Jeffrey Katzenberg taking the stage sporting a rainbow Afro wig as seen in Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted and the appearance of Hugh Jackman after DreamWorks Animation unspooled the first 42 minutes of Rise of the Guardians had European theater operators abuzz at CineEurope.
DreamWorks Animation founder and chief Katzenberg returned to CineEurope — a confab aimed primarily at European exhibitors — to unspool his sneak peak of the animated fantasy title, directed by Peter Ramsey (Monsters vs. Aliens) and featuring Jackman among the voice cast that includes Chris Pine, Alec Baldwin, and Jude Law.
Jackman, who voices the Easter Bunny in the movie, surprised the audience with his appearance and charmed the exhibitors by thanking them for putting his films in theaters.
“If it wasn’t for you, I would have been hearing those dreaded words ‘straight to DVD’ a lot more in my career,” he said.
The actor brought his two young children with him and noted they both gave footage “the thumbs up.”
Enthused exhibitors greeted the footage with applause.