COMIC-CON NEWS:DreamWorks Animation Exposed

Animation fans got a peek behind the curtain at DreamWorks’ slate of upcoming animated projects at Comic-Con Int’l 2003 over the weekend. The studio’s booth showcased art from the features Shrek 2 and Sharkslayer, as well as the CG TV series Father of the Pride, being produced by DreamWorks for NBC’s 2004-2005 season.

In addition to the art showcasing the cast of characters from each of the projects, attendees had the opportunity to view conceptual behind-the-scenes art of the sets and character development.

Opening in summer 2004, Shrek 2 continues the adventures of the loveable green ogre, his bride Princess Fiona and his wisecracking friend Donkey. The film reunites cast members Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy and Cameron Diaz, and introduces characters voiced by Antonio Banderas (the Spy Kids trilogy), Julie Andrews (The Sound of Music), John Cleese (Monty Python), Rupert Everett (An Ideal Husband) and Jennifer Saunders (Absolutely Fabulous).

Sharkslayer stars the voice of Will Smith as a nobody fish who becomes somebody by taking credit for the killing of shark, the son of a prominent mob boss voiced by Robert De Niro. The underwater comedy features an all-star cast including Renee Zellweger, Angelina Jolie, Jack Black, Martin Scorsese, Peter Falk, Michael Imperioli, Vincent Pastore, Kevin Pollak, Doug E. Doug and Ziggy Marley. This is the first CG film to be produced out of DreamWorks’ new state-of-the-art pipeline in Glendale, Calif.

Father of the Pride goes behind the scenes of a famous Las Vegas magic act to explore the lives white lions and other animals working for Siegfried and Roy. John Goodman (The Flintstones), Orlando Jones (Drumline), Cheryl Hines (Curb Your Enthusiasm) and Carl Reiner (Ocean’s Eleven) all lend their voices to this computer-animated comedy.

Also in the pipeline at DreamWorks is the CG comedy feature Over the Hedge. Based on the comic strip of the same name by Michael Fry and T. Lewis, the film will feature Jim Carey as the voice of mischievous raccoon R.J. and Garry Shandling as the voice of sensitive turtle Verne. Tim Johnson (Antz, Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas) is directing this story of woodland pals who find a suburban housing development encroaching on their turf and decide to exploit the situation.

Rounding out the slate of animated films currently in production at DreamWorks is the CG comedy/adventure Madagascar. Set to debut in 2005, the film will feature the voices of Ben Stiller, Jada Pinkett Smith, Chris Rock and David Schwimmer in a story about zoo-raised New York City animals set free in the African wilderness.