Monday, January 17, 2011

Descendants of Jay Ward

DreamWorks always has an eclectic mix of projects. Same goes for voice actors.

Actor Robert Downey Jr is to star in the new Dreamworks movie Peabody and Sherman.

Downey Jr, 45, will voice the role of the genius dog Mr. Peabody in the film ...

Rob Minkoff, a talented animator who became a wildly successful feature animation director and has directed a number of live-action flicks, is helming S & P. A nice guy. And here's hoping that his c.g. movie at DreamWorks Animation does well when it rolls out three years hence.

30 comments:

Mr. Gibson said...

I'm hoping it does just as well as 1992's "Boris & Natasha".

Or 2000's "The Adventures Of Rocky And Bullwinkle".

Here's to hoping its a massive failure and unimaginative opportunists trying to cash in on Jay Ward's body of work demonstrate to the rest of hollywood the error of their ways by failing to make a profit.

Those characters are MEANT to be 2D and the risk taking spirit that created those cartoons will certainly not be recreated at Dreamworks or any other studio.

Anonymous said...

Those characters are all but forgotten. Anyone who worships the old version will still have them on dvd.

This new version actually sounds like it has the potential to be entertaining. DreamWorks seems like a great fit, and Downey Jr could be a fun voice.

Maybe one day the peanut gallery here and at Cartoon Brew will get over the "They're raping my childhood" mentality whenever a worn out, nearly forgotten 1960's TV show is redone as a feature film. Yeah, sometimes the results aren't so hot, but get over yourselves. Your narcissistic obsession over your precious childhood memories gets a little tiring.

Anonymous said...

'this new version has thee po-ten-shul to be en-tur-taining! derrr! yup! golly-gee willakerz! downey jr! wow-wee! he's so funny when he does peabody! can't wait fer th' dvd extras!'

so what else is new in animation. yawn.

Anonymous said...

the haters are so funny on this site. You need to hand it to Dreamworks...they are maintaining animation projects and animation is what the studio is about. I have a theory that if they keep producing a steady amount of projects, people will begin to accept animation as more than a kids genre in America, but they would have to test the waters with deeper themes. They already took a big step with Dragon, and all it takes is a few more projects with edgy stories and they will be in the forefront. Basically they are the one studio that can AFFORD to take risks because the general public love what their foundation is. As long as they continue to put out movies that are rooted in the foundation of funny, goofy, & silly, the risk is cut to a minimum. just a theory, but keep your eyes open.

There are three studios whose main interest is in animation. Pixar, Dreamworks, and Blue Sky...thats it.

Anonymous said...

"Wildly successful animation director?"

One of no less than four directors on 1 cartoon. And the Haunted Mansion film.

Anonymous said...

Rob Minkoff has always had a reputation as a hotshot animator and all around clever guy, going back to the 80s.
Like it or not he did direct The Lion King-one of the TWO directors, not four. He did direct Haunted Mansion. He also directed Stuart Little.
Your point is?

Anonymous said...

There are three studios whose main interest is in animation. Pixar, Dreamworks, and Blue Sky...thats it.

Not sure what you mean. Because Disney Animation and Sony Animation are only interested in animation. But if we're counting parent companies, that excludes all of them.

And if you count the newcomer Illumination...

Anyway, point being, you're being pretentious.

Anonymous said...

Your narcissistic obsession over your precious childhood memories gets a little tiring.

I agree. Its not like anyone went back in time and erased things you loved.

I loved Transformers as a kid, and have been just fine ignoring the Michael Bay movies. Havent seen em. Dont care to.

Mr Gibson said...

Yah, this attempt at mining Jay Ward's properties for a hit will be the one that gets it right. THIRD TIME'S A CHARM!

If only there was a bookie we could place money with. I'll go under. Because the smart money observes the dismal record of hollywood throwing established properties at a random director with random writers in a some kind of tinsel town hodge podge hoping for a hit.

No vision. No heart. No sacrifice. Just another day at the office. Hit or miss.

Do me a favor, before you start calling me narcissistic because I recognize that great artistic content comes from a great source and not a committee playing odds, look up the definition of the word. Jeez.

And then look up Jay Ward and understand that the guy was made of greater stuff than all of the people working on this REMAKE combined.


"Oh, you wrote/directed/produced that great REMAKE of that timeless classic cartoon. Wow, thats impressive! When are you going to not be propped up by someone else's achievements?"

Anonymous said...

One of four directors. Fact. Roger Allred, George scribner, and the real director, Jeff Katzemburg.

Yes, four.

Anonymous said...

"You need to hand it to Dreamworks...they are maintaining animation projects and animation is what the studio is about."

What the hell are you talking about? How is Robert Downey Jr. voicing Peabody in a 3D remake of a cartoon short risk taking? Are you kidding? Really? I imagine you rushed out to see the big 3D studio risk Yogi Bear. Completely put their nuts on the line for that one, right? Jeezus.

Anonymous said...

Studios mining animation libraries for animation material is like watching them try to sleep with their cousin.

Anonymous said...

