Posted on 28 July 2010.
This has been a long running debate in the industry and on this site. The debate between the Pixar animation loyalists (similar to Apple brand loyalists) and DreamWorks Animation‘s (DWA) honks. Basically the debate has always read that Pixar is the far superior studio, and DWA can never be as good.
Well, at least in terms of box office, there is going to be no debate. The crown clearly sides with DreamWorks now, as this year for DWA will be the biggest in any animation studio’s history. Their expanded release schedule includes three cartoons this year and two of which have soared at the box office already, with one more to come. From Variety:
That was driven mostly by recent pics “How to Train Your Dragon” and “Shrek Forever After,” which have earned a strong $480 million and $603 million, respectively, at the box office, helping the company pass the $1 billion mark in worldwide sales this year.
“This year will be the biggest ever for a CG animation studio in the history of Hollywood,” DWA-topper Jeffrey Katzenberg told analysts during a conference call.
“Shrek Forever After” is on its way to become DreamWorks Animation’s third highest-grossing film ever. The company, which is releasing three pics in one year for the first time, will unspool the superhero comedy “Megamind” on Nov. 5.
DWA has used 3D to great effect and their year has taken off. Pixar, on the other hand, continues to churn out “only” one film per year, and cannot match the box office clout generated by DreamWorks at this time. Those siding with Pixar will still clearly say it is about quality, not quantity, and use their awards success as representative of that measure. But alas, this is a money driven world and industry, and the money clearly counts for more than the awards at this point. Ask James Cameron if he is feeling sorry for himself over Avatar losing Best Picture at the Oscars to his ex-wife’s vehicle.
As you know, animated movies are not my cup of tea. Tried ’em, can’t do ’em. Additionally, I think that there is no difference in the quality of animation to the naked eye. I feel both studios likely have had some retreading of animators in both houses. Therefore, how can one be so clearly superior to the other? I don’t see it.
Nevertheless, the debate will surely rage on, but you can chalk one rather large point squarely on the side of DWA, which slowly but surely is winning over any doubters in their quest to out-muscle Pixar. And since they have and are making more money this year, I am sure that could lead to more debate problems. Somehow, I don’t think they are worried. Thoughts?