Universal today dropped new details regarding DreamWorks Theatre, the summer 2018 attraction that will see a revolving door of different DreamWorks Animation characters take up shop within it. The first feature will be Kung Fu Panda: The Emperor’s Quest, and it will mark the very first time that Universal Creative will use projection mapping (y’know, the technology that fuels the Hogwarts Castle shows over in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter) in a building’s interior as opposed to on its exterior; this technique, the company promises, will be able to “fully immerse” guests into Po and gang’s adventures.
The Emperor’s Quest sees dragon-warrior Po embarking on, well, a quest on the morning of the Emperor’s Great Feast of Heroes; he’ll need to brave raging rapids, river pirates, and “awesome magic” in order to deliver the rare and precious Liquid of Limitless Power to the palace. Guests, of course, will be there alongside him every projection-mapped step of the way.
One of the more interesting tidbits regarding the new film is who will be scoring it: Germaine Franco. Seeing as how we love her work on all three Kung Fu Panda movies, How to Train Your Dragon, and Disney/Pixar’s Coco, we’re excited to see what her all-new soundtrack will consist of.
Finally, we should note that the movie theater that the new Kung Fu Panda short plays in will contain some pretty spiffy tech: new, ultra-plush, fully-articulated seats that will pivot and swivel in conjunction with the film; seven Christie 4K Boxer Cinema Projectors; 360-degree surround-sound audio; and the obligatory physical effects, ranging from water sprays to wind.
As far as the DreamWorks Theatre itself goes, guests should expect to see a wide panoply of DreamWorks characters right away – they won’t have to wait for a new film to be inserted into the movie theater contained within. A three-dimensional rendition of Pinocchio sleeps in the box office booth; in the queue, which is themed to a luscious outdoor garden, guests can check out a bevy of DreamWorks Animation movie posters and a collection of character statuettes (alongside “artifacts embodying magical powers that Po brought back from the Spirit Realm”). And, lastly, in the theater lobby that doubles as the pre-show room, another group of DW luminaries will set up the film’s story.
(And if all that still isn’t enough for you, over 20 awards – ranging from the Emmys to the Golden Globes – that the studio has amassed from 2008 to 2015 will also be on hand throughout the queue.)
Dreamworks Theatre replaces Shrek 4D, which closed in August 2017.