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It may have taken a few years, but DreamWorks Animation has finally started to step up its game, even nearing (or arguably equaling) Pixar quality with films like Kung Fu Panda and How to Train Your Dragon. But it will probably be some time yet before they maintain any consistency in that output, assuming (perhaps naively) that they ever do. For every How to Train Your Dragon, a Shrek Forever After or a Megamind remind us that the studio will still happily produce forgettable, gag-oriented throwaway films to appease the kiddies.

The question is: Which camp will their latest announced project fall into?

Find out all there is to know about the film after the break.

Risky Business is reporting that DreamWorks Animation has already found writers for its next feature idea, which is intended to be a spin on the familiar ‘imaginary friend’ concept. Instead of being told from the point of view of the kids, the film will adopt the POV of the not-so-imaginary friends, who have grown fed up with being the scapegoats for kids who refuse to own up to their mistakes. Years later, when the kids are all grown up, the imaginary friends return to exact mischievous revenge. (The article doesn’t say anything about the revenge being mischievous, but how could it possibly not be?)

The writing team hired to script the film, which has the working title Imaginary Enemies, are married couple Joe Syracuse and Lisa Addario, the same duo responsible for developing the script for the perfectly enjoyable (if not especially memorable) Surf’s Up. DreamWorks Animation consultant Mike Mitchell—the director behind the hugely underrated parodic superhero flick Sky High, but also the director of Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo, Surviving Christmas and Shrek Forever After—is aiding the writers in developing the idea, though he’s not currently signed on to direct.

Due to the nature of the film, which will operate in two different planes of existence (the imaginary world and the real world), enthusiasm has been expressed in potentially making the film a live-action/animation hybrid, a format that the studio has yet to attempt.

The blending of live-action and animation would make this project more akin to something like Who Framed Roger Rabbit, but right now the premise brings to mind Monsters, Inc., which was another film to take a well-known fantastical kiddy trope (monsters hiding in your closet) and spin it into something entirely its own. The trick for Pixar was to find a way to transform that basic concept into a fully realized, believable world, and then build a story within that world. Is DreamWorks capable of doing the same? Most certainly, but that’s a different question than “Will they?”, of which I’m not so sure. Already the premise sounds like it’s built more around gag potential than story potential, but that could just be me fearing the worst of DreamWorks. Until we know more, it’s probably too soon to speculate.

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