Shrek out, Panda in at Universal
A chubby kung fu-loving panda is replacing a gruff but lovable ogre at Universal Studios Hollywood.
Shrek 4-D, the theme park attraction based on characters from the “Shrek” franchise, will be replaced next year with a new DreamWorks Theatre and an animated show starring characters from the “Kung Fu Panda” movies.
The Shrek attraction, which opened in 2003, includes animation, animatronics and 3-D effects to tell the story of how Shrek and Donkey save Fiona from Lord Farquaad.
“Kung Fu Panda” is a DreamWorks Animation franchise with three movies, the latest of which was released last year.
“We continually evaluate our entertainment options. The Shrek 4-D attraction enjoyed a successful run since 2003 and we look forward to offering our guests this new multisensory experience next year,” Universal Studios Hollywood spokeswoman Audrey Eig said.
Universal Studios Hollywood was skimpy on details about the planned attraction except to say that it would combine “captivating storytelling with state-of-the-art projection mapping and LED lighting effects.”
Projection mapping relies on lasers to scan the surfaces of buildings and structures of an area to create a 3-D landscape. Special software allows high-definition projectors to then cast moving images onto uneven surfaces.
Disneyland used the technology for its 60th anniversary fireworks display in 2015, and the TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood recently began using projection mapping to display movie scenes on the outside of the theater to attract visitors.
Universal Studios Hollywood also announced that next year it will begin to sell Hello Kitty merchandise.