Now that the ink has dried on DreamWorks Animation’s new distribution deal with 20th Century Fox, the studio is ready to show off their slate of upcoming feature films.
However, rather than announce one or two films for next year, DreamWorks has unveiled their entire line-up from 2013 through to 2016, which includes How to Train Your Dragon 2 and 3, Kung-Fu Panda 3, an adaptation of Mr. Peabody and Sherman, a number of original properties, and more.
Last time DreamWorks announced an upcoming slate, they outlined a plan that included releasing up to three films a year. At least one of those films would be an original creation, while the other two would likely be a sequel. However, this new slate will feature many more non-sequels and a few adaptations of popular properties.
March 22, 2013 – The Croods
Nicolas Cage provides the voice of Grug, a pre-historic caveman who, along with his family, is forced to relocate after his home is destroyed. Things get interesting when Grug’s daughter’s boyfriend (Ryan Reynolds) tags along for the journey.
Chris Sanders (How to Train Your Dragon) and Kirk DeMicco are directing the film, with additional voices being provided by Emma Stone, Catherine Keener, Cloris Leachman, and Clark Duke.
July 19, 2013 – Turbo
Here’s the synopsis for Turbo:
Turbo is a snail who dreams of being the greatest racer in the world, just like his hero, 5-time Indianapolis 500 champ, Guy Gagne. His obsession with speed and all things fast has made him an oddity and outsider in the slow and cautious snail community, and a constant embarrassment to his careful older brother, Chet. Turbo desperately wishes he could escape the slow-paced life he’s living. As luck would have it, he gets that chance one fateful day after a freak accident when he suddenly finds himself vested with the power of incredible speed. Turbo embarks on an extraordinary journey to achieve the impossible: racing against the best that IndyCar has to offer.
Ryan Reynolds will be providing the voice for Turbo, and will joined by the likes of Paul Giamatti, Michael Pena, Bill Hader, Richard Jenkins, and Ken Jeong for this “fish out of water” story. The film is based on an original script from David Soren, who will also be directing.
November 1, 2013 – Mr. Peabody & Sherman
A big screen adaptation of the popular Rocky and Bullwinkle side cartoon, Mr. Peabody & Sherman follows the exploits of a boy and his dog. However, in a total role reversal, it is Mr. Peabody the dog that has all the brains, and Sherman the boy that is his loyal companion.
The Lion King director Rob Minkoff will be helming the film, with Ty Burrell (Modern Family) providing the voice for Mr. Peabody and Max Charles (Amazing Spider-Man) voicing Sherman. Rounding out the cast will be celebrated actors like Allison Janey, Richard Jenkins, and Stephen Tobolowsky.
March 14, 2014 – Me and My Shadow
Not much is known about Me and My Shadow, but it will reportedly feature a blend of CGI and hand-drawn animation. The story follows a shadow that “yearns for a more exciting life but happens to be stuck with a timid guy.” Josh Gad, Bill Hader, and Kate Hudson will be providing the voices.
June 20, 2014 – How to Train Your Dragon 2
This sequel to the Oscar-nominated 2011 animated film will further adapt Cressida Crowell’s book series, which follows the adventures of the young Viking Hiccup and his dragon. Director Dean DeBlois teased that with a newfound understanding of dragons, Hiccup will gain an increased curiousity in the world outside of his village, but beyond that, not much is known about the plot.
Along with director DeBlois, Jay Baruchel, Gerard Butler, Craig Ferguson, America Ferrera, and Jonah Hill will all be returning for the sequel.
November 26, 2014 – Happy Smekday!
Based on Adam Rex’s children’s book The True Meaning of Smekday, this film boasts “the two most unlikely fugitives ever to save the planet.” The book’s plot focuses on an alien invasion of Earth as seen through the eyes of an eleven-year-old girl. Eventually, the girl encounters a friendly member of the invading alien race, and the two set off on a quest to save the planet.
Director Tim Johnson will be helming the project, and Rihanna and Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory) have signed on to voice the young girl and the alien respectively.
March 27, 2015 – The Penguins of Madagascar
Like Puss in Boots, the penguins from DreamWorks’ Madagascar series are getting their own spin-off. There’s no word on a story, but we imagine it’ll involve at least one half-baked plan from the penguin leader Skipper.
Madagascar director Tom McGrath has signed on to reprise his role as Skipper, but iSimon J. Smith (Bee Movie) will be directing the spin-off.
June 5, 2015 – Trolls (Working Title)
All we know is that the film will star the popular ’60s (and ’90s) dolls, and that Jason Scwartzman and Chloe Moretz (Kick-Ass) are on board. We shudder at the thought of this becoming a franchise…unless it turns out to be really, really good.
November 6, 2015 – B.O.O.: Bureau of Otherworldly Operations
Seth Rogen leads a yet unannounced cast in a story that follows a ghost who must return to ghost school to hone his craft. There are hints of Monsters, Inc. contained within the concept, but that’s only based on the very brief synopsis.
December 19, 2015 – Mumbai Musical (Working Title)
Mumbai Musical is touted as a Bollywood-style animated musical that is told from the point of view of a group of monkeys. No cast has been announced, but Kevin Lima (A Goofy Movie, Tarzan, Enchanted) will be directing, and Oscar-winning composed A.R. Rahman (Slumdog Millionaire) will be providing the music. This could be one of the more original animated films to hit theaters in quite some time.
March 18, 2016 – Kung Fu Panda 3
Jack Black, Lucy Liu, Seth Rogen, Angelina Jolie, David Cross, and Jackie Chan are expected to return for the third film in DreamWorks juggernaut franchise. Kung Fu Panda 2 director Jennifer Yuh will return to direct, and Guillermo del Toro is reportedly serving as Executive Producer on the film.
June 18, 2016 – How to Train Your Dragon 3
If its predecessor proves successful, DeBlois and the remaining cast members are signed up to return. Considering the scant details we have about How to Train Your Dragon 2, it’s hardly worth speculating about the plot for this third film just yet.
DreamWorks’ slate for 2013-2016 is certainly an eclectic collection of films, ranging from potential awards show contenders to highly-anticipated sequels. Of the films DreamWorks announced in years past but never released, only The Croods survived to make it on this list. This leaves us wondering whether any of these films might never make it past pre-production.
It’s also important to note that a lot of these are tentative release dates and are likely to be tweaked in favor of more favorable positioning. For now, though, these nine films are what moviegoers can look forward to from the studio in the coming years.
Dreamworks’ next film, The Rise of the Guardians, hits theaters November 21st, 2012.