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Pixar vs. DreamWorks

Pixar vs DreamWorks

I’m still confused. Which studio’s films does this guy like more?

(Thanks, Karim)

  • EHH

    Please let “How To Train Your Dragon” show the smallest evidence that it was done by the same guys who did “Lilo and Stitch”.

  • jim

    Seriously? This is what passes for content these days at the Brew? I come here for insightful news and opinions about the animation industry, not snide, hit-and-run one-liners. Is there some rule that CB has to have a Dreamworks/Pixar debate every other week?

    And for the record, I work for neither studio. I’m just sick of this ridiculous over-blown rivalry.

  • Bobby D.

    Wow. If you’re a fan of Pixar films, (which I am) you have to wish people like this would go away. Really childish.

  • amid

    Jim – We post long and short pieces, silly and serious, beautiful and crass, classic and new. If you liked every single post we did on Cartoon Brew, then we wouldn’t be doing our job of offering readers a diverse selection of opinions and ideas.

  • rhinotonight

    so touchy guys.

  • Actually, I love all animation studios and wish them success.

    And, that includes the bad ones.

  • tizzdogg

    You guys should make a way to view all the posts that are not about Dreamworks bashing. Or equivalently, all the posts not by Amid. Perhaps a separate RSS feed for people who care about the art of animation and not lame fanboy stuff?

    Seriously guys, this stuff is beneath you.

  • You know, this bugged me about ‘Surf’s Up’. There was no reason for those characters to be the animals they were. It was a story about surfers. The penguins could have been replaced with any other animal and about three lines would have to have been rewritten. There was nothing beyond a couple of throwaway gags that had anything to do with them being penguins. The chicken too.

    I found myself through most of the movie wondering, why are they penguins?

    I’m saying this because they were just animals who did stuff animals normally don’t do. And, more than that, they could have been any animal.

    Whereas, in Pixar films, even the ones I don’t really care for (Cars, A Bugs Life, Monsters Inc. – it’s a personal choice, I’m entitled not to care for them), who they are is tied totally to the story. Everything is part of the same world and they live by their own rules. That gives those films more meaning. More purpose.

  • I think it’s pretty unambiguous that the, um, illustrator cherishes Pixar’s particular brand of inventiveness. While I’m inclined to agree, the representation of the Dreamworks portfolio is obviously a straw man, making the illustration is a toothless critique.

    The systemic problem in many of the Dreamworks films is the tendency to bow to pop culture rather than create it (as Pixar does), almost certainly a result of executive/marketing pressure. I don’t believe animators try to produce shoddy work, and their talent, training, and literacy in the art form really do show up from time to time – something I can say wholeheartedly for Over the Hedge and Kung Fu Panda (as Jerry would no doubt harp on about for a day or two).

    From the audience’s standpoint, I think the rivalry is one we should be exploring at every opportunity. It’s fundamentally a debate about what the direction of blockbuster animation should be. The funny thing is, I’m often surprised to see just how much brand confusion there still is among your regular cinema-goer when he sits through trailers for CG features.

  • rodguen

    “….then we wouldn’t be doing our job of offering readers a diverse selection of opinions and ideas.”

    hahahhahah! Amid, that is probably the most hypocrite post i have read from you.

  • Mesterius

    Haha, he definitely likes Pixar better! What he really does is describe the wonderful versatility of the content and plots in their movies; then he goes on to Dreamworks: “Uhh, there are talking animals.” :P “Brilliant” has to be ironic.


  • It’s so weird to see poe-news discussed outside of poe-news, especially as any sort of “serious discussion.” It’s just a forum where people chat about things and insult each other. Don’t take it so seriously (nobody there does, except for the people who generate the most hilarity).

  • John

    Geez, what a bunch of humorless blowhards around here. The comic is funny – I thought I was the only one who noticed that same stupid expression all Dreamworks characters make.

  • I am sure there is some sort of irony over there where the comments talk about missing good ol’hand drawn 2D animation when the comic is not drawn very good.

  • Tom Pope

    I thought it was funny too, but… all the people/monsters/rats in the Pixar films do things THEY wouldn’t normally do. Maybe the robot would clean up, but otherwise, that’s a hole.

  • Saturnome

    That’s so… Amidesque!

  • heh
    i wonder if the chan artist who originally drew this knows it ended up all the way at cartoon brew.

  • Bobby D.

    Uh, John we’re the “blowhards” without a sense of humor? This was simply “Red State, Blue State” fluff. But, not funny…and I should know, because, “I’m a clownfish, and I know funny”! Well, back to writing funny movies…the kind that only blowhards like:)

  • uli

    I like lemons. Squeeze one into a cup of hot water and sip it. You’ll feel much better. sorry, did I miss something?

  • Some Guy

    it’s not red state/blue state anything. It a BLOG. these guys can post whatever they want. ya don’t like it, don’t read it. let others enjoy the funny pictures in peace.

    really, what is Amid gonna do? stop having opinions? should he stop being himself just so your fur won’t get rubbed the wrong way?

    get over it.

  • Hal

    That expression on all the Dreamworks characters – spot on observation – that IS the default “dynamic facial expression” in their cg marketing! Gold star for stick figure man!

