Cranston - whose dramatic stock has soared in recent years, with roles in Argo, Drive and much more - is more than capable of doing genuinely hilarious comedy - just go and watch Malcolm in the Middle again. The Golden Globe and Emmy-winning actor has previous experience with DreamWorks, having lent his voice to Vitaly in last year's Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted. While Wilson voiced Raz in Blue Sky Studios' Ice Age: Continental Drift. Mikkelsen, although bereft of much animation experience, did voice a character in little-known 2010 Finnish stop-motion film Moomins and the Comet Chase; I wouldn't be surprised to see him play the film's villain, given his track record for playing bad very well: Le Chiffre in Casino Royale, and currently the title role in Bryan Fuller's Hannibal.
As for what the actors will actually be doing in Kung Fu Panda 3, we haven't the foggiest. Maybe Cranston will be playing an ever-darkening, meth-selling cockatoo or something... Or perhaps a character who goes around knocking on doors. DreamWorks provided the vaguest of vague plot outlines for the film, saying:
"[Kung Fu Panda 3] follows Po, the chosen one, as he continues on his journey mastering the art of Kung Fu ... and noodle slurping.”
Kung Fu Panda 2 director Jennifer Yuh Nelson is back at the helm, with producer Melissa Cobb, writers Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger, and much of the same crew slated to return. Kung Fu Panda 3 will mark the first collaboration with DreamWorks' Chinese satellite studio, Oriental DreamWorks.
Sequel sceptics surely aren't going to change their opinions, but I loved the second film and have very high hopes for the third. Panda 3 hits cinemas on 23rd December, 2015 in the US (a date that would, if things go to plan, pit it against Spielberg/Jackson's The Adventures of Tintin 2), yet isn't slated for a UK release until 25th March, 2016.