DreamWorks Animation has released the new theatrical opener, set to debut with the release of “Puss in Boots: The Last Wish” when the sequel opens on Dec. 21. If audiences want to see the new logo, and the new movie, in a theater a month ahead of schedule, the Comcast-owned studio will be offering a nationwide paid sneak preview of the upcoming action fantasy, on Nov. 26 for one 2 pm showing.
The piece was developed and produced by an all-star DreamWorks creative team including producer Suzanne Buirgy and production designer Kendall Cronkhite, per DreamWorks. The music was composed by Harry Gregson-Williams who worked on the “Shrek” franchise in addition to other DWA animated features.
The 33-second video, which you can watch above, shows a young boy surfing the moon in deep space as he soars past a number of prominent DWA characters. We get happy salutes from the Bad Guys, Toothless (from “How To Train Your Dragon”), Po (from “Kung Fu Panda”), The Boss Baby, Poppy (from “Trolls”) and the Shrek trio (Shrek, Fiona and Donkey) before becoming the standard “kid fishing on the the moon-sliver” image.
Running through all the major franchises in the DWA library evokes the Marvel Studios opening banner that plays before every Marvel Cinematic Universe movie.
Surprisingly, Puss in Boots himself is MIA, as are the stars from the blockbuster “Madagascar” films (including those diabolical penguins) and the “Croods” family. Less surprisingly, the stars of “Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas” are also nowhere to be found.
It’s a firm reminder that DreamWorks, which has been releasing theatrical animated movies since “Antz” and “Prince of Egypt” in 1998, has themselves amassed a plethora of fan-favorite marquee characters. It’s an implicit hope that audiences young and old have a similar level of fondness for the stars of “How to Train Your Dragon” as, say, the stars of “Frozen” or “Minions.”
Or, if the DWA crew isn’t there yet, they are on their way as the animated films attempt to become generational touchstones akin to the Disney animated films and Pixar releases. It’s a message worth sending as DreamWorks will have to further position itself now that it’s not only no longer Disney and Pixar’s biggest animated rival (as was the case from 2002 to 2012) but risked being considered secondary to Universal’s blockbuster Illumination brand.
“Puss In Boots: The Last Wish” opens on Dec. 21, 2022, where it will hope to earn grosses on par with DreamWorks’ “The Bad Guys” ($250 million worldwide) if not Illumination’s “Sing 2” ($407 million after opening last Christmas).