Sunday, March 06, 2011

Regarding DreamWorks Animation

They've got a new trailer up (teaser, and two days old. But what the hey.)

And while on the subject of DWA, I had occasion to talk to a former DreamWorks staffer last week. Among other things he mentioned:

"Have you noticed how in the press, it's always kind of the same thing? Pixar makes animated features for everybody, and they're all high quality. DreamWorks Animation makes dumb-downed entertainment for kids, with lots of fart jokes. That's kind of the way the story always goes."

I observed how the media gets hold of a through-line and hangs onto it, whether the evidence supports the story or not ... because it's clean, it's simple, and journalists can be lazy, so why not opt for the time-tested tale? I told him I thought Toy Story 3 was terrific, but How to Train Your Dragon* was more terrific. (* Obviously opinions will differ on this, but that's my outlook. "TS3" won the Academy Award, so I must be wrong.). And I noted how Wall-E was outstanding ... until it shifted to the giant spacecraft and turned into 2001 with fat people.

DWA has two features out this year: Panda Bear in the Spring and Puss in the Fall. Both will do respectable to very good business worldwide. Per DreamWorks' CEO, the company has not produced a money-loser in some time. However, being a stand-alone in the age of the sprawling conglomerate is not an easy task, and it's better than likely that DreamWorks Animation will (Ultimately? Inevitably?) get swallowed up.

* In the next few hours, we'll be revisiting How to Train Your Dragon in a TAG interview.


Anonymous said...

oooohhh--an interview with director Dean Dublios??!!!

Anonymous said...

Nah I bet it's with Kathy Altieri.

Anonymous said...

Well, there have been a lot of films from Dreamworks that can be regarded as dumbed down entertainment containing a lot of fart jokes.
With Kung Fu Panda and How to Train your Dragon they have started a new line which, if they continu it, will in time win audience and reviewers respect. I've heard a lot of Pixar fanboys praise HtTyD.

That said,Dreamwork's model offers something more. Dreamworks makes more money using their model and has been able to put out more films per year from the get-go compared to Pixar. It is rumoured to pay their employees better wage and mentioned as one of the best places to work. From an employee's perspective that's got to count for a lot.

Nathan Birnbaum said...

I like DWA, but I certainly hope that Glen Keane doesn't accept that juicy offer he got from Katzenberg to come over from the Hat Building.

Anonymous said...

Where did you get the idea that someone like Keane would even think of going to DreamWorks?

That's idiotic.

Anonymous said...

And there was no "juicy offer."

meh! said...

Keane's best days are in the past.

Anonymous said...

"Where did you get the idea that someone like Keane would even think of going to DreamWorks?

That's idiotic."

From this:

Anonymous said...

Puss was one of the strongest characters from Shrek. I'm looking forward to seeing just his story being told. Plus, Antonio's voice is just delightful to the ear, unlike Murphy's.

I hope Chris Miller can rekindle that Banderas-Hayek chemistry that made Rodriguez's Mariachi trilogy so much fun.

Anonymous said...

I really appreciate the subject of this blog... It seems like comedy is always trailing intensity/drama when it comes to awards...Including live action films. Steve Martin made a crack about it when he hosted the Academy Awards.
I think people judge drama as more difficult or amazing and receive the most accolades. But comedy is very difficult when it is done well, and Dreamworks has it down. HTTYD was a beautiful film and took a lot of creative risks. I don't agree that TS3 was the better film and I do not like the press discriminating between the two studios. They are both great and produce beautiful films.

Anonymous said...

It doesn't matter who I am-it matters who Puss is and who you are-the business representative. I think there's things that you shouldn't post about here even if Slashfilm and other blogs are doing it. It doesn't do anyone any service.

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous Monday, March 07, 2011 1:06:00 AM

So....Making *more*, yet crappier films per year is somehow better than making *fewer* but *higher quality* films?

And trust me....its no Peach to work there every day. Free lunches only take you so far.

Anonymous said...

Pixie alert! Pixie alert! Somebody woke up a Pixie troll.

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