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On Wednesday at CinemaCon in Las Vegas, Kevin Hart and Tiffany Haddish helped present Illumination Entertainment’s animated The Secret Life of Pets 2, while DreamWorks Animation showed the first footage from its upcoming Yeti movie Abominable during Universal’s slate presentation.
Hart and Haddish appeared with live animals to represent their animated characters, Snowball the rabbit and Daisy the Shih Tzu, respectively.
The rabbit started climbing up Hart’s chest and rested on his shoulder, making him panic. “Here’s my nightmare,” said Hart. “You got a drunk dog, I got a frisky rabbit. I had a rehearsal with this rabbit for three hours.”
Hart continued, joking, “Pellets are coming out of my ass. We are completely off script right now.”
Illumination CEO Chris Meledandri was also on hand to introduce Pets 2, the sequel to the studio’s 2016 hit, which earned $875.5 million worldwide.
The returning voice cast for the follow-up — which again focuses on what pets do when humans are not around — includes Hart, Haddish, Eric Stonestreet and Jenny Slate. Additionally, in his first animated feature role, Harrison Ford voices a dog named Rooster, while Patton Oswalt replaces Louis C.K. as the voice of Max. Chris Renaud, who directed the original, also helmed the sequel, which is set for a June 7 release.
Universal also showed the first footage from DreamWorks Animation’s Abominable, which was originally introduced under the name Everest and was changed in 2018.
Margie Cohn, who in January was named president of DWA, Abominable writer-director Jill Colton (Open Season) and co-director Todd Wilderman were on hand to introduce the magical Yeti tale, which is a co-production with China’s Pearl Studio.
The story follows a headstrong teen named Yee who embarks on a journey after she meets a 200-pound Yeti named Everest. Colton noted that the film has “music, magic, humor and heart,” while Wilderman added that it tells a “universal story of friendship.”
“This is not a ‘princess’ movie,” Colton said of her protagonist while speaking with The Hollywood Reporter after the presentation. “I was a tomboy and I wanted a tenacious girl who is relatable.” Everest doesn’t speak in the movie, but “his character becomes almost like a kindred spirit to Yee.”
Abominable is slated for a Sept. 27 release.
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Sterling K. Brown