Arguments for $1 ticket prices

17 05 2007

Shrek the Third opens this weekend and that means lots of money for Katzenberg. It also means that we will be taking a Saturday afternoon sometime soon and seeing it. But it also brings to my mind a question. Has anyone else noticed the disturbing trend of Disney/Pixar and Dreamworks making identical movies? Here’s what I mean:

Insect Movies:

Dreamworks: Antz 1998
Pixar: A Bug’s Life 1998

Ants by PixarAntz by Dreamworks

This one started it for me. This was back when we were all enamored with the idea of computer animation, and it didn’t really matter whether the movies were any good or not. I remember thinking “Do we really need two ant movies in the same summer?”  Were we really supposed to tell these two apart?  A co-worker actually told me “No, I saw Antz, because in real life ants have six legs.” Engineers are so stupid. What kind of freakish logic is that? You’re not smarter than me just because you can count to six.

Fish Movies:

Pixar: Finding Nemo 2003
Dreamworks: Shark Tale 2004

fish by Pixarfish by Dreamworks

When Jonathan was born and Karen was still in the hospital I took Isaac to see Finding Nemo. Isaac was three. Can you say five bathroom breaks? Who makes a kid’s movie set in the water, anyway? This movie has the highest gross ticket sales of any Pixar movie, and it’s no wonder. You got kids, you’re only seeing half this movie at a time thanks to potty breaks. There were some scary moments in that movie, too.  There were scary sharks, scary jellyfish, a scary angler fish, but the part that scared Isaac the most was when Nemo’s daddy was yelling at him.  Reminded him too much of his own abusive father I suppose. Shark Tale sucked, although the scene of that shark coming out of the closet dressed like the Village People was pretty darn funny.

Movies about zoo animals who are accidentally sent back to the wild:

Dreamworks: Madagascar 2005
Disney: The Wild 2006

who really needs two movies like this, anyway?Hello?  Anybody seen this?  No? me neither

In this case Dreamworks and Disney released, in consecutive years, two bad movies with exactly the same plot, setting, and most of the same characters.   I’ll be honest, I never saw The Wild, and I only saw a tiny bit of Madagascar because it was boring. How can a movie with Chris Rock in it not be funny? Ask Dreamworks, they did it. Bad timing for Disney, though, because when The Wild was released everybody had already seen it the year before, when it was called Madagascar.

Rat Movies:

Dreamworks: Flushed Away 2006
Pixar: Ratatouille 2007

singing slugs are funny.  New law of comedy.A rat chef in a 4 star french restaurant.  Not much of a stretch, actually.

Two movies about a rat who likes living the high life. In Flushed Away, he was the high society pet rat in a wealthy house, and in Ratatouille he’s a master chef in Paris. Maybe he should’ve been voiced by Gordon Ramsay. I’m siding with Dreamworks on this one even though Ratatouille isn’t out yet and it looks very funny. Hey! A food movie! Maybe I can write a review! I wonder if I can claim the ticket price as a tax deduction. But Flushed Away wasn’t really done by Dreamworks, it was done by Aardman. I’ve been a Wallace & Gromit fan for a long time now and anything with Nick Park’s name on it wins in our house. And who doesn’t like singing slugs?

That isn’t rice, it’s maggots you’re eating!

Bird Movies:

Dreamworks: Chicken Run 2000
Disney: Valiant 2005

yes, these chickens are made out of claySquab!  Quick, suck their brains out!!

As stated before, anything from Nick Park wins in our house, and Chicken Run was his first full length movie. Since these movies take 2-3 years to write, direct, and produce this is perhaps the only set capable of being a true copycat in the list.  I never saw Valiant, but seriously, did anyone see Valiant? Anyone? Valiant it proof positive that Disney has lost their magic completely. My only consolation is that Disney lost $20 million on it.  Almost immediately following this flop Disney bought Pixar.

Monster Movies:

Pixar: Monsters, Inc. 2001
Dreamworks: Shrek 2001

monsters who aren’t scary trying to scare kidsan ogre trying to prove he’s really a nice guy

This one’s a bit of a stretch, I know, especially since I loved both movies. I can’t say anything really bad about these two except that the make-believe creatures weren’t made as scary or ugly as they could’ve been because they’re marketed towards kids. Is it me or are those monsters cute?  For those of you who’ve never read Shrek!, the book by William Steig, you must. It is hilarious and I guarantee you’ll love it. Shrek is far more repulsive in this book than he is in the movie. That being said, both these movies are winners in my opinion, and are actually fairly original stories, which is hard to find in one movie a year, let alone two. Shrek was pretty good but it was nothing compared to Shrek II. Dare we dream that Shrek the Third is better still?

Superhero Movies

Pixar: The Incredibles 2004
Disney: Sky High 2005 (Live Action)

these heroes kick ass…these don’t

This is perhaps the real surprise of the bunch because they’re both from Disney. Disney has long been known for beating lots of dead horses, and I won’t even get into movies like Cinderella II, Cinderella III, Pocahontas II, The Lion King II, The Fox & the Hound II, Little Mermaid II, Bambi II, Lady & the Tramp II, The Hunchback of Notre Dame II, Brother Bear II, The Return of Jafar, and all the other cheap-ass sequels that went straight to video. Did anyone actually pay money to see Sky High, when you knew it would be on the Disney Channel in a month or two?

Now that I think about it, maybe Sky High is more of a copy of the X-Men franchise. Either way, boo to Disney for producing some cheesy knockoff of a real movie. I must say I really liked The Incredibles, and for months Isaac ran around the house at top speed like Dash.

Is it me or has Fiona lost weight?

I’m not sure if I’m imagining things but it seems as though Fiona the ogre has hit the gym since we saw her three years ago.  You decide:

Fiona in Shrek 2Fiona in Shrek 3

I understand that ogre obesity is on the rise, but so are ogre eating disorders so I’m a bit surprised at the decision.  At this rate Fiona will be a size 2 ogre in a little ogre miniskirt and haltertop in Shrek 4.

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3 responses

18 05 2007
Daddy Forever

I’ve noticed the Pixar-Dreamworks dups. but after watching the same kids movie over and over again on DVD, they all seem pretty much seem the same. I might take the kids to see Shrek 3, but not this weekend. I hate long lines!

18 05 2007
chennette

I think I prefer the Pixar movies more than the Disney. Not that I haven’t enjoyed some of the Disney, but I like more of the Pixar.
Bug’s Life over Antz (it’s animation, they’re not real ants no matter what you do, and I am not a scientist anyway 😉 )
Finding Nemo definitely – Shark Tale was a terrible terrible movie. Terrible.
The Monster movies were all good.
Chicken Run is a huge favourite (ditto on your Nick Park thing – Creature Comforts! – really want to see Flushed Away – I have been out of it for a while – see having kids means you HAVE to see the latest animations 🙂 it’s part of your job. I wonder what’s my excuse?)
The Incredibles is also great -although Sky High it wasn’t as bad as I expected.
And I’ll end this long comment on kiddie movies and go back to doing my less entertaining job…

21 05 2007
Sarah

i must say i’m a pixar person myself. except for the ratouille one. they can never beat the singing slugs. though i agree disney has come up with some specatcular flops over the recent years. i’m not even going to talk about the army of sequels (isn’t one movie good enough? especially if it’s a classic. we don’t need to know what happens. happily ever after is good enough for me.) although i did like sky high. though that might be due to the fact that warren peace was absolutely gorgeous…

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