Wednesday 12 December 2012

DreamWorks Preview Their 2013 Movies

DreamWorks, fresh off a critical hit, if not a commercial one (yet), with Rise of the Guardians, are looking forward to 2013, where - under their new distribution deal with Fox - they will release three films. Towards the end of last week, some post surfaced about said films, which have been previewed for press at the Fox campus.

First of all Chris Sanders and Kirk DeMicco's The Croods, was previewed for the attendees, and according to IGN, DreamWorks showed half an hour of the film, in 3D! Most of what we're told isn't anything new (tallying with what we saw in the new trailer last week), but there are a few interesting titbits from it. SPOILERS ahead, so read on with caution.

The film will have a traditionally-animated opening (think the hand-drawn segments in Kung Fu Panda 2), narrated by Emma Stone (who voices rebellious teen daughter Eep), and "designed to look like a moving cave painting". IGN praises the film's animation, and totes a quote from co-director Sanders:

"It's a time of great experimentation. It's like Mother Nature's R&D period. You're going to see a lot of animals and creatures that are either on their way to becoming extinct or animals that you're going to recognize today."

The Croods also stars the voices of Nicolas Cage and Ryan Reynolds, and is DreamWorks' first release of 2013, due out on 22nd March.

We get more interesting information about the Shrek house's subsequent two films though. Firstly, Turbo, also featuring the voice of Ryan Reynolds, which IGN describes as "a bit like A Bugs Life meets Cars." Director David Soren (Merry Madagascar) described the film as:

"a mash-up of superhero and racing genres. At its heart it's an underdog story in the vein of classics like Rocky, The Karate Kid and, my personal favorite, Breaking Away."

IGN have a fantastic breakdown of the footage they were showed, I'll summarise and quote it here, but be sure to head over there to read it in full. The titular Turbo loves to race, but, being a snail, isn't that good at it, something his realist brother Chet (Paul Giamatti) reminds him of. Turbo, when gazing onto a sea of cars, falls onto a truck:

"When he is sucked in to the engine of one of the competing cars, Turbo takes an unscheduled nitrous bath and comes out glowing, with his very DNA altered. Not only is he granted super speed, but like Spider-Man or the Fly, he emerges with many of the characteristics of the suped-up race car. His eyes are headlights, his body is equipped with an alarm and his heiny has tail lights.

"Later, Turbo and his brother Chet have been captured by Tito (Michael Pena), brother number one of the Dos Bros taco truck. Luis Guzmán voices brother number two. The Dos Bros storyline will likely parallel Chet and Turbo’s, with Guzmán as the practical business man side of the coin and Pena as the dreamer.

Tito takes Turbo and Chet to an underground snail racing competition where Turbo is finally able to show off his extraordinary abilities. Blown away, Tito is certain he can make his fortune off of the little snail that could. His brother advises him to focus on selling tacos."

Turbo also stars the voices of Samuel L. Jackson, Snoop Dog and others. It certainly sounds interesting, and I'm eager to see what DreamWorks do with it, but it does sound a lot sillier in premise than some of DreamWorks' recent more outstanding work. Turbo speeds into cinemas on 19th July, 2013.

Finally, and most excitingly, we got a hefty dose of plot details from the Rob Minkoff (The Lion King) directed Mr. Peabody & Sherman. The film, an adaptation of the characters from The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show, stars Modern Family's Ty Burrell (who was recently cast as the villian in The Muppets 2, the role previously linked to Christoph Waltz) as genius talking dog, Mr. Peabody, and Max Charles (The Amazing Spider-Man) as Sherman, the young boy adopted by Peabody.

The characters are moderately redesigned for their CG makeovers, but still retain their key characteristics -and the WABAC machine's still in there. io9 have a great breakdown of the footage shown to them:

"The movie starts with another adventure, as Mr. Peabody is guiding Sherman through the French Revolution. Through a cake mishap, Mr. Peabody is headed towards the guillotine. He escapes and then retells his brilliant plan, Sexy New Robert Downey Jr. Sherlock Holmes-style — complete with instant replay diagram. It's adorable.

They hop into the WABAC machine, after learning a valuable lesson and head home for an early bedtime. Why? Because tomorrow is Sherman's first day of school. Sadly, Sherman's first day does not go that great. He inadvertently shows up another classmate (the blonde Penny). This leads to a fight. Penny makes fun of Sherman's father being a dog, and then calls Sherman a dog himself. Sherman retaliates by biting her.

"Child Protective Services are called. Mr. Peabody is brought in and the CPS states that if Penny's parents want to press charges, Mr. Peabody will lose custody of Sherman. Mr. Peabody is distraught and appalled by Sherman's behavior. But he goes silent when he finds out this whole thing was spurred by the "dog" insult. The next logical step? Invite Penny and her family over for dinner. While Mr. Peabody wines and dines Penny's Parents, Sherman shows off the WABACK [sic] machine. And you can only guess what happens next. Penny gets lost, and it's up to Mr. Peabody and Sherman to get her back, before her parents find out."

Sounds great! Anything with Ty Burrell, Rob Minkoff and DreamWorks sounds like a guaranteed winner to me. The film will also visit "ancient Egypt, the Italian Renaissance and the Trojan War" according to Minkoff. It will also be preceded by a brand-new Rocky and Bullwinkle short, directed by Gary Trousdale (The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Shrek the Halls).

Mr. Peabody and Sherman arrives in just under eleven months, on 1st November, 2013.

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