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In one of his last hurrahs as DreamWorks Animation CEO, Jeffrey Katzenberg presented footage of Trolls inside the Cannes Film Festival’s famed Palais on Wednesday before inviting voice stars Justin Timberlake and Anna Kendrick on stage to perform a duet of Cyndi Lauper’s “True Colors” that’s featured in the upcoming animated musical.
“I love you, Justin,” screamed a young fan before the duet began. “You sound like you’re 7-years-old,” responded Timberlake as he adjusted his acoustic guitar.
Katzenberg has long used the Cannes to promote his movies, even if they aren’t playing in the festival, such as Trolls (it doesn’t hit theaters until Nov. 4). This is the first time, though, that he’s been allowed to use a theater inside the Palais. Usually, he uses the theater at the Miramar Hotel for his footage presentations.
The music from Trolls is already making waves. On Friday, Timberlake released an original song from the soundtrack, “Can’t Stop the Feeling,” which quickly shot to the top of the charts. There’s an accompanying music video that features Timberlake and other cast members, including Kendrick, Gwen Stefani, Kunal Nayyar and Ron Funches. It’s one of several original songs planned for the movie.
“Can’t Stop the Feeling” is the first piece of music Timberlake has released in almost three years.
“Cannes is the greatest celebration of motion pictures,” said Katzenberg during his remarks. “I am not sure how many people know how much Cannes has contributed to the art of animation. Thirty years ago, it was unimaginable that an animated film would be featured here at Cannes. Boy, has a lot changed. Since [Thierry Fremaux] became director, 16 DWA titles have either screened or debuted footage.”
Katzenberg recently closed a $4.1 billion deal to sell DWA to Universal. The pact is expected to close at the end of the year; once that happens, Katzenberg will step down as CEO.
In Trolls — based on the doll line by Thomas Dam — Princess Poppy (Kendrick) and Branch (Timberlake) venture far below the only world they’ve ever known on a quest that will test their strength and reveal their true colors.
Following the presentation at the Palais, Timberlake and Kendrick took a boat from the Palais to the Carlton Hotel pier — Katzenberg’s favorite spot — where they walked the red carpet after being greeted by a gaggle of decked-out models wearing colorful troll wigs.
Cannes was their second stop after Berlin, where DWA likewise promoted Trolls. And this weekend, Timberlake will become the first non-contestant to appear on the Eurovision Song Contest in Stockholm, where he’ll sing Can’t Stop the Feeling during the grand finale.
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