DreamWorks Animation is profitable. It has been ever since a billion pop-culture references vomited out of Shrek’s mouth back in 2001. I suppose DreamWorks Animation is useful in that we’ll always have a company that will be wildly inferior to Pixar.
But when reading Variety’s report about DWA’s plans for the future, it’s not hard to see why. For starters, they want five new films over the next two years. Pixar keeps to one really, really good film per year. Second, bragging about their successful franchies of “Shrek”, “Kung Fu Panda”, and now “Monsters vs. Aliens”, Co-President of Production Bill Damaschke says they want two sequels a year and one original movie. Huzzah. And finally, as per CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg’s asinine mandate, all projects will be produced in 3D (you know, because it’s the future and shit. Emphasis on the “and shit”).
I don’t mean to be so down on DreamWorks Animation because they have produced some enjoyable flicks like “Bee Movie” and “Over the Hedge”. But this insistence on arbitrary business guidelines like how many films they’ll make and how many must be sequels and why they all have to be in 3D so that we can breed a nation of cross-eyed children (someone will do a study; mark my words) is the hollowness of Hollywood laid bare. And I’m not saying that Pixar only thinks of stories and lives in a magical world where they don’t have business considerations. But it’s so disheartening to read an article like this because it reads like “Happy Meal First, Movie Second”.
However, they do know the movies they’re making through 2012 and we’ve included a list of them below along with brief synopsis after the jump.
How to Train Your Dragon (March 26th, 2010): An adventure comedy set in the mythical world of burly Vikings and wild dragons, based on the book Cressida Cowell. The story centers around a scrawny teenager, who lives on the island of Berk, where fighting dragons is a way of life. Initiation is coming and this is his one chance to prove his worthiness to his tribe and his father. But when he encounters and befriends a wounded dragon, his world is turned upside down.
Shrek Forever After (May 21st, 2010): Not much is known about the film but I’m betting it will feature fart jokes and pop-culture references that will be dated five minutes after the movie is over.
Oobermind (November 5th, 2010): Okay, I think this one actually sounds really good — Robert Downey Jr. voices a supervillain who finds life a little dull after vanquishing good-guy rival Metro Man. Tina Fey is also doing voice work for the film while Ben Stiller is executive producing.
Kung Fu Panda: The Kaboom of Doom (June 3rd, 2011): No plot as of yet but hopefully it will be as surprisingly inoffensive as the first film.
The Guardians (November 4th, 2011): According to Variety, the story unites characters every child knows — Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, Jack Frost and the Sandman — to defend the world from a Bogeyman-like villain. Yeah, I saw this and it was called “Imaginationland”. It was on “South Park”. It was awesome. Will this too feature a sadistic obese child trying to get his Jewish nemesis to suck his balls?
Puss in Boots (March 20th, 2012): The long-awaited spin-off featuring the adorable Puss in Boots character is actually a prequel and Puss will have a love interest named Kitty voiced by Salma Hayek. Was calling that character “Pussy” too offensive or just too confusing?
Madagascar 3 (May 27th, 2012): This time the characters go to a traveling circus in Europe. How about in the inevitible fourth film they go to a place where they eat zoo animals? Let’s send them there.
One of three potential projects will take the November 12th, 2012 slot (you know, the one DreamWorks Animation film for 2012 that will be *gasp* original): “The Croods”, “Truckers”, or the “Super Secret Ghost Project” (that last one is a tentative title but I hope they keep it).