The first big Hall H panel for Comic Con 201 4 was Dreamworks animation and they did not disappoint. The panel was moderated by the always funny Craig Ferguson because of his roles in the How to Train Your Dragon franchise.
First up at the panel was the upcoming film Home. After screening the trailer, fans got to hear from both director Tim Johnson, and Jim Parsons aka Sheldon Cooper. Johnson talked about still needing about a half a year to finish the movie and about the source material, The True Meaning of Smekday by Adam Rex.
As natural as Parson sounds in the role, he wasn’t just offered the part. He talked about how awkward he felt about the sound of his voice during the animation process and how shocked he is when he sees how well it came out.
Then, they screened a scene from the film where the main characters, Oh and Tip come up against the alien leader, Smek in Paris where the aliens have levitated the Eiffel Tower and then let it drop into the streets below.
After that wrapped up, Ferguson then announced the voice cast for DreamWorks’ new ghost busting animated film, B.O.O.: Bureau of Otherworldly Operations, which will feature the voices of Melissa McCarthy, Seth Rogen, and Bill Murray.
That led into the big event for the panel, The Penguins of Madagascar, which Ferguson co-moderated with Benedict Cumberbatch.
Joining them on the stage was John Malkovich, Tom McGrath, and the movie’s directors Simon J. Smith and Eric Darnell.
Tom McGrath told fans that the Penguins were actually almost cut from the original Madagascar film and that his voice for Skipper is a tribute to Robert Stack, who he wanted to cast, but had passed away.
After a cute clip that showed the penguins breaking in to Fort Knox to steal a vending machine , McGrath introduced John Malkovich who was surprisingly at Comic Con for the very first time. He talked about how much he liked playing an octopus and described his character as another animal from the zoo who stopped getting as much attention when the penguins got popular, leading him to become embittered and to turn evil.
After another clip which featured a high speed chase through Venice, Italy, Ferguson introduced Cumberbatch, who is voicing Classified, a wolf and team leader of the North Wind.
Cumberbatch said it was also his first Comic Con and then went on to talk about his character, who is the leader of an animal version of the CIA who recruits the penguins to help him go up against Malkovich’s Dr Brine. He went on to talk about how lonely voice acting can be, sating that he only ever just met Malkovich yesterday.
Humorously, when asked what comic book hero they’d each like to play most, Malkovich said Lois Lane and Cumberbatch said “Night Nurse” from Doctor Strange (Interesting that he’d be so familiar with that character when he’s been rumored to be up for the role of Dr Strange…), but then he corrected himself to say Batman.
After the Q&A, they screened the origin of the penguins, which is the first six minutes of the film.