Wednesday, January 19, 2011

3 Dreamworks Films and Weird Morals It Teaches

Dreamworks came into our lives thanks to a man who was unhappy about his job at Disney, named Jeffery Katzenberg and he was friends with Steven Spielberg. Their first effort, was a simple 2D animated feature called Prince of Egypt, back in the anarchic times before proper 3D animated films (that weren't Pixar) called the 90's. Since then, Dreamworks way of life has been to copy whatever Disney is doing and then throw a bunch of celebrities and pop culture references at said film and see what sticks...until 2001.
….which they subsequently ran into the ground, at full force.
This was the first year that Dreamworks saw critical and financial profiting off it's particular style of comedy and storytelling. As well as an Oscar win, one could say that Dreamworks (as well as Disney, let's not forget the big bully of the playground), have had a very strange and interesting ride with their storytelling, as well as their morals. The film alone made over four hundred million dollars and with that kind of money, you would think at least half of them would be kids who's brain at that point in time would be gigantic well as bored parents.
Oh god, why didn't we go see The Animal?
Basically, that whole paragraph was just a round about way of covering my ass in saying, film's don't necessarily need morals, but when you have a young audience, they will soak up anything that comes to me shit like that sticks.
It can really...really stick..
The Film:
Starting where Dreamworks rise to power begin, since they beat Monsters Inc., the first time in history where an animated film other than Disney had come in the top 10 for box-office. The film features an ogre (Mike Myers), a donkey (Eddie Murphy) and a princess, which sounds like someone trying to vaguely explain a weekend in Tijuana with children in the room. The film is a buddy movie, a satire on Disney culture and overall a great romp but what does it teach us?
The “Film” Moral:
That if you're different, it doesn't matter because you'll find someone just as different as you are.
The Real Moral:
 Women need to change for you rather than vice versa.
Just to see whether or not you were paying attention to the film, tet's analyse Shrek's character arc:
Act 1: He's an ogre who goes on a adventure to save his swamp.
Act 2: He's an ogre who meets a princess, pretending to be a knight.
Act 3: He's still an ogre...and now he's married.
Now let's look at Princess Fiona's arc:
Act 1: I'm a princess in a castle.
Act 2: Night time, see ya!
Act 3: I'm marrying who now?
And just for the hell of it, Donkey's arc:
Acts 1-3: Annoying
Right yeah, so essentially by the end of the film, we've realised that the actual characters have learned very little and changed very little and that they stay relatively the same beside a physical transformation. That being said, Shrek is still angry as ever and hates authority, meanwhile, Fiona would be living the rest of her life as an ogre if it weren't for the sequel's morals, that if you come from a fairly rich family with a few secrets, you'll be fine.
Seriously, be rich, everything's cool...oh and love or some shit conquers all.
How To Train Your Dragon
The Film:
How To Train Your Dragon was probably one of my favourite film's of last year and whilst I know it did not make an appearance on my paltry top 5 list, which could have just been a crayon drawing from a child who had just learnt a bunch of random words. The film featuers a young lad (Jay Bruchel) who trying to be all manly and masculine takes down a dreaded Night Fury, a notorious dragon due to the damage it causes. Much like Shrek, this film is based on a book and had critical as well as commercial success, so I think Dreamworks should be heading in the direction of adaptation rather than the one they're thinking of going.
You want more of these, right?
The “Film” Moral:
Don't be prejudice against what you do not know.
The Real moral: 
Lie about everything unless it benefits you
The way our protagonist, Hiccup, decides to deal with his problem is hiding it and learning from it, which anyone with any unchecked STD's will tell you, is really never the best solution. The downed dragon is barely helped despite Hiccup's expertise in blacksmith...ery (Yeah...that's a word), and decides to keep the poor animal hostage which he trains (Oh, that's why it's called that) and then becomes the most badass viking (or whatever they are) in the land.
Oh and gets some mad Viking pussy.
However, all goes to hell when he finds the dragon's den and Jeffery Archer just scowls at him before the rest of the Viking's go out and find. But then again, for those who have seen the film, that little bastard gets his come-uppance.
Seriously, stay out of my fucking den.
The film did gross over half a billion dollars and whilst it was beaten out by the best ending film to a trilogy ever released, How To Train Your Dragon was a great film, despite the fact that if a kid should find an injured animal that can help them along their way, we're gonna have a lot of lost dogs on your hands.
More like How To Florance Nightingale Your Dragon.
The Film:
Last year's animated hit, Megamind, had all the elements of a great Dreamworks film. An amazing voice cast of comedic actors, an awesome story which falls under what I call the Killing-Roadrunner Premise (what would you do if you finally got what you wanted?), however, after watching the film, it still had the same problems with every Dreamworks film, including poor use of voice-actors, unfunny pop culture sequences and the dreaded typical Dreamworks ending as well as face.
Coming Soon: The Next 'Original' Animated Feature from Dreamworks
Whilst totally nothing like Universal's animated flick that came out in 2010, the film pitted a super villain agaisnt a hero and actually killed him and then basically took over the city, until he realised he only really was happy when he was in battle. A perfect time to draw on the duality of man and how that one of man's true worth is what he fights and struggles fo-

Oh nevermind, a Marlon Brando parody which no one under the age of 18 will even come close to getting.
The Film Moral:
Don't judge people or be evil.
The Real Moral:
Fighting over women is worth it.
Despite the fact that the hero which Megamind creates brings up a whole bunch of unexplained daddy issues, Megamind ends up fighting his own (kinda) son and what for?
A woman.
Roxie (Tina FEY) is really not that attractive or interesting. She's just a reporter and it's incredibly ambiguous if she and Metro Man (Brad Pitt) ever did anything.. her real life counterpart on the other hand.
...holy fuck, you are perfect
Whether or not, her character is meant to be a dull and a plain parody on the Lois Lane archetype for Metro Man to save, it still isn't funny or interesting. Metro Man himself isn't too interesting and the third act surprise doesn't help his character one bit in becoming interesting, he just becomes annoying...oh and spoilers. But despite not enforcing the idea of Bro's Before Ho's and sticking with the sadly tried and tested, Love conquers all, Megamind still grossing over 300, 000, 000 dollars.
That being said, Dreamworks has found a great formula and stuck with it through thick and thin and in that tradition I shall end this review, the Dreamworks way.
You wish  you had these moves...

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