DreamWorks Animation presented a sneak preview of their 2012 releases Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted and Rise of the Guardians at the DGA Theater in Hollywood. The event included a continental breakfast and a full lunch catered by Wolfgang Puck. Filmmakers from each project were on hand to introduce work in progress clips and 3D trailers.
Cast member, Jada Pickett Smith, joined Madagascar’s three directors, Tom McGrath, Conrad Vernon and Eric Darnell on stage to share her experiences voicing the hippo, Gloria, commenting that it was the “first time I had to work with three directors.”
Although unfinished, Madagascar’s screening showed a continuation of the comic characters from the previous films as well as an addition of an over-the-top new villain Captaine Chanel DuBois voiced by Francis McDormand. Noah Baumbach wrote the screenplay. The film is set for release in June 2012.
Director Peter Ramsey revealed that the books of children’s author William Joyce, who won an Oscar this year for his animated short The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, inspired the ideas behind Rise of the Guardians. The film taps into a child-like world of imagination as it follows the iconic characters of childhood: Santa Claus (Alec Baldwin), the Easter Bunny (Hugh Jackman), the Tooth Fairy (Isla Fisher), the Sandman and Jack Frost (Chris Pine) as they battle the Boogeyman (Jude Law).
Speaking of his first experience working on an animated film, Pine shared that he enjoyed the process, but admitted that is was “one of constant exploration.” Talking about the power of imagination, he explained that his character, Jack Frost, is an outsider who fights against cynicism, commenting, “It is always stirring to get back to childhood.” The film releases Nov. 21, just in time for the holidays.