequel and that he was going to direct it, how Guillermo del Toro became involved in the project as a producer, and whether there’s room for more Puss In Boots adventures if this one does well, though he thinks a crossover with Kung Fu Panda may be difficult.

Look for more interviews from CinemaCon in the coming day!

Thanks to Peter Sciretta from /Film for his contribution to the above interviews.

Kung Fu Panda 2 opens on May 26 and Puss in Boots opens on November 4.

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Weekend: Nov. 21, 2019, Nov. 24, 2019

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