Watch it posters pretty soon they'll be blaming the Tuscon shootings on the heated rhetoric posted on this blog. I mean come on that nut job probably watched a cartoon or two in his childhood. F'ing Care Bears!

Anonymous said...

I heard Dreamworks is also working on a new version of Rudolph the Reindeer! It's called "RED NOSED" and I heard they are getting Ricky Gervais to voice Rudolph (or "Rudy") and they somehow snagged Antonio Banderas to voice Santa (what a coup!!!)!

Anonymous said...

It's funny to watch the contortions people will go through to elevate the animation they grew up with, and to find any excuse to demonize modern work. Then there's the perpetually cranky folks who think Jeffrey Katzenberg shot their dog, and they're never going to forget it.

Fact is, Jay Ward's stuff back in the day was witty, well written, sometimes artfully designed, but it was ultimately illustrated radio, and no one working on it thought they were creating art. Jay Ward and his crew were happy to take the creative work of other people and do their spin on it. What's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.

And DreamWorks is the ONLY stand alone animation studio dedicated to producing a steady stream of animated films. Hate Jeffrey all you want, but he's had his hand in far more than his share of wildly successful animated productions, and the studio he runs has continued full bore through thick and thin. A lot of people talk about loving animation, but few people put their entire fortunes at stake to make it so.

I think what's most galling to many bitter 'animation lovers' is that the public adores most of what DreamWorks produces. I don't work for the company, so call be a stooge all you want, but you have to go to great lengths to deny that fact.

Anonymous said...

I was born in the 60's and raised on a steady stream of TV animation. Let's be honest, most of the standard fair presented back then was crap. Yogi Bear and Friends? Crap. Hong-Kong Phooey? Crap. Gilligan Island in Outer Space? Crap. Jay Ward's stuff was better than the usual dreck because it was clever and pun ridden - not because the animation was stellar. The animation was - wait for it - CRAP! I could see the Writer's Guild getting up in arms about a possible retread of the Jay Ward stuff but the animator's guild? "Oh, that evil studio is doing more films that will employee animators. I hate them! I do! I do! I do!"

Jeezem crow people - grow the Hell up. Remember animation is for CHILDREN (not for adults who act like them). You can whine and beat you little fists against the walls of reality all you want but in the end animation is for kids!

Anonymous said...

I hope it has a low enough budget and shitty enough schedule for animation to make it look like 'crap' in 3D, too.

You now see how this is some execs crap idea, right? That's the only crap I smell. I can see in thirty years some Dreamworks exec doing South Park in hologram.

The irony is, if you sold this project as something that actually would like like 'crap' with a crap schedule and crap budget, WGA writers would be all f***ing over it - like flies on shit.

Get it?

Mr Gibson said...

There are thousands of creative minds in Hollywood who have scripts, properties, ideas and dreams that they are working hard to bring to the small screen or big screen.

Dreamworks chooses to do a retread of Jay Ward's work because it was a hit the first time, and they want a GUARANTEE of a hit in the present, so they take THE EASY ROAD of remaking ideas that Jay Ward dreamed up.

Whats being dreamed up at Dreamworks? Not much. Just rehashing something old, because they won't take a risk on a new idea.

*Golf clap*

Anonymous said...

Anon 7:33

Read again! READ! Thats why this blog is funny, people pull out what they want from a paragraph.

I said...

'...but they would have to test the waters with deeper themes. They already took a big step with Dragon, and all it takes is a few more projects with edgy stories and they will be in the forefront. Basically they are the one studio that can AFFORD to take risks because the general public love what their foundation is....'

Mr Peabody will fit in with the Dreamworks movies that are BASED around goofy, fun, and silly. I never said it was a risk. A movie like Mr. Peabody will bring in more money to take other risks. Smart business! You dont blow your pockets on one major endeavor (DNA/Ant Bully). Spread things out so that you can make calculated moves. Not checkers...CHESS!


and Anon 11:04

"...Because Disney Animation and Sony Animation are only interested in animation..."

You have to be a foolish person who is not in any of these studios or even can begin to understand business. Disneys money maker is ESPN and all of its other extensions! They could care less how much money they get from animation..I mean they have to care because its money, but in the grand scheme of the company...eh. Sony's foundation is VFX and animation is still somewhat secondary. They are trying to get it off the ground with every project, but its not their bread and butter. Sony is SONY and everything that is connected to that name.

The three studios I mentioned are centered around that one thing..ANIMATION. There is no Blue Sky Football channels and TV networks. Pixar doesnt have a major stake in any cable networks , and Dreamworks is not starting new kids shows with Highschool musical type programing or building laptops. I dont know what the European studios are doing so I wont comment on them.

see what I am getting at!?!

Anonymous said...

Mr. Gibson = troll. Not worth the time. Next.

Mr. Gibson said...

^ thats funny, because you're projecting what audiences previously said about EVERY remake of Jay Ward's properties, and will say the same about this one.
Not worth the time. Next.

*OH the icing on the cake is that this movie will be written by the same special talent that penned the Yogi Bear movie. A film currently sporting a 15% approval at Rotten Tomatoes. And The New York Times states about it:

"A bland 21st-century family comedy without a single moment that captures the wit, energy or sophistication of the original, which by now dates back more than 50 years."

