DreamWorks Animation this week unveiled clips from the latest installment of its Madagascar franchise, planned as a summer blockbuster seven years after the original movie.
The Hollywood studio also revealed details of its pre-Christmas offering The Rise of the Guardians, a good-versus-evil story featuring children's heroes including Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy, due out in November.
Scheduled for release in June, Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted, takes well-known zoo New York zoo escapees Alex, Marty, Gloria and Melman across the Pond to Monte Carlo, and then on the run with a traveling circus.
Including music from Katy Perry, it aims to make as much of a splash as the first two Madagascar films -- the original in 2005 followed by Escape 2 Africa in 2008 -- which more than a billion dollars around the world.
The Rise of the Guardians meanwhile tells the tale of an evil spirit who hatches a plot to take over the world, requiring the immortal guardians to join forces.
Adapted from books by William Joyce, it featuring Santa, the Easter Bunny, Sandman and Jack Frost among others as superheroes working to protect the children of the world.
"The compelling thing about it (is) the notion that this project, in a very special way, taps into one of the most important part of not just being human but a child, which is that world of imagination," said director Peter Ramsey.
"When you're a kid, you kind of figure where you belong, where you are, the boundaries of what's real and what's not and the world that's operating just outside your vision," he added.
Extracts from the film, shown to journalists on Wednesday, suggest it is relatively dark in tone for an animated movie, with characters brought up to date such as a tattooed Santa and an Easter Bunny who is an expert fighter.
Presenting the movie -- voiced by Alec Baldwin, Hugh Jackman and Jude Law among others -- he added: "When you're a kid these things are real. That is the core idea that first got me very excited.
"Almost before you can talk, you know Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy. I did, and I passed it to my kids," he said."It's a big thing... if kids don't believe in the guardians, they cease to exist."