This A.M. I tottered onto the DreamWorks Animation and visited multiple floors of the Lakeside Building, lining up future TAG interviews, pushing 401(k) enrollment forms and books on people, and seeing what's going on, production-wise ... .
Puss in Boots, I'm informed, wraps in July or early August. One of the artists said:
"The studio had a really positive test screening. They are going to do some tweaking of the third act, but people think the feature's in good shape. It's got a different vibe than Shrek, a little bit rawer. But then the cat is wilder, isn't he?"
I replied that if it performs up to hope and expectations, DWA's got another series on its hands.
On the cave-man front, J. Katzenberg has (allegedly) signed off on the latest story work on the The Croods, and a few production people have told me they're facing hiatuses (hiati?) until the picture returns to fuller production later in the year.
Meanwhile, Kung Fu Panda 2, released next week, has a 91% "want to see" rating on the Tomatometer. One of the newer animators, who saw it a week ago, thinks it fires on all cylinders. But crews' opinions always need to be taken with spiced seasoning, because when somebody's seen twenty-eight versions of the same movie over the course of three years, they're not always the best judge regarding the final product. (As I've said here before, I listened to artists complain about a hand-drawn feature for two solid years. When it at last came out, I went to see the thing expecting a smelly disaster, but found the movie to be pretty damn good. So I questioned one of the artists about the high quality, and he said: "Oh yeah. They really pulled it together in the last three months.")
The moral: Go to the movie and make up your own damn mind. Don't let other minds, clouded by repetition, decide for you.
Lastly. In the afternoon, after lunch, I visited Disney TVA in the Frank Wells Building. Uneventful. Except a guy in one of the wall offices looked up from his computer as I stood in the doorway and said: "Move along."
Which I did.