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DreamWorks Animation executives spent the bulk of Thursday morning’s panel previewing the studio’s two major upcoming features: The holiday superhero team-up Rise of the Guardians, starring Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy and The Easter Bunny on a world-saving mission; and The Croods, a family adventure set in caveman times featuring the voices of Emma Stone, Nicolas Cage and Ryan Reynolds. But the panel also took the opportunity to drop a few details about highly anticipated features that will make DW fans jump for joy.
Bill Damaschke, co-president of production at DreamWorks Animation, was asked how many movies the studio currently has on its plate at the moment. He estimated that DreamWorks has 10 movies in production, with an additional eight or nine in advanced pre-production. The biggest has to be Kung Fu Panda 3, which Damaschke reluctantly confirmed during the Q-and-A portion of the presentation.
Specifically, a woman approached the mic and referenced a scene after the credits of Kung Fu Panda 2 that teased a significant event from Po’s past. Does that mean a sequel is coming? "Yes, there will be a Kung Fu Panda 3," Damaschke confirmed, though he gave no other details beyond that.
Madagascar director Tom McGrath also told the panel attendees that he’ll bring a penguin movie to theaters in 2015. And McGrath should know, as he voices lead penguin Skipper in the films. It’s tentatively titled The Penguins of Madagascar, though I’m not sure how concrete that is.
Two other projects were briefly teased. Damaschke said DreamWorks will have a Mr. Peabody and Sherman movie coming to theaters next Christmas, which will be based on the vintage Rocky and Bullwinkle cartoons. And they talked in short about Me and My Shadow, a movie due in theaters in 2014 that will blend 2D and 3D animation techniques, because the story required it. Right now, Kate Hudson and Bill Hader will lend their voices to that production.