DREAMWORKS Animation Previews its 2011 Slate

KUNG-FU PANDA 2 and PUSS IN BOOTS took center stage at the recent DreamWorks Animation 2011 preview hosted by DreamWorks partner Jeffrey Katzenberg.

DreamWorks Animation Presents KUNG-FU PANDA 2and PUSS IN BOOTS. *

The DreamWorks Animation preview held at the Director’s Guild of America in Hollywood gathered media from around the world for an event that ushers in “For us,” stated Katzenberg, “the year of awesomeness.”

Jeffrey "One Cool Kat" Katzenberg introduced by Jack Black at DreamWorks 2011 Preview.

KUNG-FU PANDA 2, produced by Melissa Cobb and slated for a summer release, reunites the Furious Five with their now accepted comrade, Po (Jack Black) who is on a journey of personal discovery as he wrestles with his identity. Accepting what he feels is the shocking truth of his lineage, he is now compelled to break the news to his friends, who react with less surprise then he thought to the fact of his adoption.

DreamWorks KUNG-FU PANDA 2 reunites the Furious Five with Master Warrior Po.

As he searches for inner peace, no, not inner pizza, the unbelievable truth of his family, of course, comes raging to the surface and as he struggle with his emotions. He then finds himself on the lonely road to inner peace.

During all this he must travel with the Furious Five to defeat the prideful peacock that unbeknownst to Po holds a mysterious secret of his pedigree. Apparently, as we weren’t shown, it may be the secret that will infuse Po with agility and fighting prowess catapulting him to Master Rank.

KUNG-FU PANDA 2 opens in theaters summer 2011.

“He still is very much a clumsy child in many ways,” stated Jack Black, the voice talent of the much adored character Po who was on hand for the event, “I think that’s the magical dynamic of Po. On the one hand he is the fiercest, most awesome warrior and on the other he is still a clumsy, silly, buffoon."

Jack Black, discussing Po and Jack and the fusing of the two. *


The beloved voice talent that created the franchise is reunited, including Angelina Jolie, Dustin Hoffman, Jackie Chan and to round out the story line, new talent including Gary Oldman, (Air Force One/The Dark Knight) as Lord Shen the evil, rare white Peacock; Michelle Yeoh as The Soothsayer and as the disposed Kung-Fu Masters, Jean Claude Van Damme as Master Croc and Victor Garber as Master Thundering Rhino.

Jeffrey Katzenberg gets up close and personal with his audience during the DreamWorks Animation Preview. *

The martial arts sequences in KUNG-FU PANDA 2 are brought to life by master storyboard artist and Director Jen Yuh. Her skill, talent and admiration for both martial arts and artistic expression have translated from the creative process to the screen. She credits, newcomer Jean Claude Van Damme and Jackie Chan, as creative inspiration in propelling these illustrations forward.

“In this world [The Valley of Peace] that we really overbuilt in the first film,” explained Yuh. “There was far more that no one saw and we found we just wanted to keep going and find out about Po and more about his past and so this is where we went with the sequel.”

Antonio Banderas and his loveable counterpart, PUSS IN BOOTS.

Introducing PUSS IN BOOTS, DreamWorks Animation’s second feature scheduled for November release, Katzenberg stated, “Every year, all of us, I think, wonder, what will come next in the world of CG Animation. It’s been rather consistently now for the better part of ten or twelve years all of us in this business of making these movies raise the bar higher and higher as the tools and technology empower our artists to be doing more incredible things and creating more complex, interesting and beautiful images. We think they are, at least, to our eyes, yet another quantum leap of what we were doing less than a year ago.”

The cute, cuddly, larger than life, Spanish conquistador of a cat, Puss.

“Animation to me,” stated PUSS IN BOOTS Executive Producer Guillermo del Toro, “is a medium but for many years it was treated as a genre and it was treated like a genre for kids and it’s really a medium that allows filming expression unlike any other medium we know.”

PUSS IN BOOTS Director Chris Miller. *

PUSS IN BOOTS Director Chris Miller, introduced his involvement by way of personal fondness “Way back, when SHREK came out in the early 21st century, I think audiences were really attracted to the title character and I think they were really attracted to the extended Fairytale family and in that line up was PUSS IN BOOTS.” He continued, “I’ve worked on all those films and always was most attracted to Puss, He is the cool character, larger than life, full of bravado, a really bold character, intriguing and has an epic origin story. The film chronicles his life from the time he is a wee little kitten right up to the moment where he finally earns his status as the legendary PUSS IN BOOTS. We’re really going for legend here. We’re very pleased and proud that we have Antonio Banderas reprising his role.”

Antonio Banderas, the smooth, seductive voice talent of Puss. *

PUSS IN BOOTS re-introduces the audience to the loveable, Spanish conquistador of a cat, who with one look can melt the coldest of hearts or so it would seem.  PUSS IN BOOTS, in the thirteen minutes shown, reveals the early lives of a cat burglar, a wanted man, a fugitive feline and past loves of the Casanova who can dance the Tango with a rose in his teeth and magically you want to join him.  “He is” stated Miller, “half-lover, half-fighter, just a great character and one where you suddenly find yourself slipping into a Spanish accent when you describe him!" 

Puss, a cat burglar, a wanted man, a fugitive feline, a Casanova.

Antonio Banderas, the smooth, seductive voice talent for Puss, was also in attendance, and described, ”Once upon a time, which was about eight years ago, Jeffrey Katzenberg gave me probably one of the best gifts I ever received. It was a little cat.  I had so much fun with this cat over the years and look at him now, a movie star, right here in Hollywood, a superstar. He came to Hollywood a supporting character, like me, and now he has surpassed me into superstardom.”

Antonio Banderas. *

PUSS IN BOOTS also stars the voice talent of Selma Hyack as Kitty Soft Paws, Zach Galifianakis as Humpty-Dumpty, Billy Bob Thornton and Amy Sedaris as legendary outlaws, Jack and Jill.

PUSS IN BOOTS, created by the immortal Charles Perault, and the writing skill of Brian Lynch, David H. Steinberg, Tom Wheeler and Jon Zack, will have audience everywhere purring with pleasure.

For more information on KUNG-FU PANDA 2: http://www.kungfupanda.comhttp://www.kungfupanda.com

The official KUNG-FU PANDA 2 Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/OfficialKungFuPanda2

For more information on PUSS IN BOOTSwww.pussinbootsthemovie.com/   

The official PUSS IN BOOTS Facebook Page:  www.facebook.com/Pussinboots

Images courtesy of DreamWorks Animation: www.dreamworksanimation.com/

Images where noted (*) by Janet Walker courtesy of Pulse Point Productions, Inc., www.pulsepointproductionsinc.com

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