Today brings news about two upcoming animated projects. Pixar just released a trailer for 2013's Monsters University, and DreamWorks Animation announced the casting for the 2014 project Happy Smekday!
The Monsters University trailer, which presumably debuted online in advance of this Friday's Pixar offering Brave, was released in four different versions. In each, Sully (the green round one) says a different phrase in his sleep ("Dog ate my homework!" "I'm going to be class president!").
2001's Monsters Inc. was one of the funniest Pixar movies, and I'm sure the sequel will bring plenty more of Sully and Mike's antics. Last year's Cars 2 and this year's Brave (spoiler alert) don't have the adult appeal that's the trademark of Pixar's best works, like Up and Wall-E. Monsters University should return with all-ages laughs and a few gentle lessons. Count me in next June.
DreamWorks Animation, which brought us Monsters vs. Aliens, goes much weirder in Happy Smekday!, at least if you look at the promo site for the book it's based on, The True Meaning of Smekday. After reading some reviews of the book, it appears to have a bizarre and off-the-wall humor that appeals to adults and kids alike. Set on a post-apocalyptic Earth, the novel documents the relationship between a child and a friendly alien she encounters. One Amazon reviewer talks of the in-jokes she now has with her son regarding the Boovs (the aliens) and the pop culture references throughout (one of the aliens is named J. Lo). Another calls it "War of the Worlds meets E.T.," and yet another calls the relationship between the girl and the alien "Huck and Jim of the 21st century." Those are strong endorsements for what seems to be an extremely creative work. Rihanna and "Big Bang Theory's" Jim Parsons will voice the leads for the DWA project, which is planned for a Q4 2014 release. With Pixar lagging a bit and DreamWorks Animation coming up with great projects like How to Train Your Dragon, this project could further even the score between the two animation studios.