DreamWorks Brings Home, Penguins, Cumberbatch to SDCC

Benedict Cumberbatch steals the show from the latest DreamWorks features.

DreamWorks kicked off their SDCC presentation with a look at Home an alien invasion flick Home — but since it’s from DreamWorks, the premise is a lot less frightening than it might sound. The aliens in question — the Boov — are downright adorable, even though they do conquer the planet with apparent ease. And just like we might do when moving into a new apartment, when they take over they start to redecorate, getting rid of the needless human things that clutter the planet.

So who’s going to save the day? The only people on the planet who seem to have evaded the Boov are teenaged Tip (Rihanna) and alien outcast Oh (Jim Parsons). Though the clips we saw make this flick feel like it’s trying a bit too hard to be Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, it’s a nicely-done take on the alien invasion on it with gorgeous animation and great acting, so we’re willing to give it a pass. We had a chance to watch an extended action sequence where our heroes wreck Paris in an attempt to defeat the Boov, featuring a hovering Eiffel Tower crashing down through the city streets… which was still oddly beautiful. We’re going to blame DreamWorks for that.

Home is set to arrive in theaters on March 27th, 2015.

Next up was The Penguins of Madagascar, a movie about — you guessed it — the penguins from the Madagascar series, who also feature in their own TV series on Nickelodeon. Think Mission Impossible, but with penguins, and you’ll have an idea of what you’re getting into with this one.

Despite the goofy premise, the 20-minutes of Penguins footage we saw had lots of laughs, starting off with a parody Werner Herzog-style penguin documentary (in which the documentary-maker pushed the penguins off a cliff). There’s also a villainous octopus (played, unsurprisingly, by John Malkovich) and animal secret agency the North Wind (led by a wolf voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch). Malkovich’s octopus has a Bond villain-style plot to (possibly) rid the world of penguins, who have stolen crowds from the zoo’s octopus tank — and in doing, he disguises himself as the human Doctor Octavius Brine (really, no one guessed this guy was an octopus?). The animation for Brine is stellar — and pretty creepy, since his tentacles can’t quite mimic human movement.

Unsurprisingly, it was Cumberbatch who stole the show, dominating the panel’s Q&A session with jokes about how he went undercover as a wolf to prepare for the role and his rumored role in Marvel’s Doctor Strange. Will Cumberbatch wind up on the Marvel stage this weekend to announce he’s joining the MCU? We’ll have to wait until Saturday night’s Marvel panel to find out.


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