Shrek out, Panda in at Uni­ver­sal

Los Angeles Times - - BUSINESS BEAT - By Hugo Martin hugo.martin@la­times.com

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.

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