Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Dark

Jeffrey K. speaks:

J. Katzenberg: When I started DreamWorks [Animation] the goal, the ambition, was to go from what had been a G-rated approach to [the Disney animated] films to PG, where we actually tried to put more dimensions in the film and more adult, broader appeal. When I went back to watch "Prince of Egypt" for the 10th-year anniversary—I never watch these movies when they’re done, I see them each so many times while making them—I said, "What were we thinking?"

It's a dark movie, so dramatic! There’s a barely even a little humor. It’s beautiful and ambitious. But dark, jeez. ...

In DWA's earlier years, while Shrek, Shrek 2 and Shark Tale were being made, full of sight gags, fart jokes and zany humor, the hand-drawn Spirit, Stallion of the Cimarron and Sinbad were being made, both of them dark, dramatic, and relatively humor free. More than one DreamWorks employee complained:

"We don't get why our traditional features are like masterpiece theater, and the CG stuff has all the comedy." ...

At the time, I didn't understand why DreamWorks Animation reserved CG for its light-hearted movies either. It seemed confusing. Especially with seventy years of hand-drawn, animated comedies and musicals ... including the ones Jeffrey oversaw at Disney ... to study and emulate.

I guess Mr. Katzenberg now harbors second thoughts about the strategy too.

4 comments:

Dan Siciliano said...

CORRECTION: "Sinbad" had some humor, such as scenes with Spike the dog.

Alex Dudley said...

Just think, if they made 2D animated films that were wacky like their CG films, maybe traditionally animated films would still be around.
I guess they realized too late that they 2D animated films were killed off for the wrong reasons.

F. Kousac said...

jeffery's full of b.s. all the way around, and with many of the comments in that article proves why he failed. He never made "darker" or "more adult" cartoons. He just made self important BORING ones. Especially flops like prince of egypt, sinbad, and that dumb horse thing---none of them had characters at all. Just types, and they were unimaginative and boring to look at. While Road to El Dorado never defined it's audience, at least it tried to have SOME character. It's also a bad film, and failed horribly, but at least it tried.

if jeffery ever wanted to actually make a film with heart, he'd have to have one first.

Steve Hulett said...

Dan, you're correct. There was humor in "Sinbad", but t was a long way from being a laugh riot comedy.

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