17 August 2012 7:54 AM, PDT | Dark Horizons | See recent Dark Horizons news »

Following on from their success with last year's "Rango", Paramount Pictures is expanding its animation department with word of several projects their division has in development.

Variety reports that the studio is planning an animated project from J.J. Abrams, along with film versions of several Nickelodeon shows.

Also in the works is a film adaptation of the Penny Arcade comic "The New Kid" about a human boy in a school full of aliens. Gary Whitta is writing the script while Mary Parent will produce.

Details on the Abrams project haven't been disclosed. Nick shows mentioned as likely titles to make the jump to the big screen include "Dora the Explorer," "The Legend of Korra" and "Monkey Quest".

The only project previously announced was a second "SpongeBob SquarePants" movie which "Kung Fu Panda 2" scribes Albel and Glenn Berger are set to write. »

- Garth Franklin

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