Annecy: DreamWorks Unveils First Footage From 'Abominable,' 'Trolls World Tour'
The studio screened 25 minutes of the upcoming 'Abominable' and first 10 minutes of the 'Trolls' sequel to adoring audiences.
Just days after the latest trailer for Abominable dropped, DreamWorks wowed the audience at the 2019 Annecy International Animated Film Festival by unveiling a full 25 minutes of the upcoming film. Six key scenes and several stills were revealed during the company's powerhouse presentation, which also included the first 10 minutes of the new Trolls World Tour sequel and the world premiere of its short Marooned.
The team behind Abominable, DreamWorks president Margie Cohn and Pearl Studio chief creative officer Peilin Chou, touted the film's groundbreaking cast and crew and hailed it as a “love letter to China.”
Chou noted that it's the first time a Chinese family has been the center of an animated film, while Cohn pointed out that the majority of the creative team was female, including director Jill Culton.
Pearl Studio, which was formed as a joint venture as Oriental DreamWorks but went independent last year, said the two companies' relationship has continued through the transition.
“The collaboration between the two studios continues with Abominable, and in many ways the collaboration is stronger,” said Chou.
“From creative decisions, strategic planning even artistic hiring,” the new structure worked “seamlessly,” she added. “It's a true collaboration between two companies, two cultures and even two countries.”
The footage shown surely demonstrated that, with a sweet storyline against colorful backdrops. The film follows a teen girl as she tries to reunite a yeti with his family on Mt. Everest, after she finds him on her Shanghai rooftop. The girl's brother and cousin are enlisted to help, and the trio travel across China as they repair their broken family bonds.
Culton said that they tried to reverse the stereotypical male-female roles between the adventurous young girl, Yi (voiced by Chloe Bennett), and her fashion and phone-obsessed brother, Jin (voiced by Tenzing Norgay Trainor). Chou said the creative team paid considerable detail to the clothing and trends of the teens to make it as authentic and relatable as possible.
Key scenes revealed how they begin their adventure, surfing a field of flowers and various magic powers the young yeti has, as well as emotional scenes between the family members and chase scenes as they are pursued by scientists who want to capture the creature.
The lush visuals were an explosion of color, from the bright cityscape of Shanghai to the mountains and rivers of the countryside.
The presentation took the audience almost through the second act, though Culton stopped just ahead of the climax and, careful not to give too much away, said there were several tense scenes still to be seen.
The helmer said she had derived much of the story from her own life and shared photos of her dog, which she used as cues for the Abominable creature, and her parents' divorce, which led to some key emotional moments in the pic.
Culton was also careful to note that the film has not been scored; that process will start later this week in London. The version screened featured songs by Coldplay.
Trolls World Tour director Walt Dohrn also unveiled the first 10 minutes of the sequel to the 2016 movie. The footage was a rough, with several coloring and layering elements undone, but was still a hit with the always enthusiastic animation crowd, who cheered and clapped at key moments. The scenes were as crazy and candy-colored as the original.
The new film revolves around other troll kingdoms that are all based on musical genres, including techno, country, heavy metal, funk and smooth jazz. The kingdoms must fight it out or work together to stop one form from dominating. While Kelly Clarkson has been revealed as having a role, Dohrn was mum on others, but said they cast “authentic musicians” for various voices.
He then world-premiered the trailer, which was completed earlier this week. There was no word on when it will be seen by the public.
The studio also showed a collection of shots and memories from the How to Train Your Dragon trilogy, with director Dean DeBlois onstage, and world-premiered its latest short from helmer Andrew Erekson.
Erekson appeared onstage with producer Jeff Hermann to debut Marooned, and the duo explained that the film had been seven years in the making. It follows two Wall-E style robots stranded on the moon and dreaming of returning to Earth, before one has to make a decision that might seal his fate.