Dreamworks Animation

Turbo

“Where were you on the day they let a snail race in the Indy 500?” This one line, spoken by Paul Page or Chris Parnell, I can’t remember which — they both play telecasters of the Indy 500 race in the film — pretty much sums up what’s going on in the new Dreamworks Animation film Turbo. It’s a movie about a snail, voiced by Ryan Reynolds, who dreams of being fast, something his brother (Paul Giamatti) has explained on numerous occasions is against what nature has intended. Yet, he finds a way and ends up in the Indianapolis 500. Because as the film teaches us, “no dream is too big, no dreamer is too small.” It also teaches us lessons about no concept being too worn out. How Turbo, whose real name is Theo, gets to the Indy 500 is perhaps the least interesting part of the David Soren directed toon. He wants to be fast, he isn’t fast, he tries to be fast and ends up creating a giant mess for his fellow colony of snails. So he runs away and stumbles into a scene from Fast and Furious, surviving a Nitrous Oxide bath that makes him a snail with super-gastropodial speed.

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The Croods

Considering that we live in a world that has multiple animated Smurfs movies, it’s not shocking that DreamWorks Animation is reportedly setting up a sequel to their own unexpected hit The Croods. The recent riff on cavemen, evolution, and the progression of historial eras (fun!) has banked a solid $385m for DreamWorks and Fox and, still better, it’s actually not a bad family film. Deadline Hollywood reports that the studio is “expected to announce” a sequel, and with Fox’s Cinema Con panel scheduled for Thursday, this week is certainly looking like a good time to do so. Evolution is cool again, you guys. With voice talent from Nicolas Cage, Emma Stone, Ryan Reynolds, Catherine Keener, Clark Duke, and Cloris Leachman, the animated adventure centers on the world’s first family unit as they attempt to survive a changing world around them. Filled with actually funny lines and classic comedic gags, fantastic animal creatures (including a bunch of things that look as if they jumped right off a Lisa Frank folder), and a sweet family-friendly message, we could all do far worse when it comes to kiddo movies, so a Croods sequel sounds rock solid to us.

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Turbo Movie

In DreamWorks‘ Turbo a snail (voiced by Ryan Reynolds) dreams of racing in the Indy 500. Like all snails. Check with National Geographic. They’ll confirm. It’s a simple premise that could work really well for the studio’s sense of humor, and the new trailer is nothing but promise. Great design, a few kooky side characters, the usual fish-out-of-water following his ridiculous dreams set up. It’s a superhero movie where the accident happens to a gastropod. Check it out the trailer for yourself:

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Peter Ramsey

Rise of The Guardians is a step forward for Dreamworks Animation in the way How to Train Your Dragon was. Both films tossed away the company’s signature pop culture references, gag-driven narratives, and all their other much-criticized characteristics. Guardians and Dragon have both created their own universes, and in an unexpected way. Rise of the Guardians director Peter Ramsey – who did storyboards for a few of our favorite movies – takes the world, the stakes, and all the famed holiday characters seriously. There is no place for self-referential jokes in this universe, which is what surprised Ramsey the most. We spoke to the director himself a few weeks ago, who discussed how story boarding is the best film school around, how he took a live-action approach to the film, and the joy world-building:

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How to Train Your Dragon

After Rise of the Guardians in November, DreamWorks Animation movies will no longer be distributed by Paramount. It’ll be the job of Fox, and it’s still a bit unclear what (if anything) that business switch will mean when it comes to style and quality. It might be a good faith agreement or it might be the kind of partnership where Fox has its fingers in several pies. One sign that it’ll be the latter option, or at the very least a sign of why Fox was so keen to partner up, is that DreamWorks’ slate for the next 3 years features a nice handful of sequels and spin-offs. Still, the bulk of the list is original concepts. That’s commendable. Even more on the optimistic side, there are some really great bright spots amongst the list, and . Here are the dozen films that DreamWorks Animation has promised fans through 2016.

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Ever since Pixar’s Toy Story brought CG animation to the mainstream and dropped everyone’s jaws with the amazing visuals that the process makes possible, traditional, hand-drawn animation has taken a serious backseat. Which makes sense, because the last couple decades of animated movies have used computers to push the artistry of these films to places that never seemed possible before. But hand-drawn animation has its charms, and is still very versatile in how it can be used, so it would be a shame if it went completely extinct in the wake of all the new computer whatsits. Disney has recently tried to keep the art form alive with releases like The Princess and the Frog and Winnie the Pooh, but those films largely failed to find the commercial success of most of the modern CG releases. Could it be possible that today’s children just don’t want to go see a movie that looks hand-crafted and old-fashioned? Or have moviemakers just not found the right vehicle with which to have old-school animation make its triumphant return? DreamWorks Animation seems to be willing to bet that the old way of doing things isn’t dead, and they may have found the best possible way to reintroduce hand-drawn work to a new generation of film fans. The studio’s next project, Me and My Shadow, will blend traditional animation with the more modern stuff. Over on the film’s Facebook page (found via ComingSoon) they’ve posted its first bit of concept art, as well as an […]

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At one point, Robert Downey, Jr. was set to voice the genius time-traveling dog from Rocky and Bullwinkle fame, but now according to The Hollywood Reporter Modern Family‘s Ty Burrell will be filling in for his vocal chords. Burrell started in movies with Evolution (raise your hand if you remember it and/or still have a poster for it in the bedroom closet at your parent’s house) and went on to bit roles in stuff like Dawn of the Dead (2004), National Treasure: Book of Secrets and The Incredible Hulk. Of course, he’s reached a far bigger audience on the ABC show that’s won 39 awards and been nominated for nearly one hundred more. Now, he’ll be playing a dog. It’s the dream, people. Lion King director Rob Minkoff will be directing Mr. Peabody and Sherman, the story of a brilliant, talking dog and his young human being sidekick who hop into their WABAC machine in order to explore history. In the movie version, they’ll be hot on the trail of someone who’s stolen a time machine and is changing historical events with wacky results. It seems like a perfect fit for DreamWorks Animation, and it’ll be interesting to see how they pull off the absurdity of history constantly changing with our heroes locked in it.

