Following is the full press release and title treatment for Flushed Away Underground Adventure, an interactive gaming collaboration between AOL, DreamWorks Animation, Aardman Features, and Mark Burnett Productions:
DREAMWORKS, AARDMAN, MARK BURNETT PRODUCTIONS AND
AOL JOIN FORCES TO CREATE THE GROUNDBREAKING
ONLINE GAMING EXPERIENCE
FLUSHED AWAY UNDERGROUND ADVENTURE
GLENDALE, Calif., July 31, 2006 – DreamWorks Animation and Aardman Features are collaborating with Mark Burnett Productions and AOL to create the Flushed Away Underground Adventure, DreamWorks’ first online game with custom animation integration, it was announced today by Jeffrey Katzenberg, CEO of DreamWorks Animation SKG. Starting in early October, the game will be available for free exclusively at www.aol.com/flushedawaygame, and will offer a series of online challenges, each featuring a different character, setting, or storyline from the film. Flushed Away, will be released in theaters nationwide on November 3rd.
The game will be aimed at players of all ages – kids and their parents will compete together to complete the online challenges successfully. By solving the individual puzzles, kids and their parents will be rewarded with digital prizes. The entire interactive experience leads up to a grand prize sweepstakes during the opening weekend of Flushed Away.
What sets Flushed Away Underground Adventure apart is the new character animation designed exclusively for the game itself. This marks the first time that DreamWorks Animation is expanding the universe of its films by creating an original, totally immersive online environment.
The game is being developed by Mark Burnett Productions, who previously collaborated with DreamWorks on “The Contender” and the upcoming show “On the Lot.” The game will premiere on AOL in October and will be accessible to anyone exclusively through AOL at www.aol.com/flushedawaygame on demand through November. The collaboration between AOL and Burnett grew out of the companies’ partnership on “Gold Rush,” the breakthrough interactive event that premieres on AOL in September and involves challenges and clues based on pop culture.
Based on the “Gold Rush” interactive gaming model, Katzenberg and Burnett sought to create an exciting online experience for children and their parents to enjoy together, and, at the same time, introduce the characters of the film to an audience in a new and refreshing way.
Commenting on the announcement, Katzenberg said, “We couldn’t be more pleased about teaming up with Mark Burnett and AOL on this revolutionary new online game concept. We believe that the game will stand on its own as an exciting and fun piece of new entertainment. With special custom animation that expands the world of Flushed Away, the game will be the perfect complement to the moviegoing experience.”
Burnett said, “The media landscape is changing radically. People are absorbing and interacting with their entertainment content in new and more sophisticated ways, and this is especially true of kids. The next generation of audience members expects and deserves so much from its content, which is why this project is so exciting to me and my company.”
Added Jon Miller, Chairman and CEO of AOL, “The Flushed Away game is interactive, immersive and engaging, and the mini-Flushed Away universe will get kids – and their parents – excited about the characters and imagery a month before the movie opens. This is really what the web is perfectly suited to do.”
The game will feature real-time 3D environments that allow the user to take control of the camera and explore expanded environments of the underground city of Flushed Away. Designed to present unique game play with each repeat visit, the game will expand each day, revealing new areas of the 3D world and a new challenge every day. The games’ video clips and cutting-edge, real-time physics simulations as collision detection, gravity, and particle effects will combine to provide an immersive experience.
ABOUT FLUSHED AWAY
In this new comedy set on and beneath the streets of London, we meet Roddy St. James (Hugh Jackman), a pampered pet mouse who thinks he’s got it made. But when a sewer rat named Sid (Shane Richie) – the definition of “low life” — comes spewing out of the sink and decides it’s his turn to enjoy the lap of luxury, Roddy schemes to rid himself of the pest by luring him into the loo for a dip in the “whirlpool.” Roddy’s plan backfires when he inadvertently winds up being the one flushed away into the bustling world down below. Underground, Roddy discovers a vast metropolis where he meets Rita (Kate Winslet), a street-wise rat who is on a mission of her own. If Roddy is going to get home, he and Rita will need to escape the clutches of the villainous Toad (Sir Ian McKellen). Toad, who royally despises all rodents, dispatches two hapless henchrats, Spike (Andy Serkis) and Whitey (Bill Nighy), as well as his cousin – that dreaded mercenary, Le Frog (Jean Reno) – to see that Roddy and Rita are iced… literally.
DreamWorks Animation and Aardman Features present Flushed Away. Directed by David Bowers and Sam Fell, the film is produced by Peter Lord, David Sproxton, and Cecil Kramer.
DreamWorks Animation SKG (NYSE-DWA) is principally devoted to developing and producing computer-generated, or CG-animated, feature films. With world-class creative talent, a strong and experienced management team and advanced CG filmmaking technology and techniques, DreamWorks Animation makes high quality CG-animated films meant for a broad movie-going audience.
# # #