megamind megamind
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Megamind Teaser

Here’s the teaser for a godawful looking low-budget European co-production… waitasec…my bad…this is DreamWorks’s Megamind. By now, I’ve come to expect very little from DreamWorks product, but this one strikes me as being even blander and clumsier than their usual bland and clumsy style. It looks like a slapped together patchwork of CG cliches, so much so that in these clips the characters appear uncomfortably detached from their background environments. The strain of a three-films-a-year schedule is becoming painfully evident.

  • the guy

    he’s got a soul patch…

    ’nuff said.

    oh wait, he’s SUPPOSED to be a d-bag. My apologies to Dreamworks.

  • pixarbuttboy

    You turn a blind eye to Dragon’s rave reviews, and wait for your chance to needlessly pounce on Dreamworks yet again!

    It’s getting old.

    Go F yourself Amid.

  • we’ll see


    You’ll have to let me know how the crow tastes when Dragons opens.

  • Rodrigo

    Schedule Strain? Huh??? How to Train Your Whaaaaaaaaa????

  • Keith

    Don’t mind the premise, really like the Kriegaffe with a fish-in-a-bowl for a head… don’t like most of the voices listed (funny people, perhaps, but only Will & Steve really grab my attention as VOICE actors), and REALLY hate the very Shark-Tale-y list of the big-name voice cast. I should be used to that tactic, since it’s for the audiences who generally look down on animation as a ‘kiddie’ medium (if they even remember it’s a medium, not a genre), but it still bugs me. I’m very glad How To Train Your Dragon didn’t go that route!

  • Levi

    I think Amid is being extremely harsh about this. You know Dreamworks may not have a track record for turning out golden nuggets of quality work every single time, but that doesn’t mean they haven’t made some good stuff already. It’s the not the artists’ fault who make the arrangements of the pipeline and the studio. Give it time, animation is on the right path (short films, indies, features). It may not be moving fast enough for people, but its getting there. At least these films in-between the “good” ones keep the animators busy and keeps food on the table. Enough said.

  • Daniel M.

    oh okay, when you said ‘godawful low budget European co production’, I figured you were posting another clip from some crude, god awful, independent animation that would make me want those two minutes of my life back.

    I guess if I animated something with my foot you’d post it as a work of genious…

    This thread is going to turn into just yet another pro/anti dreamworks back and forth that this site is known for. If I may speak for the majority of artists who are actually working on this film, shut up and go write another ‘art of’ book that no one will ever care about.

  • A.C.

    Hey guys, how about instead of pouncing on Amid you realize there, perhaps, is a bit of a strain. Some of the movies turn out good, like Dragon, while others end up getting the shaft and are just crap. This one’s summary sounded pretty interesting, but all the trailer said is, “OH HEY LOOK AT OUR BIG NAME VOICES.” I think that shows that even Dreamworks isn’t confident in it, that all they do is list four voices. :/

  • Blimey! Amid, you’ve created a monster! Good on you, mate. Honestly though, I agree with you. It doesn’t look great. As for ‘the majority of artists who are actually working on this film’, I’m sure they’re very talented, but they’re probably working for a comatose Art Director, that’s all.

  • Daniel M.

    Or possibly the marketing dept. has no idea what theyre doing….

    the artists have very little to do with how these things get presented, and speaking from someone whos actually seen the film in its rough state, its quite promising.

  • Daniel M.

    btw, I do agree the teaser is crap…

  • NC

    WOW hatred is a-spewing. Guys admit it Dreamworks is pretty infamous for cutting corners and bland humor and this is just perpetuating that. Yes KFP and Dragon maybe great films but that’s like saying Michael Bay is a great director because of The Rock.

    On the other hand it is work and it is bringing food to the table for a lot of people. In these tough economic times we can’t afford to scoff at too many productions. People need work and Dreamworks is providing it.

  • Angry Anim

    Oh, look! Another Cartoon Brew thread where Amid says something bad about DreamWorks, and then all the DreamWorks defenders come out of the woodwork to tell him that he sucks.

    I guess I just don’t get it. DreamWorks may be providing a lot of work for people, but there’s no denying that their films are lacking. They’re cold, with vanilla design, and just lacking in heart. It’s been like that since Prince of Egypt, and it’s like that now.

    Nico Marlet– absolutely brilliant designer. I love his stuff. His designs for Bee Movie… fantastic. So where are those designs in the final product? Where? Why is it so blah?

    At least Panda retains some inspiration to it. But still– after we go through this journey with Po for the entire movie– after seeing him finally build up confidence with Master Shifu– after seeing him finally use some real Kung-fu moves– he ends up defeating Tai Lung by basically just being fat. How can anyone working there defend that and not feel that it’s a tremendous let down?

    You guys are just as guilty as Disney as becoming blind to what the final product is and getting lost in your own hype.

  • Kristjan

    Next news: Dreamworks moves all its staffs and studio to Europe.

  • Thomas Dee

    The problems with DW are at the top. There are plenty of amazing artists working on the designs and animation, but they have to follow the blind and the tone deaf. The producers are the problem, and next the art directors and animation directors.

    This is terrible looking. It’s homely, uninspired and unfunny. Wasn’t this supposed to be the long awaited DW answer to The Incredibles?

  • Daniel M.

    agree with ya on a lot of that angry anim. I’m an artist at the company, and I always do defend DW, mainly because its personal to me, and a lot of sweat goes into what gets thrown to the side instantly.

    Its so hard to read these things and not have any control over it, because in the end, some things do just get mangled up in committee with way too many cooks in the kitchen, but the artists are the ones who read this bashing, and they need some damn respect. Amid needs to apologize to the artists at dreamworks, because without our movies causing so much of this back and forth, no one would come to this blogspot.

    I doubt we’re lost in our own hype though, or actually think everything is great and artistically brilliant. You cant blame folks for defending presumptuous postings by someone who loathes failure but ignores when some films are actually quite good. (ie, dragons and panda)

  • victoria

    Whens YOUR movie coming out Amid?

  • Rodrigo

    NC: “that’s like saying Michael Bay is a great director because of The Rock. ”

    Actually, it’s nothing like that. Comparing a single man’s directorial efforts vs. a studio’s efforts each with its own respective directors and creative teams is a stupid comparison.

    Bland is hardly the word I’d use for DreamWorks’ flavored humor. Zany? Yeah. Low-brow? At times. Crowd pleasing? Usually. Watch the second half of Wall-E and there you’ll find some prime examples of “bland” is: “Get ready to have some kids!”; “Manuel! uhhh . . . Manuel?!” hardy har har.

    Angry Anim:
    Trying to diminish KFP on a story point that most people found clever/funny really destroys any sort of credibility to your posting. And I hate to humor your argument, but yes, Po does in fact use fact use kung-fu to win.

    I don’t blame anyone from DW who chimed in to DEFEND themselves after Amid’s offensive comments.

  • Sylvain

    You’re trying too hard, Amid, but more power to you.

    You should post the theatrical trailer of Dragon, so that people can argue about it.

  • I’m no Dreamworks fan but I mocked Kung Fu Panda when it first premiered and ended up loving it. I’ll wait for this to release before I bash it.

  • the guy

    Wait, aren’t people allowed to have opinions on the blogs they co-run?

  • Although Dragon is looking really good and I loved Kung Fu Panda… yeah, gotta side with Amid. This is sort of the “dreamworks formula” film at its worst. Hopefully we’re wrong.

  • I’m with the crowd who thinks it’s an awful trailer, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be a decent film. The setup looks like it has a lot of fun built in, so I’m willing to wait and see. Although yeah, Amid does seem the type to be ready to hit stuff with the Judgemental Stick. That makes posts like this and the famed “Euro-trash” one polarized from the get-go.