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Many people think that DreamWorks Animation is in a constant battle against Pixar. That’s because they are. However, the near-total domination from Disney’s arm means that DreamWorks gets a bit of leeway as the underdog, and they’ve capitalized on that standing with some offbeat and clever choices for production. It’s that mentality that must have given them license to bring Alma to life. The beautiful, unnerving short film from Pixar animator Rodrigo Blaas (which we featured on the site back in September) is going to grow into a feature length film under the tutelage of Guillermo del Toro and the team over at DreamWorks. With any luck, they’ll maintain the crawling sensibility featured prominently in the story of a young girl in a toy store. To that point, there’s an odds on chance that the feature will feel a lot like the short simply because DreamWorks has the brass buttons to do it. So is this reason to celebrate? Absolutely. Why? Watch the short for yourself and you tell me:

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DreamWorks Animation has been making animated features that are then distributed by Paramount Pictures for a while now. It’s been a good model that’s, for the most part, worked out well. Heck, when they put out How to Train Your Dragon, people even started to talk about how they were approaching or meeting Pixar levels of success. But this partnership between companies appears to now be over, and the future of animated movies is looking a bit uncertain. What happened? Well, despite the fact that the DreamWorks/Paramount relationship has been making money and achieving more and more critical success, Dreamworks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg hasn’t been happy with his end of the deal, and has started shopping around the rights to distribute Dreamworks films to other companies. As a matter of fact, Katzenberg is reportedly looking for someone to agree to purchase Dreamworks Animation as a part of a new distribution deal.

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If there’s one family movie franchise I wouldn’t mind seeing more of it’s the epic tale of Po the Kung Fu Panda and his merry band of fighting creature friends, the Furious Five. This sequel to the 2008 hit resurrects and expands upon the original’s blend of creatively filmed action, appealingly broad comedy and classic Chinese motifs interspersed with that age-old animation standard: cute animals. This time, Po the Dragon Warrior (Jack Black) and his team are called upon to protect China from Lord Shen (Gary Oldman), a peacock with a devious plan to right a past wrong and heavy machinery to back it up. The kung fu masters must face immense obstacles, not the least of which is Po’s sudden, shocking realization that his noodle-shop owning goose father (James Hong) isn’t his biological paterfamilias.

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For those among you who are cool, you will remember the best days of Seth Rogen were his short-lived days spent among the cast of Freaks & Geeks. Sure, he’s grown up and gone on to do bigger things, but there was something so honest about those performances. They were untainted by all of the baggage that now accompanies Rogen from project to project. That said, Rogen is getting back into the school yard vibe with DreamWorks Animation’s Boo U. The story follows a ghost who must return to “ghost school” in an attempt to become a better spook. If director Anthony Leondis (Igor) plays it right, the reason the main character will need remedial work will have something to do with his silly, almost non-stop chuckle. It’s a perfect fit for Rogen, as anyone whose ever been to one of his Comic-Con panels can tell you. It all sounds very Casper the Friendly Ghost meets Monsters Inc. I say that despite the knowledge that by comparing a Dreamworks project to a Pixar movie will earn me some guff in the comments section. That’s okay, I’ll just imagine all of the comments coming complete with that Seth Rogen chuckle. [Heat Vision]

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McDonald

This is what happens when movie marketing goes wrong. This week, McDonald’s will recall about 12 million Shrek drinking glasses because federal regulators found they contain the toxic metal cadmium, which poses some potentially serious health risks.

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Megamind

It’s clear from this first full trailer for Dreamworks’ upcoming animated superhero film Megamind that the similarities to Pixar’s The Incredibles are on purpose. That said, it isn’t exactly a bad thing.

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How to Train Your Dragon

Here we take a one dimensional view on the latest 3D film from Dreamworks Animation of which we saw only in two dimensions. The major lesson learned is that you apparently don’t need polarized glasses to tame a reptile.

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Megamind

Dreamworks Animation has released the first teaser trailer for their upcoming film Megamind, which will release on November 5, 2010. The film — like so many Dreamworks releases — sports a pretty big name voice cast. Will Ferrell will voice the title character, an evil mastermind bent on world destruction.

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dicaprio-guardians

Dreamworks Animation announced today that Leonardo DiCaprio has joined his first animated feature film, their upcoming release The Guardians.

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howtotrain-header

There’s a pun here somewhere. I just can’t find it. Perhaps it is something along the lines of, “perhaps Dreamworks Animation should learn how to make a good animated movie” before they tackle the dragon training…

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xombie

Oh Zombies. Either they are becoming popular again or no one in Hollywood has any creativity. Or they all collectively get together and decide what fads they want to propel. Luckily, the latest adaptation comes from some cool source material that originated right here! On the internet!

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Monsters vs Aliens - 10 Things We Liked, 5 We Didn

We’ve already laid waste to Tokyo and kidnapped bikini babes off beaches, so it was definitely time to enlist with the Monster Army to fight Aliens. But did we enjoy the experience?

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The other day we brought you the 2D version of SoBe Lifewater’s Superbowl commercial, which features characters from the upcoming Dreamworks Animation feature Monsters vs. Aliens. And today they have released the 3D version of the trailer online for all to see — or at least those of us nerdy enough to have a pair of 3D glasses laying around the house.

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published: 12.19.2014
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published: 12.18.2014
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published: 12.17.2014
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