We sat down with DreamWorks Animation chief Jeffrey Katzenberg this week in London, and asked him about the future of the company. You can read the full interview over here, but we thought we'd particularly draw your attention to what he had to say about planned animation sequels to Kung-Fu Panda and How To Train Your Dragon and more. Namely, that we're looking at a total of four Madagascar films, six Pandas (which was already rumoured) and at least three Dragons.
We asked Katzenberg about his comments that Shrek Forever After (out on DVD Monday, and the reason he was in town) would be the last in that franchise. He replied, "What our movies and our franchises also share in common with Shrek is that they have a beginning, a middle and an end; they’re not open-ended. Each of the films is a chapter of a story and in every instance we knew what that journey was or could be before we even started.
"So today I can tell you pretty succinctly where Madagascar goes. Ultimately they will come back to New York, and they will come to terms with that, which they will do in this next chapter. Because of the way that movie concludes there’s probably one more for them…"
So a fourth?
Katzenberg: "Yeah, there’s probably a fourth there. Kung Fu Panda actually has 6 chapters to it, and we’ve mapped that out over the years. How To Train Your Dragon is at least three: maybe more, but we know there are a least three chapters to that story. There are actually 8 books."
But they’re very different from the film.
Katzenberg: "Yes. But there are elements of them that actually… as you know, there are many islands in the world of Berk, and different things there, so we’ll see. But right now, today, we know that there are three for sure that we want to tell and there may be more. We haven’t thought, you know, how do we continue beyond that."
So, is this good news or bad? Those of you who have been combing Cressida Cowell's book series - can you guess what he's hinting at on those other islands in the Dragon world? And do you want to see six Kung-Fu Panda movies? The first was gorgeously animated and rather likeable, so it might about have the pudgy legs to sustain a few sequels - right?