  • I’m no fan of needless bashing, but do we REALLY want to set the precedent on this site that no-one can criticize anything that has ‘given a lot of people work’?

    this is the plumiferos talkback all over again. A lot of dreadful looking projects have employed large teams of people, and I’m glad those people are working, but by no means does that make their work artistically defensible. whether the excuse is ‘we come from a country where it’s hard to make good cartoons because of budgetary concerns’, (not true for argentina btw) ‘i come from a studio that interferes too much in the creative process’, or ‘YOU have NO IDEA how HARD it IS TO MAKE A FILM and unless you DO you CAN NEVER CRITICIZE ME’, it’s always just that; an excuse.

    what’s even more shocking is the people making these excuses want to denigrate films made for actual artistic merit. I’ve seen enough art-animation bashing in this thread alone, but man, when Amid posts something like a short or a poster that is even VAGUELY abstract, you can bet all the so-called ‘defenders’ here (read: dreamworks employees and their families) will jump on it for being unappealing, unmarketable, and not having Will Smith’s voice in it.

    so play me the world’s smallest violin, guys. most animators will probably have to work on at least one bad project in their lifetimes. doesn’t mean you have to defend it like it’s shakespeare, then crap all over everyone else who isn’t doing what you’re doing.

  • woody’s woody

    thank you JPDJ, it has become fashionable to dismiss a film because of its trailer, which is often assembled by a completely separate department that has different priorities from the artists making the beast. Dreamworks is thriving, partly because all the haters support them so well. That’s right Amid – you will see the film, buy the dvd, then buy the 3d dvd, all the while snorting to make yourself seem important. You need to realize that the company that made Polar Express closed down; the company that made Astro Boy closed down; the company that made Coraline closed down; while DWA stock is at an all time high. Maybe the shit you like doesn’t pay the bills, eh?

  • Teaser too brief to make a final judgment.

    Back in Hollywood’s golden age MGM strove to release one feature film [i]per week,[/i]. Some gems came out of that.

    Three per year doesn’t seem like a sky high number in that light.

    Dreamworks has found a style that clicks with the audience and comes in on budget and I guess they feel comfortable giving a few more ideas per year the greenlight than the other studios are used to.

    I think they see a window right now where the audience is drawn to the theaters by 3D, but they also see it closing eventually as home TVs become 3D capable and audiences again lose a reason to leave their couch.

  • Angry Anim, I though Kung Fu Panda was ABOUT Master Shifu and not so much Po the Panda. Loser heroes are marketing staple so, Po was pimped to sell tickets. I for one was pleasantly surprised that Kung Fu Panda was about Master Shifu’s struggle with teaching a dangerous vocation. I’m also not surprised that it did well in China given the strong tradition of respect for great teachers.
    Very good, Dreamworks:)

  • yeah, amid, maybe stuff that doesn’t star will smith or brad pitt as EVERY GODDAMN character doesn’t pay the bills!
    i mean let’s be honest, art just exists to inflate a company’s stock prices right? why else would anyone waste their time doing this menial, childish crap? screw those europeans and their ‘ideals’, DREAMWORKS knows how to do it! who cares if the people working on coraline at laika had a good time or an enriching experience? the question at the end of the day always is; does it make give me work, and does it make money?
    stop being so self-important with your ‘taste’ issues. kids will buy the toys to this movie and that’s all that ever matters because it’s fun to be a soulless, art-hating shill.
    long live katzenberg!

  • High-Minded Civilian

    A lot of blood and sweat gets poured into terrible television animation, but I don’t see anyone trying to defend that. Try to bash the entire Japanese industry, you’ll get a hoot and a holler and a “hear-hear” but God help you if you say anything the least bit critical about the latest shit Dreamworks is peddling to braindead pre-teens. Let alone the fact that there is low-budget work from around the world that looks FAR BETTER than what comes out of this high-end studio, and the fact that there’s far more substance to a few of these products, and I have no sympathy for the animators at Dreamworks. I might just appreciate the hard work they put into certain aspects of the movie. But a terrible movie is a terrible movie, and deserves to be panned as such, but with a critical eye, so that we can do our best to help the industry progress beyond such drivel.

    Maybe this will actually wind up being a decent film, but I don’t see it. The trailer’s unappealing, the design’s unappealing, the comedy’s not funny. At least with How to Train Your Dragon and Kung Fu Panda, there were hints of a good film written in between the lines of those terrible trailers. Not so here. I won’t apologize for that opinion.

  • Lucky Jim

    I’ll give Dreamworks this: basing the villain’s sidekick on the gorilla-with-a-helmet monster from “Robot Monster” is a pretty inspired touch. I hope the rest of the movie has weird little details like that.

  • Keith Paynter

    Bad guy has lost archnemesis hero, needs new archnemesis because he’s bored. Calamity ensues – that’s Megamind…

    Good Guy captures all the evildoers and becomes pathetic, releases archnemesis from prison to become popular again. Calamity ensues – that’s MYSTERY MEN.

  • humming

    So… what, is the villain from Monsters Vs. Alien’s the new Johnny Depp of DreamWorks now?

  • NC

    Wow Rodrigo you’re a REAL class act. I was trying to be fair on both sides.

    Michael Bay has a crew of artists working under him with a single vision that goes utterly wrong. Just as Dreamworks is made up of a group of artists who are lead by bufoons who’s vision is god-awful.

    You cannot blame the artists for decisions made by the people on top. I think this is where all the hostility is coming from. I don’t think Amid is trying to insult any on the artists here. He’s talking more to the higher ups. The people who are more concerned about grinding out a quick buck and moving on.

    And yes as most people here will agree DW’s humor is bland. Apparently you never saw Bee Movie, Monsters Vs Aliens, Shark Tale, Antz and their other forgettable films. Apparently you have something personal if you’ve decided to come here and start screaming insults at everyone for having an opinion. I suggest you calm down before posting instead of acting like a child.

    Also DW never has made a film on Wall-E’s level for Pixar it might be a little weak but if DW had made it it would have been considered a classic.

  • R1

    “But a terrible movie is a terrible movie”…

    And which movie would that be? Have you seen “Megamind” already? Interesting-as it’s not finished yet.

    Why is this being debated as if a very short teaser trailer is proof of anything one way or another?
    Everyone here knows-or should know-better.

    As the old saying goes: haters to the left.

  • Paul K.

    I was going to post something lengthy, but Kazimir Lee Iskander has eloquently expounded everything I was going to write.

    There is nothing nice to say about this teaser. Hopefully there’s more to Megamind than ugly clichés mugging for the camera for 80 minutes.

  • Guy

    Well, at least I like the concept and name of this. That’s better than, say, Tangled. It’ll be the same as every other Dreamworks movie, but at least there’s that!

    Oh god, I started to watch the thing. Did he seriously talk about how “totally handsome” he is? Do the people who create these things think at all? There must really be some sort of top secret machine that churns up the elements of an Animated Movie and comes up with these things.

    Re: How to Train Your Dragon: Oh, look, there’s a new least smelly turd!

  • Granted, this is a teaser, so we’ll have to see what really happens in an actually trailer. I guess the only thing I would wished is that they still had Robert Downey, Jr. (like they had intended) instead of Will Ferrell. I think it would’ve been more interesting.

    Anyways, DreamWorks has been inconsistent in their writing and good storytelling, just point blank. That’s not to blame the animation artists and crew who work hard on the acting and such…seeing the final decisions come from J.K. Money and his committee. Maybe if Jeffrey would go back to where they did have strong storytelling in Shrek, and not worry about a certain “formula” to get cash for every pixel on screen…DreamWorks wouldn’t be criticized as much on Cartoon Brew, or even in the animation industry.

    You do have to ask yourself, for the studio to win the very first Best Animated Feature at the Oscars…and haven’t won since (almost 8 to 9 years now), why is that? Why aren’t they gettin’ as much critical acclaim as other movies? Maybe franchising could be a hint…expect this movie and How to Train Your Dragon to become franchises like Shrek, if they both do very very well in the box office.

