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No Cannes Film Festival is complete without some sort of elaborate animal-based Jeffrey Katzenberg spectacle. Angelina Jolie, Jack Black and Will Smith riding atop a giant inflatable fish in the Mediterranean (Shark Tale, 2004). Jerry Seinfeld leaping from the roof of the Carlton in a bumblebee outfit (Bee Movie, 2007). And Black (again) showing off his martial arts with 40 oversized pandas (Kung Fu Panda, 2008). Clearly the Croisette has experienced its fair share of flashbulb-friendly pandemonium orchestrated by the DreamWorks Animation CEO.
This year, the “Katzenberg stunt” box was ticked early to promote How to Train Your Dragon 2, which premieres here May 16. And while the spectacle might not have required the most imagination, it certainly caused enough madness to be considered a?success.
With hundreds waiting outside the Marriott, the doors swung open shortly after 4:30?p.m. on May?15 and out stepped (or rather, crawled) the film’s star, Toothless the dragon, flanked by voice actors America Ferrera, Djimon Hounsou and Jay Baruchel, plus a cohort of security guards. Katzenberg, clad in black trousers and his trademark black V-neck sweater/white T-shirt combo, oversaw the ensuing madness.
“We’re going to have about 15?minutes of chaos, and then we can all go home,” Katzenberg told Ferrera, Hounsou, Baruchel and the dragon backstage in the Marriott beforehand. And that, almost to the second, is exactly what happened.
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