DreamWorks Plans Eight Bigscreen Toons Through 2012

DreamWorks Animation is going to bring a mix of original films, sequels and spinoffs to the big screen, announcing it will release eight animated feature films through 2012.

Next year, 2010, will see the studio release three feature films, starting with How to Train Your Dragon on March 26. Based on the book by Cressida Cowell, the film tells the tale of an unlikely boy hero and his equally unlikely dragon companion, and is directed by Chris Sanders (Lilo & Stitch).

May 21, 2010, will see the release of Shrek Forever After, the fourth feature in the popular series. Directed by Mike Mitchell (Sky High, Surviving Christmas), the all-star voice cast will return for this sequel.

Oobermind, formerly known as Master Mind, stars Robert Downey Jr. as a mad scientist who finds life a little dull after defeating his arch-nemesis hero. Tina Fey also lends a voice to the movie, which is set to open Nov. 5, 2010.

For 2011, DreamWorks will release two features. Jennifer Yuh Nelson will direct the sequel Kung Fu Panda: The Kaboom of Doom, starring the original voice cast and due June 3, 2011.

That will be followed Nov. 4, 2011, by The Guardians, in which Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, Jack Frost and the Sandman unite to save the world from a bogeyman villain. The Guardians is based on an upcoming book series by William Joyce and will be directed by Jeff Lynch (Futurama, The Simpsons).

Spinning off of the Shrek series is Puss in Boots. Directed by Chris Miller (Bolt), the film will see Antonio Banderas return to voice the role, joined by Salma Hayek. The film is due March 30, 2012.

A mere two months later, the studio will release the third film in the Madagascar series. Directed once again by Eric Darnell, the sequel will see the former zoo animals make their way to Europe. The film is due out May 27, 2012.

And on Nov. 12, 2012, the studio will release a feature film that will be chosen from three projects currently in development. The potential candidates include:

The Croods, a caveman comedy from Chris Sanders and Kirk DeMicco that was once set up with Aardman Animations.

Truckers, based on the first book in Terry Pratchett’s The Bromeliad Trilogy about a society of tiny beings that live in a department store. The script is being written by Simon Beaufoy, who won the Oscar this year for Slumdog Millionaire.

‘ And a film about ghosts, tentatively titled Super Secret Ghost Project.