  • Elan

    Whats crazy is how uneven Dreamworks Animation is. You’d never guess this is the same company that made Kung Fu Panda or How to Train Your Dragon, but its definitely the same company that made SharkTale and Monsters Vs Aliens and Bee Movie.

  • JonBoy

    I guess we should never criticize any film eh? Because people worked on it, got paid, and fed their families.

    The point is, even if this turns out to be a great film, the teaser is NOT. Hence people’s reactions.

  • Guy

    Rodrigo: Dreamworks has “flavored humor”? Okay, that moves beyond “I worked on this and my friends worked on this” into active delusion. I can’t even give them a unique flavor of trashy.

    Actually, it’s nothing like that.

    Actually, it’s exactly like that considering that there’s only one or two movies you can defend in any way.

    For all the rest of them all you can do is go “how dare you criticize it without having seen it when every single sign points to it being how you think it is and every previous movie lived up to your expectations except for, maybe, one time.”

    Kazimir: When you put it that way, I have a lot more support for Amid. Whatever my opinions on certain things he praises may be, you can’t wildly defend these things while wildly attacking those things.

    The people who work on these things are getting paid, anyway, so how could anyone have a problem with criticism if they have an ounce of integrity? Ah, it’s not about that. It’s about furiously attacking people who pop the bubble they try so hard to construct around these things. Stick with your co-workers if it makes you so upset.

  • DJM

    It’s his blog. Why can’t a guy insult and criticize something he doesn’t like on it? Why can’t he praise something he does? I thought readers came here because they appreciated examples of animation as a diverse art form of expression and skill and to read what two very intelligent, differently inclined historians have to say. If you’re angry at Amid for not liking his preferences, and your only rebuttal is that the cartoon provided jobs and mortgage payments, you proved his point far better than he ever has.

  • Heheheheeeeeheehehe! I just watched the clip and I think it’s FUNNY. Then again, I love flamboyant characters, so I’m biased!

    Hurl tomatoes at will:)


  • Here’s the basic annual animated movie release formula.

    Disney: One Pixar movie and one “pure” Disney movie.

    Dreamworks: One “original” movie and one sequel.

    Sony: One movie every other year.

    Blue Sky: One movie every other year.

    This year, Dreamworks has decided to release two original movies and one sequel. This is a HUGE problem. Not only would it indicate rushed production, but it would also hurt Dreamworks in the storytelling department. While Hollywood is still living by this theory of “The dumber the trailer, the better the movie.” This movie is buying me on anything.

  • Sylvain

    “The people who work on these things are getting paid, anyway, so how could anyone have a problem with criticism if they have an ounce of integrity? ”

    Right. That really throws any of your other arguments out the window. I hope you love your job.

  • j

    These movies are void of any depth of thought, the majority of major animation releases fall under that category. You could attempt something a little more difficult and challenge your audience or you could pander to them with disposable junk and it seems Dreamworks world rather do the latter.
    Its depressing that we don’t have more smart animated films out there and I’m glad Amid brings it up. He often works on publications for these studios and I’m sure it would be much easier for him to hale every one of these films as a masterpiece.

  • god, what a relief!
    it’s nice to see so many people come out on the side of valid artistic or taste criticism, instead of on the side of ‘it makes money, I know it’s crap but don’t blame me, let’s all laugh at the french instead’.

    whatever your views on Amid or Dreamworks are, there’s no reason to turn this into a Mainstream versus Independant argument, which is a shrill distraction from the fact that it’s really a Good Movie vs. Crap Movie argument.

    NC is totally right; no one ever blamed the artists for this. Unless you’re the one animator that somehow is on the board of directors of dreamworks animation, you can’t be held responsible for the direction of this.

  • Pedro Nakama

    I don’t know. It’s going up against a film called “Tangled.”

  • Alissa

    Um…wow. A lotta hate in here AND in the article. Mind if I throw in a few cents?

    I’m just a student, mostly self-taught. While I might not have the sheer knowledge/experience that people like Amid and others on this blog have, I do have a younger sister, several of her friends, my family/friends, and a lifetime of enjoying various pieces of animation.

    And you know what? I like a good bit of what Dreamworks put out there. It is, I admit, really hit-and-miss (In case of Shark Tale and Bee Movie, VERY much a miss) they never try to be anything other than entertainers; and I respect them for that. Pixar makes grand, sweeping stories with ‘unique’ settings, but sometimes, quite often actually if opinions around here are anything to go by, they fall a bit short. Pieces of the movie will be great and grand and wonderful, but the very next scene will seem corny or just a drag. Wall-e’s a pretty good example of that. The first part or so hit all the right marks while the over-all plot and villain seemed shallow and poorly thought out.

    Sorry for the poorly thought out rant, and my even poorer example, its pretty late and I was just checking this out before I hit the sack. Just please try to even out the hate a bit? Disney and Pixar aren’t perfect ya know. Sometimes I think I’m reading the mirror-opposite of John K’s blog…

  • Trevor

    Hey Dreamworks guys, do you take it personal when your supervisor or director tells you to reanimate something? No! They know you are great animators, otherwise they wouldn’t have hired you. Why take it personally when your audience tells you your movie looks bad?

  • Sylvain

    Once again everyone is judging the teaser as if it was an actual film. They haven’t even finished the shading, and you criticize the comp !!

    Artistic criticism my ass.

  • Mike Johnson

    While I will await the full trailer to make a more educated guess as to how good this may be, I will say that this character has already been done better as Kuzco in Disney’s ‘Emperor’s New Groove.’

    Also, with the possible exception of ‘Elf’ I don’t find Will Ferrell all that funny, but that’s just my opinion, and I hope he can bring enough funny to make this character stand out.

  • Guy

    Right. That really throws any of your other arguments out the window. I hope you love your job.

    Uh, what? I don’t see how this works.

    Here is the thing. There is a thing called “artistic integrity.” People who possess a lot of this will sacrifice much for their work. Not, perhaps, to the level of starvation, but still.

    And anyone who possesses a bit of it cares about whether or not what they create is good. They don’t attack someone for criticizing their work, especially if it’s perfectly valid. If it wasn’t, I suppose we’d have heard an argument by now. (No, “it’s not finished!” doesn’t count.)

    …But I seriously don’t see how not attacking people for criticizing a movie you worked on will cause you to lose your job. I may have heard of many nightmarish things in the corporate world, but I have never heard of a ‘furious attacks against criticism’ quota. Maybe it would make sense if you were talking about screaming to the heavens about what a lousy piece of shit you work on, but… uh… you don’t have to do that.

    Kazimir: When I talk about these things I’m only vaguely aware that artists work on them. I certainly can’t detect their hand on screen. Perhaps a very, very well-trained eye could.

    Dreamworks movies seem like utterly soulless and insincere product churned out by a machine and that is how I think of them.

  • Guy

    Sylvain: So, was this clip utterly pulled out of nowhere? The character’s personality is utterly different? The character’s appearance is utterly different? Everything is utterly different?

    Would finished shading change anything? Just cut it out, already. You guys play this before every single movie put out by a big studio comes out and it’s only worked according to anyone but the people who worked on it a couple times.

  • I have to be honest here, I really enjoy these arguments on a pure-gossip level.

    But more importantly, I think this is the reason that CB is the best forum for animators. People have taste and are articulate enough to convert their sensibilities into interesting discussions.

    While I agree broad generalizations are never a good thing, the act of critiquing animation honestly can only help further the art form.

    Mainstream studios have large marketing machines which calculatingly manipulate general audiences. As long as enthusiasts can cut through the BS, that’s always a good sign.

    Especially after such a great year (2009), expecting more from animated features seems to be our right as audiences.

    On the topic of “This is only a teaser”, “You can’t judge the whole film”, well that’s what marketing material like this is for. It’s for us to judge and decide whether we’ll watch it or not. When someone says “This looks great, I bet the film will be awesome!”, no one dismisses that opinion by saying “This is just the teaser, you haven’t seen the whole film”.