^Oops, they must be "narcissistic" to express the same views that you are decrying. LOL!

I think you guys are selling yourself short, its a HUGE risk for Dreamworks to go ahead on this project. There isn't a single upside to be seen from any angle.

Anonymous said...

I think you guys are selling yourself short, its a HUGE risk for Dreamworks to go ahead on this project. There isn't a single upside to be seen from any angle.

It was a huge risk for Katzenberg to form DreamWorks Animation. It was a huge risk to make The Prince of Egypt. It was a huge risk to retrain an entire crew to work in CG. It was a huge risk to make Shrek, a movie that everyone claimed was too ugly, based on an obscure William Steig book with essentially no story. It was a huge risk to ignore the only successful model of animated features (the Disney/Pixar model -- aim for the kiddies, but get the whole family be adding in just enough sophistication) and instead consistently use adult protagonists doing things meant to appeal to adults. It was a huge risk to make Kung Fu Panda and How to Train Your Dragon. The Guardians is a risky film.

Guess what -- making animated feature films is a huge risk. Sequels aside, DreamWorks has never shirked from taking those risks. If anyone can do Peabody and Sherman successfully, two generations after the original, DreamWorks is likely the place to do it. The upside is that they're great characters, with just enough history to ground them, but not so much history that new stories can't be invented. I'm sure they won't get your 10$, but I'm also sure they don't need it.

If DreamWorks fails, you can pat yourself on the back, along with all the other fanboy critics. If they succeed, I'm sure you can pat yourself on the back for being more discerning than all the idiots who packed the theaters.

Anonymous said...

....Ummm.. Dreamworks did NOT retrain an entire Crew to CG after Prince of Egypt. In fact, they did a pretty Piss Poor job of it, and managed to lay off entire departments at the blink of an Eye.

Anonymous said...

THIS MOVIE IS GOING TO SUCK BALLS.

Anonymous said...

"The three studios I mentioned are centered around that one thing..ANIMATION. There is no Blue Sky Football channels and TV networks. Pixar doesnt have a major stake in any cable networks , and Dreamworks is not starting new kids shows with Highschool musical type programing or building laptops."

Dude, DreamWorks also makes live action films. And if if werent for Animation, The Disney Company as today wouldnt even exist.

Get that?

Anonymous said...

Sets the Way-back Machine to the early 30's and over hears the following conversation:

"Hun, did you here that they are gonna take the Snow White fairy tale we enjoyed as kids and making it into an animated film? Why, that's horrible. I loved that story as a child myself - that Disney fella is just gonna ruin it, I know he is!"

Haters gotta post hate just like old dogs gotta piss on trees and for the same reason just to let everyone know they were here...

Anonymous said...

....Ummm.. Dreamworks did NOT retrain an entire Crew to CG after Prince of Egypt. In fact, they did a pretty Piss Poor job of it, and managed to lay off entire departments at the blink of an Eye.

You're right, it wasn't the entire crew. I meant the entire animation department. They also retrained substantial portions of most other departments. Obviously there were departments that didn't have CG analogues. As for how well they did it, well, name another studio that did it better . . .

Dude, DreamWorks also makes live action films.

Uh, dude, DreamWorks Animation is it's own independent company. Has been for years.

And if if werent for Animation, The Disney Company as today wouldnt even exist.

But this discussion is about what's happening now, not the 1930's.

Mr. Gibson said...

"Jay Ward and his crew were happy to take the creative work of other people and do their spin on it. What's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander."

Jay Ward and his crew created SATIRE of other cultural properties. They didn't remake them.

Your point: FAIL

Anonymous said...

You just wrote the same thing I did, in different words. And DW is not 'remaking' Peabody and Sherman. The failure here is you, while I'm the one who actually has a high-end job creating the films you take such great pleasure in admiring.

Dan said...

It's quite amusing, to me at least, to see so many people going all to pieces any time someone points out the fact that when the amateurs who control Hollywood these days try to "improve" on older and better material they almost always fail. Words such as "haters" (!!) are thrown out at people who comment on the obvious fact that these remakes are almost to a man unqualified disasters.

Take the GEORGE OF THE JUNGLE live action "remake". Here is a classic example of the axiom that says one cannot successfully satirize a satire. But today's moviemakers, who are so much smarter than the moviemakers of the past (at least they keep telling us they are), decided to do just that. And you can see the results for yourself.

If those who are so obsessed with the idea of animation would stop, take a step or two back, reflect on past achievements and evaluate current ones and don't look at animation as an end in itself I think you would begin to see why so many people laugh at the idea that Hollywood today can improve on, for example, Jay Ward's past work. Childhood memories are one thing; recognizing true genius is quite another. There was genius at work in the Ward studio; at Dreamworks....?

So allow me to respectfully suggest to those of you who are thrilled with the idea of a Sherman and Peabody remake that you calm down and try to realize that others out there may not share your enthusiasm. That doesn't make us haters; it makes us realists.

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