Friday, September 21, 2007

Katzenberg on DreamWorks Animation

The Motley Fool has a nice summation of Jeffrey K's Q & A session at the Merrill Lynch Fall Preview:

Katzenberg spoke about a few projects coming down the animated pike.

Bee Movie, written by and starring Jerry Seinfeld, will be out in November, and it promises to deliver the famous comedian's wit and sensibility. Shareholders might be disappointed by the movie's international potential, though. Katzenberg seemed to hedge his bets when speaking about Bee Movie's ability to perform in non-English-speaking territories...

Kung Fu Panda, starring Jack Black and Jackie Chan, sounds much more interesting to me, since Katzenberg believes it's a bona fide franchise in the making. I almost got the sense from reading Katzenberg's comments that he believes this could be another Shrek in the making...

I also admire the CEO's willingness to criticize the last act of Madagascar... Katzenberg didn't think it was up to par with the rest of the cartoon. Such honesty is refreshing, and it shows a willingness to improve on the creative process. The upcoming Madagascar sequel will hopefully reflect this...

J.K.'s comments on Madagascar strike a chord with me. When I saw the film (and it was a considerable hit), I was knocked out by the design, the comedy, the characters. But when the lights came up and I walked out, I was thinking: What happened to the third act?

Which goes back to the age-old axium: "It's the story. First, last, and always."


oats said...

I loved MAD 1 and I am even excited about the sequel. I find myself defending this film often. Its not perfect, but I love the designs, I think it is VERY funny (some argue with me about this) and the rough parts of the film don't last long (they try to do a tugging-at-the-heartstrings-thing at the end when they should have just stayed funny - just my opinion).

Michael Barrier said, "Madagascar, by contrast, is simply funny, really funny, and fortunately, the filmmakers almost never forget that being really funny is all the justification a film needs for its existence."

I LOVE the Pixar-heart. I am STILL moved when I watch Nemo or Incredibles (and I love the last lines of TS2 and Monsters!) But not EVERY animated film has to have heart! I think we can do wacky comedies that are just wacky all the way through - as long as they are GOOD all the way through.

I think Kung Fu Panda has awesome designs as well - and I like Jack Black a lot, so I am really pulling for my pals at DWKS on that one.

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