    Pessimism is underrated, people.

  • Azz

    First of all – Will Ferrell: GO AWAY.

    Second – Urgh!

    Third – Minion thats has a goldfish for a head? Hasn’t that been done a million times already? It’s almost a direct lift from ‘Earthworm Jim’

  • Sylvain

    No. That’s because it’s a recurring theme here. As others have said, when the first teaser of KFP came out, people were literally puking on it. Don’t you remember ? Jack Black ? Same old Dreakworks crap ? Pop culture references ? It had nothing to do with the actual film.

    Of course, the theatrical trailer of Dragon represents it’s film as much as possible. But you won’t see it here, for reasons that are better left untold, unless Amid want’s to chime in.

  • Sylvain

    I meant some people are proud of their work, they love their jobs, they love doing what they do, and they would do it for free if they were rich. They also know more about the final product than either you, or the marketing department that produced this fucking crap teaser.

  • Klay

    Early teaser trailers are a BITCH. These probably aren’t even the final models (I hope). This smells of marketing even over the internet!

  • Phil Meeker

    “I don’t know. It’s going up against a film called “Tangled.””

    I dont know, Megamind makes Tangled look like a serious Oscar contender in comparison, and thats based solely on one image released and a leaked unfinished trailer.

    Dead serious.

  • Matt Sullivan

    I think what bugs me most about Dreamworks animation is the HAM. The characts ham it up and MUG for the camera every chance the animators get, and what’s worse, they all have that STUPID Dreamworks smirk.

  • Oh yes, and how I wish we could return to the glory days of Sinbad and Shark Tale!

  • JMatte

    I will have to admit- not a very good or exciting teaser. Why oh why does marketing fall off the mark so often, especially when it comes to animation (yes, I am looking at you, marketing department for Avatar The Last Airbender).

    That being said, I was privileged to have seen a bit more of Megamind than this teaser. No, I haven’t worked on it, but from what I have seen, I wish I did.

  • Matt Sullivan

    See? they even have the voice actors doing that dang smirk!

  • I think Amid has been quite critical on many movies. He had a post on Tangled just a few weeks ago that seemed to be very critical, and that was based on one frame and a Title change. I think that this trailer is a highlight of one of Dreamworks biggest problems. There have been many people who have said that the people who are actually creating the movie have little if anything to do with how it is advertised. That kind of thing NEEDS to be CHANGED!!! The WHOLE process needs to show one team working together.

    The ultimate test for movies will be how well they last. I think that Dreamworks goes for more of a short term profit while a company like Pixar goes for a more long term profit (there are exceptions of course). I think that making a movie work for the long term is much harder to do, but it will reap much greater rewards.

    Criticism can become a very powerful tool. Even though Amid’s comments are a bit harsh, I think they are quite accurate.

  • Oh. Amid doesn’t like the latest Dreamworks trailer and is bashing the movie sight unseen? Yawn.
    Same shit different day.
    At least until they hire you to do one of their books, right Amid?

  • wowzers

    The design looks like a Trekie going to an Iron Maiden concert. Maybe he will at the end of the movie. Rock on!

    The trailer wasn’t too good, but that’s what I thought of the first “Up” trailer. Old guy with floating house. Wow! I gotta see that!

  • amid

    John Sanford: It’s not as tired as your straw man argument that my opinions are for sale to the highest bidder. My positive opinion of Pixar has nothing to do with the fact that I worked with them. Rather, I chose to work on one of their book projects only because I respect what they do. Whether you agree with it or not, my comment about the Megamind teaser is genuine (I truly think it looks awful) and no amount of money could sway me in a different direction.

  • I wish the design for the lead character wasn’t so bland.

  • Gobo

    Will Ferrell gives me hives these days. Gah. I enjoyed the fishbowl-for-a-head lackey, even though it was stolen outright from Earthworm Jim. Nothing original here.

  • Chom in the sky

    Tude, tude, tude, tude…

    …and Tude.

    Don’t you have enough of that tude, Sylvain and the others ?

    This “tude” is in every aspect of that teaser, from editorial choices to storytelling…

    I don’t care weather its DW, Disney or Pixar or anyone else, that “tude” just makes me puke. Just like M vs A did… sore eyes, sore brain and sore heart.

    Also, about the workplace and the corporate dedication:

    General Motors, Wall Mart, Arcelormittal, EA, mc Donalds, and the list can go on… people working there have to feed their families, and just because you’re on the movie Industry and ’cause your contract says you’re an artist NO ONE can criticize your beloved company and you’re above any worker?
    Maybe we should kneel to your greatn… oh, sorry… Awesomeness!
    (I leave this to Calarts or Gobelins)

    It has the same executives, the same goals :

    Capitalism is their god and shareholders their prophets… Amen.

    Hopefully another Sylvain will show me some “Illusion of Life” in his next movie…

  • Rufus

    Boy, that seemed to have been put quickly together.

    It seems Dreamworks needed to push this out for some reason. I’m sure the final product won’t be nearly as bad as this teaser.

    Or at least I hope.

    While I agree with Amid that 3 animated films a year is a little too much for a studio to push out, all they’ll get is “okay films that people will watch on dvd here and there”. Unlike Pixar, whose movies are timeless and each one is as classic as a classic disney movie. Because they take the time to develop them, as opposed to…well…I don’t really know.

    But yeah, I dont like Will Ferrel as an actor, but I dont mind his voice. But this teaser is…yeah, just bad.

  • Ben

    Wow Amid both attacking european films and dream works, what a fantastic thread. As a european animator and knowing that we have one tenth of the budget that americans can afford throw at films and make them work.

    and for all the terrible projects we produce id imagine if tyou average out are good ones compared to are bad ones id say are average success it considerable higher then in other places.

    As for dream works not everything can be gold some things work some things dont . If your going to play to the family audience so heavely then it becomes tough to be originial every time. but thats where those big budgets are so if you want to support this industry. then tahts teh game you have to play.

    Big up dream works really looking for ward to howtotrain your dragon saw some clips at a james baxter talk a month or so ago . Very impressive.

    Oh and wait till the illusionist comes out a european co production
    and brendan and teh secret of kells a european co production
    oh and theirs a couple of projects in the works over here that are looking promising.

  • Wow! This has turned into a real thread, hasn’t it? I can’t believe so many people are taking Amid’s opinions to heart. Just because he thinks it looks rubbish, doesn’t mean you have to get the torches and pitchforks out. Incidentally, I think this DreamWorks product looks horrible.

  • Damn it, that music joke has been beaten to death so many times in so many movies… THAT’S what bothered me the most.

    The designs… the presentation… let’s face it, this isn’t Pixar, it’s Dreamworks. Instead of steak we’re getting a diner burger at 2 in the morning. I don’t watch their movies expecting quality, I watch them to just get some laughs and maybe see a good design or two (Kung Fu Panda was a delight, btw). Unfortunately I don’t see either happening with Megamind. :/

  • doug holverson

    Dispicable Me wanna-be?

    OTOH, this does look like disposable fun, possibly with a forgivable heaping helping of that fun stuff….

  • Well, as commenter number seventy or eighty-something, I guess I’ll just add that I could tell this was a DreamWorks film simply from the style of humor and comedic timing alone. I’m not going to say this will be a terrible film, but I will say the movie will be “very DreamWorks-y.”

  • J

    The teaser is a huge amalgamation of cliches, sure. But pretty much all trailers these days are, so I’d say it’s not really a good indication of final product. Kung Fu Panda’s trailers totally gave me the wrong impression, for example.

    In other words, let’s wait…before we hate.

  • creepy

    money will sway you just like those lame congressmen. BTW – It’s kind of cool that they are reusing assets just like actors and recasting….

    …isn’t that the same villain character from one movie ago in Monsters vs Aliens.

