DreamWorks Animation celebrated their new distribution deal with 20th Century Fox by inviting Movie Fanatic to the celebrated studio’s Century City lot for a preview of the three animated films that they will release in 2013. The Croods, Turbo and Mr. Peabody & Sherman all further proved that DreamWorks Animation is not resting on their laurels that was the stellar 2012.
The first film to hit theaters will be the world shown off in the newly released The Croods trailer. Directors Chris Sanders and Kirk DeMicco took the podium and gave us the inside scoop on their caveman family animated adventure starring Nicolas Cage, Emma Stone and Catherine Keener that arrives March 22.
“This is the last chapter of the cavemen. This is the time when humans left their caves and ventured out forever," DeMicco said. The family’s way of life is drastically changing as the topography of the world is shifting. “The Croods is the story of a caveman family that loses their cave and they go on the world's first family road trip to find another," Sanders added.
DeMicco and Sanders then proceeded to describe this fictional world they created entitled the Croodaceous era and its unique capturing of a moment of evolution where animals don’t quite look like what we would think they should. "It's a time of great experimentation," Sanders said. "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."
Stone portrays Eep, daughter of the Cage character Grug, but in the clips we saw, the person who steals the scenes is Cloris Leachman as the clan’s grandmother -- affectionately called Gran.
As their world appears to be falling apart, they come across a more advanced man named Guy (Ryan Reynolds). Stone’s Eep immediately takes a liking to him that threatens Cage’s Grug. Not only has he clearly got a hold on Eep’s heart, but as he is more evolved, Grug is a little threatened personally.
Turbo, hitting theaters July 19, and its creative mind of director David Soren took the stage and let Movie Fanatic know where the inspiration for the snail who dreams of racing in the Indianapolis 500 came from. “My young son is obsessed with fast cars and out at my house, we have a slight snail problem,” Soren said and laughed.
At its heart, Turbo appears to be a classic sports story told in a completely new format. "Turbo is an ordinary garden snail who has dreams of racing glory," Soren said. "The movie itself is a mash-up of superhero and racing genres but, at its heart, it's an underdog story in the vein of classics like Rocky, The Karate Kid and, my personal favorite, Breaking Away."
The protagonist is Turbo, voiced by Reynolds (again!), a garden snail who dreams of racing greatness. His brother Chet (Paul Giamatti) is the voice of reason who gets swept up in Turbo’s adventure, despite his protests. "Turbo's a dreamer and Chet's a realist," Soren said. "Turbo's an outcast in the snail community and Chet's a respected member of it. They both live in the front yard of a house just over a hill in the San Fernando valley."
When Turbo gets lost, he falls smack dab in the middle of a street race. As he gets pulled into the Nitro system, he becomes filled with auto-like powers of speed, but also other traits. He suddenly chirps like a car alarm and lights up in the most brilliant neon blue as he unleashes his uncanny speed.
Tito (Michael Pena) is driving his taco truck when he comes upon Turbo and Chet and brings them to a back alley snail race. When Turbo blows away the competition, his dreams could be knocking on reality.
The visuals of Turbo are exquisite and Movie Fanatic cannot wait to see more when the first trailer premieres.
Finally, the last film in the DreamWorks Animation preview will arrive November 1. It is based on the cult classic animated short Mr. Peabody and Sherman that ran during the Rocky and Bullwinkle Show. Director Rob Minkoff described the honor he has tackling an iconic pair of the world’s most brilliant dog, Mr. Peabody and the boy he adopted, Sherman.
Sherman is voiced by Max Charles while Mr. Peabody is impeccably cast with Modern Family star Ty Burrell taking the part.
From what we saw, a large part of the story brings these two 1950’s cartoon characters firmly into the 21st century as Mr. Peabody introduces his WABAC machine that allows time travel.
"Our movie begins with a typical time-travel adventure with Peabody and Sherman traveling to the French Revolution to meet Marie Antoinette. When Sherman wanders off in search of cake, the pair wind up on the wrong side of the peasant uprising," Minkoff said.
Fans of the original series will be pleased that the look of the animated pair has not changed, and neither is the appearance of the world they inhabit. Although some of the film was still in rough cut form, it’s easy to see that DreamWorks Animation may have another franchise on their hands with Mr. Peabody and Sherman.
All three films will be presented in 3D, as the studio continues to push the envelope of the visual landscape. With the 2012 they had that featured Rise of the Guardians and Madagascar 3, the studio promised that for every year moving forward, they will now release three titles. Our initial impressions of the three previewed today is one of being impressed and inspired.