After last year's glut, there are only two non-sequel animated films this summer.
Sony's Surf's Up comes from Toy Story 2 co-director Ash Brannon and Tarzan director Chris Buck, with voices by Shia LaBeouf, Zooey Deschanel and others.
Like Warner's Happy Feet, Surf's Up (opening June 8 in the US and aiming for school holidays internationally) has a penguin cast, though this time they surf rather than sing. The film, says Spri's Mark Zucker, 'has got a great cast of characters and a very modern feel'. The company is hoping to do as well internationally as it did with last year's Open Season (which made $103.5m) and to crack $100m in North America (where Open Season managed $84m).
Disney/Pixar's Ratatouille is directed by Brad Bird (The Incredibles) and has voice performers including Patton Oswalt, Brian Dennehy and Brad Garrett. Like DreamWorks/Aardman's Flushed Away, it is the story of a rat, though this one lives in Paris and yearns to be a chef.
Opening the film on June 29 in the US and for school holidays in the international marketplace, Disney/BVI is hoping Ratatouille's European setting will help produce grosses comparable to those of Pixar's The Incredibles, released in late 2004, which took $261.4m in the US and $370m internationally.
The animation studio's summer 2006 offering, Cars, did $244.1m domestically but a slightly less impressive $217.9m internationally.