  • Jon

    Not a good teaser trailer and not keen on the character designs, I agree that three films a year is a bit too much. I do wonder if Dreamworks would be better received if they just released one film a year, stuff like Kung Fu Panda and Shrek show they can make great films and I have high hopes for How to Train Your Dragon.

  • George

    Personally, I think it’s totally awesome that the lead character looks like the perfect amalgam of Ghost Rider, Mr. Sinister, and The Beyonder.

  • Dylan King

    The only reason to see this = Will Ferrell

  • I thought Robert Downey Jr. was supposed to play the lead in this, back when it was called MASTERMIND. Ferrell’s a better choice, but still about half as solid as most folks working on Saturday mornings.

    Pixar’s teasers are so funny and clever and pointed that I find myself getting swiftly bored by the standard Dreamworks teaser formula: nutty reveal, familiar pop/rock song, then catchphrase from a different movie or t.v. show.

    I’ve also seen the gorilla-bodied henchman in about five different things and it’s not getting any fresher.

  • Mark

    What the f is “tude?”

  • marley

    i guess amid didn’t get “the art of megamind” gig. never mind theres always robots 2 to look forward to.

  • How to comment on the brew

    1) Read John K’s blog every day and watch a ton of Pixar podcasts and behind the scenes.
    2) Wait for the brewmasters to make a hate filled post about a DreamWorks movie
    3) Barf up half-thoughts quoted from the Pixar podcasts, DVD extras and John K’s blog as if they were your own thoughts

    “This has too much ‘tude”
    “There is no sense of wonder”
    “We need to feel the peril”

    5) Sit back and wait for either Pixar or John K to call.
    6) Promise mom and dad you’ll move out of the basement once the job market picks up.
    7) Softly cry yourself to sleep.

  • Yude

    Seriously the brew needs to find some new contributors, it is fast becoming a soap box the outdated tastes of a bitter fanboy (Amid) and it is really undermining their credibility. It seems every post he makes shows how little insight he actually has into the animation industry and film making in general. I guess it makes sense since the guy has exactly zero experience.

    But by all means Amid, continue to post some student scribbles and herald them as genius whilst simultaneously trying to attack dreamworks who have the most potent animation talent pool on the planet. What would they know about animated filmmaking right?

    once again the reader interest in your negative post about a dreamworks film totally eclipses anything else you write on the site, look at the comments, over 80 replies to this thread and 2 comments on your next thread. Seems like you need them but whatever you need to do to get some hits right?…haha


  • I don’t really see why we can’t criticize the teaser and say that it looks bad. Some opinions may be a little extreme, but I’m totally capable of changing my mind about something. I don’t remember it very well, but I think I throwed some negative comment about the KFP teaser, and then, I really enjoyed the movie. What’s the big deal? Was my opinion about the teaser so relevant that the movie failed at the box office?

    I do think it would be a little extreme to not see this movie at all because of the teaser, I will watch it. I can understand some people watching a movie on dvd instead of theater because of a bad trailer, but if somebody decides not to watch it AT ALL then he won’t be in the right position to criticize ANYTHING about it.

    I any case the criticisms are not for nothing. If people react like that to this teaser is because they have seen this type of formula already in other DWKS movies.

    Personally I had a bigger problem with DWKS when their designs looked like those in Shrek, Antz or Shark Tale. Now that the characters look sort of decent I find myself capable of enjoying most of their movies, though I wish they put some effort in some of them.

    I kinda enjoyed Monsters Vs Aliens, but I don’t know if I could watch it again without getting at least a bit bored. That’s sad, cause I think the premise and some of the characters were good, and it could have been great instead of just passable.

    Same thing with this one. It LOOKS like it’s going to be like Monster Vs Aliens at best and like Shark Tale at worst, but it doesn’t look like it’s going to be Kung Fu Panda quality.

    I’ve nothing against entertaining movies that are played mostly for laughs, but the gags should be funny and new, and the characters likeable. Maybe this movie will have good gags and good characters but they didn’t do the best work presenting them in this teaser.

    And if it’s finally a fantastic movie, the criticism will still be valid for being a bad teaser and a poor promotion.

    Also, I think HTTYD is going to be great, and , as far as I remember, at least one of the trailers was in fact posted in Cartoon Brew.

  • If Panda and Cloudy taught me one thing, is to judge a movie by watching the end product and to not judge trailers or especially teasers. I was proven very wrong with those two.

    So quit the bashing, it’s not coming across as very mature.

  • Randy

    I come to this site for the great Jerry Beck, but the price I pay is I have to suffer Amid. When’s your next “book” coming out Amid?

  • aaron

    Here’s a serious suggestion for the ‘Brew. How about a feature where we can post images with our comments so when people criticize bland designs, cliche expressions, and bad art direction we can make a sketch of how we think it should look and post it? Sort of a “put up or shut up” widget. Anybody with me?

  • elan

    The trailers for Cloudy and KFP were a million times better than this dribble.

  • Rat

    All this bashing from Amid would be fine, but it’s getting a little old.

    Amid bashed Bolt sight unseen based on a trailer and some stolen and leaked work-in-progress artwork. It went on to get 88% at Rotten Tomatoes.

    Amid bashed Panda sight unseen based on a trailer. It got 89% on Rotten Tomatoes.

    When these films get released to high general acclaim, *Amid never mentions them again*.


    Amid, if I missed it, I APOLOGIZE, but could you PLEASE point me to the post where you wrote either “I finally saw Kung Fu Panda and liked it” or even “I finally saw all of Kung Fu Panda and I didn’t care for it.”

    Because even that second opinion would be totally fair, as you based it on actually seeing the movie itself.

    Because the infuriating thing, from my point of view, is that you ALWAYS do this same thing. Then when the movie is out, you mysteriously never mention if you ever even SAW the film you completely and utterly trashed.

    Based on Amid’s hating of this teaser, I expect this film will be brilliant.

  • Steve Gattuso

    I’m surprised that nobody has brought this up but…

    Doesn’t this look a lot like “Despicable Me?”

  • Rodrigo


    I’m not contesting whether or not you were trying to be fair. I’m simply pointing out that your analysis and comparisons were stupid. No need to get pissy and make blanket statements calling all the directorial talent at DW “buffoons”. Again, that’s just stupid.

    But I’ll give you Bee Movie. Jerry Seinfeld shouldn’t be writing cartoons. One point for you.


    Wow, after that rant I went in expecting a lot worse. This looks like harmless kiddie fare, nothing to have a cow over. Some kids get a few laughs and some animators get paid.

  • Chubbs

    Dreamworks sucks, Dragons looks boring too. Here’s the movie breakdown, tired pop culture jokes, silly dancing bad guys, and voice over by some over paid actor you’ve heard of. That sums up every DW movie from here to eternity.

  • This doesn’t look that bad really. I would wait and see. I get the frustration but… calm the ire.

  • Joe Cool

    So, the site puts up a trailer designed to sell a movie concept to audiences and give a taste of the content and some people don’t think it looks any good…

    In light of this I fail to see why there all these messages about editorial integrity and “hating” on studios or whatever. It’s a first look. Some people don’t like it. Get over it. If its so great it’ll prove itself in the end so what do you care? You won’t be changing any opinions by ranting about bias or at least people having jobs or integrity, its just a trailer for a popular movie release.

    Surely the point of this site is discussion about animation-related issues. Is it not possible for the concept of somebody actually not liking a clip to be accepted and discussed around why they don’t like it and where they think the studio is going etc? It seems the very point of having a comments section, surely? You know… for “comments”…?!

    I disagreed, for example, with the post that suggested that the upcoming Filmation book was not interesting, I’m really interested to read it, but I didn’t feel the need to post emotive rants about the opinion of the author of the article. He’s entitled to his opinion and good for him expressing it, I disagree, but I’m still getting the book, so what?

    This is key marketing material, the studio are showing you exactly what they consider are the key elements of this film to entice an audience. If people don’t like it and express why they don’t like it that’s useful information for them if its reflected elsewhere. It influences their product and promotion to some extent.

