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Posted at 8:00 PM ET, 03/ 4/2011

NEW 'PUSS IN BOOTS' TRAILER: 5 Reasons Why Hollywood So Knows What It's Doing

By Michael Cavna


You didn't really think DreamWorks was just going to let the mighty Shrek franchise retire after a mere four films and 3-billion bucks at the box office, didja?

Last summer, "Shrek" story-writer and voice actor Walt Dohrn assured Comic Riffs that 2010's "Shrek Forever After" would indeed mark the end of the green ogre's run. But, Dohrn added coyly, Shrek's retirement wouldn't preclude the series's other characters from getting films of their own.

That sound you hear -- immediately after "ka-ching!" -- is "Me-ow!"

In November, DreamWorks Animation and Paramount will release Spinoff No.-1, "Puss in Boots," in which the swashbuckling kitty voiced by Antonio Banderas gets to come front and center.

So, in light of today's release of a "Puss in Boots" trailer, here are Five Reasons Why DreamWorks & Paramount Know Precisely How to Sell It:

1. RANGO!: Paramount (Nickelodeon Movies) is also the distribution company behind the much-publicized animated film "Rango," which opened today. In publicity, as in comedy, timing is everything, natch.

2. "MIKE MYERS? NEVER HEARD OF 'IM": The word "Shrek" never appears once in the entire trailer -- a shrewd distancing from the franchise that many former fans (and Oscar voters) believe peaked years ago. Even a whiff of ogre would spur some viewers to think "fourth sequel (yawn!)" instead of "first spinoff!"

3. SHAGGY SPOOFAGE: The new trailer opens with spoofery of "Inception," the 2010 blockbuster that -- in the fading light of the Oscars glow -- is swiftly nearing the end of its ninth life as a source of big-budget parody. (Strike while the iron's not quite stone-cold.)

4. WHO LET THE PITBULL OUT?": The trailer features a Pitbull track -- "I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho)" -- so why not tap that commercial synergy: "American Idol" judge J-Lo has returned to the top of the Billboard charts for the first time in eons with her new tune, "On the Floor." And guess who's featured on the song? Why looky here -- it's Pitbull! (Me-ow!)

5. BOOTS WERE MADE FOR TALKIN': The release of "Puss in Boots" is so far off (November), the studio must begin assaulting the kids' (and big kids') sensibilities now, stoking that theatergoer fire for months. Or at least long before Banderas hits family-fare screens this August in yet another "really-another-one?" sequel/spinoff/financial milking: "Spy Kids 4!"

From "Cars 2" to Not-Quite-"Shrek 5," it seems, animated franchises so often have at least one more Hollywood life to live.

By Michael Cavna  | March 4, 2011; 8:00 PM ET
Categories:  The Animation  | Tags:  Antonio Banderas, DreamWorks Animation, Paramount, Puss in Boots, Shrek  
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Another upcoming sequel to an animated film will be this summer's "Winnnie the Pooh" from Disney, which normally doesn't release animated sequels theatrically (issuing them straight to DVD instead). That could be interesting, but the sequel to which I am most looking forward this year is "Kung Fu Panda 2". I really hope Dreamworks doesn't just milk that franchise dry in short order, as they did with "Shrek".

Posted by: seismic-2 | March 5, 2011 9:39 AM | Report abuse

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