Dreamworks Animation Taking Overseas Travels Seriously
DreamWorks Animation has made it clear that when it makes a film set in a foreign country, it will attempt to provide some insight into the culture of those countries. On Thursday the studio announced that it had signed Australian performer/composer Tim Minchin to write the score for its forthcoming Larrikins. The movie, which currently does not have a release date, is set in the Australian outback. In a statement, Minchin, who wrote the music and lyrics for Matilda the Musical, which has been nominated in twelve categories for this year's Tony Awards, said that he grew up in Western Australia, where the characters who inhabit the area are unique and hilarious and tough and cheeky. He added that he hoped to capture some of this unique aesthetic and quirky, iconoclastic culture on film. At the same time, Jennifer Yuh Nelson, who is directing Kung Fu Panda 3, told a conference in Chengdu, China that she hopes the film will become a tribute to Chinese culture. Nelson, who also directed Kung Fu Panda 2, noted that the latest one will create a full circle in that it will be made in China and will also be seen in China. (It is technically a co-production between DreamWorks Animation and Shanghai-based Oriental DreamWorks. This is being made by people who love the history of China; these are people who love the appearance and the beauty of the culture of China. We want to show it to the world, she said. Also on Thursday, it was reported that DreamWorks Animation's latest feature, The Croods, which was slated to run on Chinese screens until June 24 had been shut down. Since it was released on April 20th, it had made $63.8 million at the Chinese box office. No reason was given for the abrupt termination, but some reports indicated that Chinese producers had complained about the movie hogging up so many 3D theaters.