    I agree that it looks very missable and, based on the trailer, I wouldn’t pay to watch it. How can anybody suggest that you have no place to talk about the values of a movie without seeing the whole film?! The trailer is there to tell you what its about, once you see the full film – you’ve paid for it and given them money for the product, that’s your economic acceptance that it is a valid and entertaining product. They don’t care about anything else, of course you can choose to dislike a product based on its promotion, promotion is trying to make you watch the whole thing, once you do – you have bought that product! Transaction done! If you are unimpressed by the trailers or posters and think, “Hmm, not for me…” then you have made a decision based on what they are telling you it is about, what’s the problem with that? There are millions of books, plays, films, TV series I have chosen not to watch in preference to others, its risk assessment in many ways, and everybody has to do it all the time.

    “How to Train Your Dragon” looks a lot more promising but, unless anything better comes along pre-release, I won’t be spending any time or money on watching this.

  • Dreamworks or not-this is very nice:

    Did someone has a tattoo with Popeye? That is story for Cartoon Brew

  • Rat and Joe Cool said it all, really. They both have a point and they have explained it really well.

  • Please don’t kill me, but I did gigle a bit when Minnie Riperton’s “Lovin’ You” popped up on the stereo.

    It doesn’t look THAT bad, but the idea of Brad Pitt voicing a second animated character (Sindbad, anyone?) is enough to strike terror in the hearts of anyone with a legal degree of hearing ability.

  • Mac

    Wow Dreamworks is currently promoting three upcoming movies at once. There’s so many that my local cinema seems to have them muddled up and is promoting Shrek 4 much more heavily than How To Train Your Dragon which will be out really soon. I’m really looking forward to Dragon, but this post is about the Megamind trailer and I didn’t like it much either.

    I’m surprised no one here has noticed the similarities to this and Kuzco from ‘Emporer’s New Groove’. Based purely on this trailer, it seems the exact same character has been recast into this Dramworks film. Similar poses, similar way of walking, dancing and talking, same me, me, me attitude.

  • Talk about overkill !!!

  • I like how shady characters pop out of the woodwork to bash anyone who doesn’t like mainstream animation, and attack Amid for having taste and opinions. Do dreamworks animators + their friends and family have no place better to go?
    it’s nice to see hardly any of the amid haters post their art either, because it’d just be a bunch of shrek concept art. i don’t know what goes through these people’s heads, if it’s jealousy that some ‘artsy’ animators out there have more integrity than them, or just plain arrogance that anyone would dare criticize their work, so MY CRITICS BETTER BE AS GOOD AS ME OTHERWISE THEY CAN’T SAY ANYTHING BAD.
    jeez, leave the crybaby stuff on the playground. for every inch of childish bashing amid has, there are 45 posts to follow which are just and whiney and immature, sucking up to the almighty grinning CGI donkey, and bashing david o’ reilly and Theo Ushev’s work, because ‘it doesn’t pay the bills’ (read: how come people call that ART and my DW stuff crap? no fair! well, at least I get PAID)

  • Mark, “Tude” is short for “attitude”, basically referring to characters who act snarky and obnoxious for no real reason, and always wear that stupid dreamworks mug, as shown here:

    That probably won’t work; I don’t know how to embed images here, even though I know it’s possible.

    In any case, yeah, ‘tude’ is like a really crappy stand-in for personality and motivation.

    Look up ‘the adventures of sonic the hedgehog’ on youtube for the most triumphant example of ‘tude’ to date, followed closely by the ninja turtles and alvin and the chipmunks.

  • Yeah, it didn’t work. Here’s the image directly:

  • Peter F

    Pretty funny to see commenters so upset with one critic’s opinion. Hint: Amid is critiquing the animation from an artistic standpoint, not in terms of its viability as this trimester’s product in the marketplace.

    Actually, the funniest comment in this thread was NC’s “that’s like saying Michael Bay is a great director because of The Rock,” as if The Rock wasn’t an unbelievable cinematic shitfest. Irony is amusing.

    Three of these a year is going to burn out audiences on CG kiddie schlock in no time. It’d be like having Lucky Charms cereal three meals a day. I know I’m glad my kids are too old now to care about wanting me to take them see this thing.

  • Phil Meeker

    Id also like Amid to answer Rat’s question.


  • I enjoyed more behind How to train your dragon than behind Up.

    So I don’t understand why Dreamworks production ‘should be bad’…

  • Mr. Crankypants

    They call me Mr. Crankypants
    But after reading Amid’s rants
    It’s seems to me
    That he should be
    The one who bears that name, perchance.

  • Thomas Dee

    I just realized that one of the problems with DW is most of their characters fall into one of two categories: assholes and victims. Pixar and Sony characters, on the other hand, are drawn from a much wider range of human experience and personality.

    Think about it.

  • John
  • Scarabim

    **Minion that has a goldfish for a head? Hasn’t that been done a million times already? It’s almost a direct lift from ‘Earthworm Jim’**

    There was a cartoon on Disney Channel called Yin Yang Yo where the villian had a fishbowl for a head. Direct steal? You decide.

  • Justin

    Until someone starts a feature animation studio that makes films that aren’t geared towards children, we will be forever complaining. There will always be the ‘tude, and the stupid jokes and the celebrity voices because KIDS LIKE THAT SHIT.

    These movies are MADE FOR CHILDREN. Of course they suck.

  • I don’t like DreamWork’s general output, but Kung Fu Panda was surprisingly good and How to Train Your Dragon looks like another surprise gem. The rest of their 2010 releases, I am not so excited for. The villain just looks like a recycled Ooblar in punk black clothes. Well, the overall plot just doesn’t excite me, but it could be better than it sounds.

    Also, more evidence of constant name changes… hasn’t Megamind had like, two or three other titles?

  • Isaac

    Azz and Scarabim – Steve Purcell has prior art on all of these. He published a comic in 1987 with a villain named Mack Salmon, whose head is a fish-bowl, housing an orange salmon. On the whole, the art direction of Megamind is reminiscent of Steve Purcell’s work. I’m surprised his name is not on the credits.

  • Hal

    I just love the Siskel and Ebert style divide between Jerry Westcoast tied to Dreamworks pro-DW and Amid’s East Coast indie-hipster trying too hard snark. That synopsis sounds interesting enough – there’s something dark about the villain outright KILLING his nemesis that has me cautiously optimistic. Its a shame Robert Downey Jr. is no longer voicing this one… THAT I would get behind and is the major tell that perhaps this isn’t as great as it could be. Double shame – he and Tina Fey were great @ Oscars, I’d love their rapport throughout an animated feature. Come to think of it… is this perhaps the root of Fey’s joke of “a day when all actors will be computer generated” to RDJ?

  • Same old same old……

    It looks like this time at least Dreamworks is ripping off themselves instead of the competition this time. The Bland Blue Supervillain looks like you ground off all the interesting bits and pieces from “Gallaxhar” on MVA, and had Will Ferrel do a lackluster impersonation of Rainn Wilson. Why Bother?

    If you want to talk about movie making by committee, this is probably the worst case of it at Dreamworks in the history of the company. Start with an Ill conceived rehashing of the “Mystery Men” script from Ben Stiller. Add the dynamic duo that brought you the magical “First Flight” short, and make them directors. Apply about 3-4 years, a few million dollars, and then finally realize neither of them know what they’re doing and shitcan them from the project. Throw the film into a couple other unsuspecting Director’s laps, and try to have them continue to put Lipstick on that Pig until you get a Teaser Trailer just so you can meet the 3 films a year quota.

    Its a recipe for Magic.

  • John Boy

    “Same ol Same ol”

    you are so far off base its not funny. This film has absolutely zero in common with Mystery Men. Nice try though…

    But by all means post some of your work up here and show dreamworks how its done. Seriously post any single piece of work you have ever done….

    I dare ya!

