It was only a matter of time before Rotoscopers began their DreamWorks countdown. They have previously reviewed all of the feature films of Walt Disney Animation Studios and Studio Ghibli, and now, every Monday and Friday, they plan to do the same for DreamWorks Animation.
There are a total of 35 films for them to review and, unlike the movies of Disney and Ghibli, the quality of each DreamWorks film tends to be unpredictable, which should make this countdown interesting.
The studio wasn’t exactly founded for artistic purposes. In 1994, film director Steven Spielberg, music executive David Geffen, and film executive Jeffrey Katzenberg started the company following his own resignation from Disney. Traditional animators from Spielberg’s Amblimation (Fieval Goes West, We’re Back! A Dinosaur’s Story, Balto) migrated to DreamWorks but Katzenberg went out of his way to hire away Disney animators. He even courted controversy when he green-lit Antz the same year as Disney/Pixar’s A Bug’s Life in the hopes of taking down his former employer.
You may notice the early DreamWorks films had more diverse animation styles. In the nineties, they partnered with computer animation company Pacific Data Images (Antz, Shrek, Madagascar) and British stop-motion animation company Aardman Animations (Wallace and Gromit, Chicken Run), but when Shrek came out in 2001 and made more money than their 2D films (and won an Oscar), and Aardman left DreamWorks in 2006 due to creative differences, the company focused primarily on CGI.
DreamWorks continued along into the new millennium with award-worthy films like Kung Fu Panda, How To Train Your Dragon and The Croods. Unfortunately, success at the box office became fewer and farther between, to the point where in 2015, Pacific Data Images went defunct and DreamWorks struggled to find a distributor.
After trying to make ends meet by teaming up with companies like Netflix and YouTube for more revenue sources, DreamWorks Animation finally has a stable distribution deal with Universal, the distributors of Illumination (Despicable Me). Maybe those minions can teach the studio a thing or two about creating beloved family films again?
That’s the company’s history, but there is plenty more to be said about their films. We look forward to showcasing the artistry and fun films of DreamWorks throughout the Fall and hope you participate in the discussions and share your opinions in the comments.
Let the countdown begin!
Full list of DreamWorks Animation Countdown articles:
- The Prince of Egypt
- The Road to El Dorado
- Chicken Run
- Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron
- Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas
- Shrek 2
- Shark Tale
- Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit
- Over the Hedge
- Flushed Away
- Shrek the Third
- Bee Movie
- Kung Fu Panda
- Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa
- Monsters vs. Aliens
- How to Train Your Dragon
- Shrek Forever After
- Kung Fu Panda 2
- Puss in Boots
- Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted
- Rise of the Guardians
- The Croods
- Mr. Peabody and Sherman
- How to Train Your Dragon 2
- Penguins of Madagascar
- Kung Fu Panda 3
- The Boss Baby
- Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie
What is your favorite DreamWorks animated film? What do you appreciate most about the studio’s style? Share with us in the comments below!
Edited by: Morgan Stradling