DreamWorks Animation kicked off the 61st annual Cannes Film Festival today, as Jack Black, star of the company's June 6 release, KUNG FU PANDA, spread "Panda-monium" as he emerged from a water taxi to be greeted on the Carlton Hotel pier by nearly 40 life-sized Po, the Panda's -- his on-screen persona and the hero of the film.
Black and the other "kung fu pandas" posed for a barrage of photojournalists and camera crews, signaling that the celebrity- and film-fueled glitter of the 2008 Festival had officially begun. Black's arrival at the Carlton is just the beginning of the "KUNG FU PANDA-monium" set to sweep Cannes, culminating with the film's worldwide premiere, tomorrow, May 15, at 7:30 p.m. at the nexus of the Festival, the Palais. The pre-screening red carpet arrivals will spotlight Black and several of his KUNG FU PANDA co-stars -- Dustin Hoffman, Angelina Jolie and Lucy Liu -- along with directors John Stevenson and Mark Osborne, producer Melissa Cobb, and co-producers/screenwriters Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger, along with DreamWorks Animation's Jeffrey Katzenberg.
In addition to the coverage supplied by the throng of international journalists on hand at the Festival, the KUNG FU PANDA appearances and activities will be broadcast in real time to fans around the globe, thanks to satellite hookups beaming the Pandamonium worldwide.
Enthusiastic, big and a little clumsy, Po (Golden Globe nominee Jack Black) is the biggest fan of kung fu around, which doesn't exactly come in handy while working every day in his family's noodle shop. When he's unexpectedly chosen to fulfill an ancient prophecy, Po's dreams become reality and he joins the world of kung fu to study alongside his idols, the legendary Furious Five: Tigress (Academy Award winner Angelina Jolie); Crane (Emmy winner David Cross); Mantis (Emmy nominee Seth Rogen); Viper (Emmy/SAG nominee Lucy Liu); and Monkey (international superstar Jackie Chan) -- under the leadership of their guru, Master Shifu (two-time Oscar winner Dustin Hoffman).
But before they know it, the vengeful and treacherous snow leopard Tai Lung (Emmy/Golden Globe winner Ian McShane) is headed their way, and it's up to Po to defend everyone from the oncoming threat. Can he turn his dreams of becoming a kung fu master into reality? Po puts his heart into the task, and the unlikely hero ultimately finds that his greatest weaknesses turn out to be his greatest strengths. The film opens nationwide in the U.S. on June 6, 2008.
KUNG FU PANDA is a Paramount Pictures release, featuring the voices of Jack Black, Dustin Hoffman, Angelina Jolie, Ian McShane, Jackie Chan, Seth Rogen, Lucy Liu, David Cross, Randall Duk Kim, James Hong, Michael Clarke Duncan and Dan Fogler. The film is directed by John Stevenson and Mark Osborne. The story is by Ethan Reiff & Cyrus Voris. The screenplay is by Jonathan Aibel & Glenn Berger. The producer is Melissa Cobb. The executive producer is Bill Damaschke. The co-producers are Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger. This film has been rated PG for sequences of martial arts action.