  • Allesandro

    Amid, I 3rd that request. Please answer Rat’s question as to why after trashing a films teaser when it is subsequently released to widespread critical acclaim you never EVER post a follow up of what you think after actually .. you know SEEING THE FILM!

    This somewhat undermines your non-existent credibility further don’t you think?….

  • Sylvain

    Here’s the “other” news about Dreamworks:

    There’s a rare interview online with Dean Deblois, the often forgotten co-director and co-writer of HTTYD.

    The first dozen reviews of HTTYD are out, and they are all positive.

    The theatrical trailer of HTTYD is available, it’s much better than the teasers and early trailers.

    These were not mentioned here, but instead there was a timely smear against Dreamworks, every… single… time. They have their opinions about DW, that’s fine, but I do wish to counterbalance with my own opinion.

  • Same old same old……

    John Boy John Boy….

    Far off base? And you know this because?

    And read between the lines…. There are no issues with the Animators and Talent at Dreamworks. They are simply some of the most talented and understated and underrated pros in the industry. The issue is with the mismanagement of the company, and how such inconsistent quality product can be allowed to come out of it. You never know what you’re going to get after you see those Birthday Balloons Pop and the fishing line drops in. Its a 50/50 crapshoot.

  • Sylvain

    Why do you care about the mean average of a studio ? It’s not a football team, for fucks sake just go see a film if it appeals to you and ignore the others !

  • joecab

    I flat out don’t like Dreamworks, so take this all with a grain of salt. Pixar is so good, so artful, so subtle and touching that I just can’t accept any of the Johnny-come-latelys (of which DW is the best, but still…) DW just never feels any deeper than their marketing and merchandising.

    But I will say they’re getting a LOT better at faces. The ones in Shrek are frozen in the crappy style of the original movie, where everyone seems to have the same plain human-like eyes. But this here looked good. But c’mon even I have to admit that no “low-budget European co-production” is ever gonna look THIS good. That was a bit of a stretch.

    The story doesn’t look that exciting. But trailers are usually eh (esp the first ones) so we shall see. An old man in a flying balloon house sounded dull too and that was just amazing.

  • Mac

    The voice acting sounds funny (as usual for dreamworks cg pictures), but the character design is awful and will ferrells voice seems so out of place coming out of this dude.

  • As far as I know, I was the first cartoonist to create a character with a fish bowl for a head. In 1978’s WHAT IF? No. 8, I wrote and drew a backup story titled “What If A Radioactive Human Bit A Spider?”, introducing “The ‘Mazing Man-Spider”…one of his villains was a take-off on Mysterio, called “Fishterio”; he had a fishbowl for a head with a living fish inside it.

    But MEGAMIND’s “Minion” is an obvious take-off of ROBOT MONSTER; the title creature of this 1953 movie was portrayed by George Barrows in a gorilla suit and a diving helmet.

  • John boy

    “Same old same old”

    Sorry your wrong. Great link but it only proves that the story of megamind is not a “rehashing of mystery men”. How do I know this? lets see I have seen BOTH films, have you seen either? There are issues with artists at Dreamworks, you slander there work you slander them.

    So I REPEAT my challenge to provide a link to just one piece of your own work, I would like to understand the concept of quality you are talking about.

    That goes for all the naysayers, back up what your saying, lets see what you’ve got!!!

  • hey john boy- why don’t you show us some of your art instead of bullying people into accepting your opinion about something that CLEARLY looks crap. if you’ve seen it- good on you. but to everyone who doesn’t have that luxury- or curse, depending on how you look at it- this movie looks like a messy piece of garbage. even if you DO attest to the film’s quality and originality- you just sound like a friend or family member of the DW team. if not a DW team member yourself. you’ve clearly got some kind of an axe to grind in defending this apparent atrocity.
    and as to your insipid excuse that ‘you slander all artists at DW’, let me say this; cartoon brew takes web designers, people who work on the server, as well as the combined efforts of all the posters, talkbackers and artists, to function. when you disrespect Amid, you disrespect all these other people, according to your ridiculous assumption. two can play at the victim game.

    chew on that, ya weasel.

  • DJM

    I think Amid has gone on record saying that he enjoyed Kung Fu Panda, but wished the movie was as nearly inventive as its opening credits.

  • amid

    Rat: It’s been my personal policy for the past few years not to do reviews of animated features, whether I enjoy them or not. There are innumerable places that offer reviews of features (including Jerry Beck right here on the Brew). We’ve recently discussed the idea of doing joint film reviews, and perhaps we’ll try that in a bit.

  • Sylvain

    Controversy is always good publicity, you should write reviews of completed films the same way you write reviews of this teaser crap. Lots of traffic, everybody wins !

  • Wee Me

    Here’s another grim piece of early promotion, if anyone is interested.

  • Andrew Kieswetter

    I dunno,it looks quite amusing. Basically The Incredibles meets Monsters vs. Aliens. I’m sorry,Jerry,but Dreamworks has made some good movies,Kung Fu Panda being one of them.(I hope the sequel is as good) How To Train Your Dragon looks promising too.

  • Jayson

    AMID: so you don’t comment on feature films based on seeing them, its your policy to only post opinions based on teasers and trailers? nice..

    Kazzer: john boy is hardly bullying anyone, I think its not a bad idea and has been suggested several times. If you want to outright attack the artwork of others seems only fair you should use your real name, show some of your own work or atleast offer something other than “its crap, they should you know make it more awesome”

  • Matt Sullivan

    I’m actually looking forward to How to train your dragon. Then again, I’m biased because I like dragon movies.

    As for the criticism, I’m of the mindset you should SEE the movie before you gripe about it. My own gripe about DW movies isn’t so much the film as the marketing. They seem to be saying “Look! Snarky characters! They’re hip and self-aware! We make fun of it first so you don’t have to!” I hate that. And it’s mostly displayed in their teasers, trailers, and marketing. It makes you hate the film before you even see it.

    I think THAT is what a lot of us are really complaining about. Because jobs are important to us. And if a film fails that means layoffs. ARTISTS get blamed, not the marketing department.

    Let a film stand on its own merits.

  • Guy

    Matt Sullivan: Is any movie REALLY going to fail because of what people on Cartoon Brew think?

    If the artists don’t like what we’re saying about the movie, just ignore it. The attacks people are making are just petty.

  • FigmentJedi

    Wasn’t Robert Downey Jr gonna star in this? Was it really bad enough for him to just bail on it?

  • Wee Me

    Hohn Boy, Jayson, others: So you have to be a “better” artist than any work you’re criticizing? Brilliant. In that philosophy there is literally no accounting for taste. Genius work there, folks.

  • Funkybat

    As someone who generally prefers 2D to 3D, my opinion on this may be coming from a different place than a lot of posters here, but I think that Dreamworks tends to get either ridden too hard or treated with a blind eye ti its flaws by the people on either end of the spectrum. Dreamworks is not a terrible studio, and people who insist that anything other than KFP is crap are just coming from an entrenched, biased position. At the same time, if the artists were given more control over story and directorial decisions, they would probably make more unique and less formulaic films.

    Dreamworks has indeed done some very forgettable stuff. Shark Tale I saw once and plan to never see again. Madagascar 1 was fun, MAD 2 was Ok but unnecessary. Spirit was utterly forgettable. Shrek has been run into the ground, though the storyline of the upcoming one sounds more interesting than the last two. At the same time, IMHO (and a lot of other’s opinions) Shrek was a great film, even if some of the animation was “primitive” by modern standards. Antz is a very underrated film, and Over the Hedge seems to just get ignored. Th Road to El Dorado had some of the most beautiful 2D animation I’ve ever seen, as well as some pretty funny gags and great chemistry between the characters. To me, sequel-itis and the tendency to rely on non-sequitur pop-culture references are the big problems at DW, but those seem to be more than likley executive decisions.

