Comic Con: Dreamworks Animation panel w/ Home and Penguins of Madagascar
Dreamworks brought three films—well, two films and a prop—to Comic Con 2014 and they didn't look terrible! Craig Ferguson was brought out as moderator, and much like the Game of Thrones panel, he completely killed it. He welcomed everyone to Comic Con, "the one week housecats dread all year." He also constantly mocked how terrified everyone is of Jeffrey Katzenberg and kept showing the audience the flowchart Dreamworks gave him of supposedly "hilarious" and "spontaneous" moments that were scheduled to happen during the panel.
They first showed a new trailer, which looked exactly like a Dreamsworks Animation movie—colorful visuals, fart jokes, a sassy fat cat, and dancing to pop music. It set up the basic plot (the alien Boovs take over Earth so they can live here instead) and also showed the main characters of Tip (a human girl voiced by Rihanna) and O (a Boovian voiced by Big Bang Theory's Jim Parsons. The explanation for how O got his name was the highlight of the trailer.
Next up was an extended action-packed clip. The Boovians have taken over the Earth, specifically Paris. The Eiffel Tower now floats above the city in a bubble. Tip and O are being pursued by the other aliens and are completely surrounded. They argue with Steve Martin's Captain Smek in a comic way, featuring a lot of trademark Martin wordplay. Rihanna's character eventually escapes by turning off their gravity machine, causing the Tower to begin spinning out of control. This leads to a chase with hundreds of Boovian bubble cars around the city. The way the ships are set up (literally surrounded by easily popped bubbles) makes for a fun sequence. Also, if the audience's reaction is any indication, the fat cat is going to be the star of the movie.
Not much was said about the ghostly comedy B.O.O., except that it will feature the voices of Seth Rogen, Melissa McCarthy and Bill Murray. They brought out a Hauntlet prop, which is essentially a ghost gun. They promised footage would debut this fall, most likely with PENGUINS.
Having never seen any of the MADAGASCAR movies or TV shows, I was surprised at how funny this spinoff movie might turn out. Having Benedict Cumberbatch co-star as a James Bond-mocking secret agent wolf definitely helps.
Before bringing out stars Benedict Cumberbatch and John Malkovich, filmmakers Tom McGrath, Simon J. Smith and Eric Darnell showed us a quick trailer. Perhaps it was the amount of time we'd spent in Hall H, but the audience really seemed to eat it up:
They also showed three clips and the first five minutes of the film. The first footage featured a fast-paced and rather creative gondola chase through the city of Venice (including the parts without water) between the penguins and the villain's octopus henchmen, while the second showed John Malkovich's Dr. Octavious Brine calls in to the good guy headquarters like a traditional villain but has some technical difficulties. The first few minutes, which were still in its partially finished form, was a prologue that showed how the four penguins initially met and got started on all their adventures. Since I hadn't seen the past films, this really didn't mean much to me. Though I did enjoy the Wener Herzog narration.
The third clip was my favorite thing that we saw. It featured Malkovich's octopus character Dr. Brine in his incognito human form (which looked sort of like Dwight Schrute from The Office). He's interrogating the captured penguins in a very serious way before revealing himself to be… Dave! Dave the Octopus has a great "idiot" animated face and looks really, really goofy and dumb. And hearing John Malkovich's voice coming out of it was perfect. There was a lot of awkward humor (including a great cricket gag) throughout the scene as Dave realized the penguins didn't remember him at all.
- The film will be more epic than any of their other appearances—giving the supporting characters more depth, discovering their origin, and sending them on a global spy mission.
- Dr. Brine is mad that everyone at zoos love penguins but nobody cares about octopi.
- On their favorite entertainment as children, Malkovich said Leave It To Beaver, while Cumberbatch said the A-Team, Manimal and Knight Rider. He also swore he loved The Hobbit and not just because he's in that movie too.
- When asked how he got in to character, Benedict Cumberbatch said he spent a period of time being a wolf at Yelowstone park. He said he saw Christian Bale and Daniel Day Lewis there in character as well.
- Someone asked what superhero each of the actors would play. Malkovich said Lois Lane, while Cumberbatch teased the Dr. Strange fans by saying Nurse Normal, then changing his answer to Batman.
- Ferguson was mad that he had to audition multiple times for HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON, but Cumberbatch apparently didn't.
- When asked about a new season of Sherlock next year, it was obvious Cumberbatch wanted to say yes, but instead just said "Possibly if I have the time."