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The Dreamworks Machine


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An interesting Wired article about Dreamworks animation, Katzenberg, and a bit about the rivalry with Pixar.


A little sad that Katzenberg admits they can't compete with Pixar on quality, so they're going for quality. But the stuff about their studios and the technology that connect s their studios is pretty good.

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Katzenberg is quick to express his admiration for Pixar - and also quick to point out that it was he who saved the studio from financial ruin by signing it to a distribution deal while he was at Disney.


Wasn't that only after he twice recommended they don't actually buy Pixar from George Lucas (subsequently losing it to Jobs) during his time at Disney? Or was that someone else’s fault? I forget.


I wonder if the Dreamworks animators secretly ridicule him like the Disney ones did.



Dreamworks is such a big let down to me. Next to Disney they're still the only studio not owned by some major conglomerate clueless about movies, and as the only major studio to have an actual filmmaker as one of its owners when they started I really hoped they would lead the way for a new generation of cinema, but instead they just do as the others do and follow like lemmings doing little in both live action and animation that's going to stand the test of time. Teen comedies, teen horror, crass and forgettable animation. Certainly the odd gem slips through as with some of the other studios, but generally they’re such a disappointment.



"It's great," Katzenberg says, "but what I think you need to do is have her kick him in the nuts."


In the nuts! Of course! The directors insert a few more whacks on the head, a gratuitous karate flip, and the coup de grace, a blow to the crotch. Alex buckles over, pleading for mercy in a high-pitched voice. Another memorable cinematic moment courtesy of Jeffrey Katzenberg, coming soon to a theater near you.


Just about sums it up really.



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Good find, Graeme! The article was very interesting.


My main problem with Dreamworks Animation CG movies is that the jokes are so tied to current events/fads/trends that the humor becomes dated very quickly. On the other hand, Pixar movies use timeless humor that will stand the test of time.


After reading the article, it's easy to see why that is. If the guy providing direction to the company views it entirely from a financial perspective, you'll end up with an assembly line where quantity is the priority. It can certainly be a financially successful route, but I'm glad that companies like Pixar are able to be show that quality route can be just as profitable too (or more so in Pixar's case).

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