    Seeing the Megamind trailer showed that DW is staying true to a “style” and not deviating from it all that much. The reliance on pop-culture gags and slapstick are “features, not bugs” to the writers and directors of these films. They aren’t going to go away unless those kinds of films stop selling tickets, or stuff like “Dragon” starts selling MORE tickets. That’s the biz, like it or not.

    DW definitely has a certain style of humor for most of their films. And whether most animators think it’s funny or not, the fact is, it works for a LOT of people. I have friends (not in the industry) who have seen all of Pixar and DW’s films over the past 10 years, and prefer DW almost every time. To them, Pixar makes visually beautiful and sometimes thought-provoking films, but they are often too slow, dull, or “scary” for them and their elementary-age kids. The kids seem to get much more excited and request repeat viewings of DW films, while films like Wall-E or Up prompt fidgeting in their seats and requests to go to the bathroom. (The upside of this is the kids seem even LESS entertained by the 3rd-tier CG animations that get dumped into theaters during offseason or into the Wal-Mart $5 bin, so it’s not like they’ll just like anything cheap and corny.)

    Pixar makes incredibly brilliant art films, with some films having a more “commercial” aspect than others. We all know which ones those are, they’re the ones prompting sequels and endless toy lines. The only Pixar film that seems to work for both film buffs and the general public is Finding Nemo. That one is just a phenomenon.

    From the trailers and behind-the-scenes stuff I’ve seen, “Dragon” is probably the least “Dreamworks-y” looking DW film in some time. I’ll be curious to see how much my middle-brow friends and their “Pre-K through 8 yr old” kids enjoy it. The fact that a lot of “Regular Joes” would probably find Megamind or Madagascar to be more enjoyable than Up or Ratatouille is something that should be recognized, if not necessarily endlessly catered to. Pixar films are probably best enjoyed by people 8 or older. Dreamworks films are probably best for the juvenile and the “moderately educated.” That doesn’t mean wither studio is doing something “wrong.” They are kind of like Target and Wal-Mart, each has their fanbase…

  • Funkybat

    Oh, I almost forgot to mention re: Megamind:

    While the fishbowl minion in the robotic suit may be a takeoff of “Robot Monster,” I was also reminded of both Krang from TMNT and Bob the Killer Goldfish from Earthworm Jim. Of course, for all I know, they could have just as easily been inspired by Klaus from American Dad.

    Fact is, there is very little truly “new” under the sun. Even Pixar animators have admitted to me that while they do their best to do something original, any “idea” in our culture is basically recycled at this point. What we consider “great films” find inventive ways to do unexpected things with the same raw materials that more pedestrian films simply regurgitate back at you.

  • Free design tip:
    You can’t just stick a realistically proportioned face in the middle of a big blue head. Gotta vary the spacing and sizes, push the contrasts.
    All good designers already know this, of course. In fact, there is a great blog by a DW artist that clearly explains these theories, so it’s frustrating when the films themselves don’t reflect the great talents and skills of the artists making them.

  • Symmetrical Man and the League of Unappealing Design….

    Maybe if the Villain’s name was “Symmetrical Man” we’d buy into his design more.

    The link earlier wasn’t too bad….

    At least they’ll be able to re-use their “Vanessa” model from Bee-Movie a third time. That’s pure cost-efficiency. Way to go DW Production folks.

  • DreamWorks Artist

    Ahhh, you know what the best part about all this DW bashing is?

    net result at the end of the day:

    WE get to go to work at vibrant Dreamworks every day, ranked #6 on the forbes best companies to work for list (pixar didn’t make the list suckas), get paid handsomely to have fun making movies. Said movie gets released, you go watch it, we make a fortune at the box office. You rush home to write negative comment on “the brew” from your mothers basement to temporarily inflate yourself in the invisible eyes of animation community.

    Rinse and repeat, life is good.

  • My main reaction to the teaser is “not funny.” Ergo, I will not see it, since it’s presumably a comedy.

    Get enough people like me and you don’t make a fortune after all, Dreamworks Artist. That’s on top of getting no respect. Yikes.

  • Bob

    To Satorical, the problem is that you are in the minority and you’ll always be in the minority because you don’t get that people sometimes go to theaters to have fun, shut their brain off and forget about the world. Not everything has to be intellectual and high brow.

  • Guy

    Bob: Except that he criticized it for not being funny, not anything “intellectual.” Stop altering what you read in your mind to be easier to attack.

    What I create is not remotely intellectual. I don’t like Dreamworks because their movies are insincere, soulless, obnoxious, hideous, and, above all, not funny.

    Stop setting up strawmen, already.

  • Bob

    How original Guy!

    This is a paid commercial from our friendly lamp people.

  • Andrew Kieswetter

    Sorry that I confused you with Jerry,Amid. I should have looked at the poster’s name before I wrote.

    Funkybat,I think Dreamworks movies are intended to appeal to teens and adults as well as to kids. I’m an adult & I enjoy watching them,getting gags that would be well over the heads of children. I’m really looking forward to all the forthcoming Dreamworks movies,as well as the upcoming Disney & Pixar ones.

  • Rooniman

    GOD That teaser was awful! I feel even more bummed that they used “Highway to Hell” in it.

  • My problem with Dreamworks isn’t their animation or their character design, but their tendency to rely on pop culture reference gags which are supposed to be funny by their mere mention –

    – instead of creating involving characters and narratives. They’re capable of doing the later (at least for me) judging from “Kung-Fu Panda” and “…Dragon.” Likewise, “Hoodwinked” is one of my favorite CGI features in spite of its bargain sub-basement animation, because the rest of the package (script, voice work, songs and direction) carries the film.

  • Another thought occurred to me while reading thru these posts, re people judging a film from either its trailer or preconceived ideas about the studio. Case in point: a NYC entertainment guide put down ‘Emperor’s New Groove’ as another Disney film with cute animals & saccharine songs BEFORE it opened, based on their general/generic idea of what a Disney film is rather than watching the movie, which was a successfully wacky change of pace for the studio.

  • Ethan

    First, I’m all for giving spicy opinions based on little info, I know I have my share of them, I also rarely say my opinion with tact.

    But I disagree with Amid’s aggressive tone against DW because once again :

    1. It causes DW haters to feel empowered to post again and again their favorite hateful remarks against the entire studio.

    2. It causes other people to also feel justified to post defensive comments on the side of DW artists with as much or even more aggressivity.

    Back on subject, I have no expectations based on the teaser. It’s far too early to tell. I do think DW could surprise us and make it much better than the low expectations of some people here. They did it with KFP and Dragon, (in both cases the teasers were met the same hate we see here). So there. In the eventuality that megamind ends up very bad, I will still be satisfied with Dragon as one of the most entertaining film of the year. Of course the hateful attacks will need to be oriented somewhere else, and they will need to continue to ignore that DW’s Dragon actually exists. Good luck with that.

  • Rat


    So you rag on a film incessantly (Like Panda), then don’t mention if you think the film is even good or bad, or if you were wrong or right…. nor do you *ever* acknowledge that other people (the majority of film critics and the wide moviegoing audience) wound up liking the film in the end.

    … and you say it’s a “policy” decision? Dude, you’re one of two guys who run your own website. Whatever you do is the “policy”. Of what necessity is the management double-speak?

    Do you also have a “policy” of never mentioning the fact that the film did, eventually, get overwhelmingly very favorable critical reviews? Is it your policy to never ever acknowledge that you could have ever gotten an actually wrong impression about the film based on the advertising? You know, you wouldn’t be the first person to be mislead by advertising.

    I’d really like it if you had a “policy” of not trashing a film’s designs (“Bolt”) based on stolen leaked preliminary development artwork. But maybe I’m expecting too much of this whole “policy” idea.

  • david

    what an amazing website that really celebrates the wonderful world of animation. KEEP IT MOVING!

  • Nathan Forester

    Now I never got to see Megamind when it came out in theaters, but from what I have heard it sounds pretty cool, and i do happen to be a huge fan of superhero movies and comic books so this movie sounds like my cup of tea.