April 21, 2014

“Kung Fu Panda,” “Smurfs” teasers make their way online


By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: Parents who took their children to “Megamind” this weekend – and there were a lot of you – might be wondering what’s the next big family-friendly event picture you can put on the calendar.

We’ll tell you about two.

Jack Black once again will voice the warrior Po in “Kung Fu Panda 2,” and the DreamWorks Animation sequel has a teaser trailer. Check it out here via ComingSoon.

You don’t get a lot of footage, just images of the rotund Po engaging the audience in a kung fu staring contest. IMDb, however, has a few plot details, stating that Po and the Furious Five will venture to China to “battle a villain and uncover the secrets of Po’s mysterious origins.” Were they really that mysterious? I’m guessing he was born to two pandas. Anyway, Angelina Jolie, Seth Rogen, Dustin Hoffman, David Cross, Jackie Chan and Lucy Liu return, and will be joined by newcomers Gary Oldman, Jean-Claude Van Damme, and James Woods. “Kung Fu Panda 2” will be presented in 3D, and will be out in May 2011.

And then there’s “Smurfs,” a combination animation-and-live-action hybrid that brings back the tiny blue adventurers of our youth. Raja Gosnell, who also helmed the “Scooby-Doo” update, has attracted an A-list vocal cast for his summer blockbuster, including Katy Perry as Smurfette, Jonathan Winters as Papa Smurf, Alan Cumming as Gutsy Smurf, and Paul Reubens as Jokey Smurf. My memory is hazy, but I think a few of those smurfs are new. As for the live-action part, Hank Azaria plays Gargamel, the alchemist who keeps trying to capture the smurfs. And the plot, reportedly, follows the blue creatures to New York City. ComingSoon also has a promotional image for the movie, as well as a link to the teaser trailer. Check it out here.

“The Smurfs” will be in theaters on Aug. 3, 2011.

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About Sean O'Connell

Sean O'Connell is a nationally recognized film critic. His reviews have been published in print ('The Washington Post,' 'USA Today') and online (AMC FilmCritic.com, MSN's Citysearch) since 1996. He's a weekly contributor to several national radio programs. He is a longstanding member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS), and the Southeastern Film Critics View all articles by Sean O'Connell Association (SEFCA).

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