  • Steve

    I am so ready for the launch of Van Beuren Digital Studios. The world needs photorealistic CGI ethnic stereotypes, now more than ever!

  • I liked the part with the comic.

  • Paul K.

    I’m just posting to let whoever might be trying to gauge the animation industry’s internet community (though I don’t know why you would) that we are all not easily-agitated prudes who can’t find humor in something so simple and harmless.

    I actually think it holds an accurate lens over the contemporary “overt ‘tude protagonists” that spoil so many features. Random assortments of personalities are easy, genuine characters are not.

    Nicholas Tam has the right idea.

  • Tom

    It’s a valid opinion from an obvious animation buff. I agree with it for the large part, but it’s a punky opinion that should be seen by Katzenberg adn Kids, definitely.

  • The fact that Dreamworks has risen to the point of comparison speaks volumes. Competition is what Pixar needs at this point-so it’s all good!

  • Bobby D.

    >”It a BLOG. these guys can post whatever they want. ya don’t like it, don’t read it.”<

    It’s a COMMENT SECTION. Us “guys” can post whatever we want. ya don’t like it, don’t read it.

  • Kris Vale

    HAHA Dreamworks “has risen to the point of comparison” like that’s a relatively new development??? Just because the films it’s produced hasn’t been all touchy feely heart warming doesn’t mean these films haven’t been every bit as successful as feature animations. I think people discount the talent that’s been developed and continues to grow at Dreamworks . . . after all they’ve been producing award winning feature animation that’s touched the imagination and the funny bones of kids all over the world for over 10 years. I for one find it funny that people discount the incredible animation ability based solely on “pop culture” dislike. People make this argument when they talk about Warner Brothers vs Disney, GIJoe Vs My Little Pony, etc etc it’s all animation guys and that’s what’s awesome and great about these two studios. Highly entertaining, crazy skilled craftsman, incredibly funny or heartwarming. and Kids all over the world love em!

  • Andrew

    By their responses, they seem to like Pixar more.

  • PJ

    Good lord, guys. It was just a joke. I’m pretty sure Amid’s not offering it up as basis for some sort of deep, hard-hitting analysis.

    Let’s all just take a deep breath, relax, and remember why most of us fell in love with animation in the first place: because each of us, deep down, has a sense of humor. Let’s try to exercise that sense of humor every once in a while.

  • Sennelier

    I wonder if it would be seen as so (defensively) funny, har-har, hilarity ensues etc if Pixar rather than Dreamworks were the studio being dissed? Or if Amid would bother to cross-post it here?

  • FP

    How about PIXAR versus VIDEO BRINQUEDO? Now there’s a cage-match…

  • Matt Sullivan

    That’s one against DW…ouch!

  • John

    …that we are all not easily-agitated prudes who can’t find humor in something so simple and harmless.

    Yeah, seriously. Nobody show these people the latest “Marmaduke”, they might fly out of a window screaming.

  • Keith Paynter

    Dreamworks = “Fart jokes are funny”

    Fart jokes haven’t been funny since ‘Blazing Saddles’.

  • Bobby D.

    Yeah, I hate fart jokes too…especially ones like the farting seagull in Nemo….oh, wait that’s a Pixar film, it has a higher meaning and the flatulence is crucial to the story.

    Dreamworks farts = bad,
    Pixar farts = good:)

  • Karim

    Hi all,

    Wow! I didn’t expect such comments especially towards Amid since I sent him the strip. I received it with a bunch of students and found that funny enough to send it here without thinking of any bashing or “War”.

    Clearly, this is just the opinion of the guy who made that stuff, either I agree or not, it had some point. It reminded me the good ‘ol Sega – Nintendo fan boy debate, as stupid as it was, it was still funny since I stood both sides.

    As a student and animation fanatic I’ve seen most of DW’s movies and some of them are the reason why I chose this field. But I couldn’t resist noticing some “formulas” as the “tude” poses not only DreamWorks are using. John K made few posts about that trend in nowadays animation. Space Chimps, Horton, Planet 51, and so many more, my question would be “where” does that come from, and how did that trait of character became a norm?
    It’s just something I can’t identify with even if I enjoy the animation technique.

    I expected more comments or observations about this specific topic rather than targeting Amid, so hold your rocks and… uh… no NOT ME!


  • Woodrow

    Few things make me laugh out loud . . . and this was one of them. Critiquing (moving) drawings with (stick) drawings is brilliant. The fact that I happen to agree with the opinion helped make my laugh just a little louder and bring other people into my office. They, of course, didn’t understand. Thanks for the post.

  • chan content on Cartoon Brew? It could happen.

  • Daniel J. Drazen

    It’s the old Story vs. Shtick debate. Does anybody even REMEMBER the stories to “Bee Movie,” “Over The Hedge” or “Antz” without consulting IMDB? The Shrek films owe their existence to William Steig’s book, but that’s about it for the Dreamworks stable. Technically great but not a whole lot of imagination behind the craft IMO.

  • My friend just sent me this link the other day, and I figured it would be on the Brew soon enough.

    At first I thought he was making fun of Pixar, but I really think what he’s trying to say, albeit with crude drawings, is that the people at Pixar are thoughtful and come up with unique ideas, whereas Dreamworks tends to go for stock ideas.

    This doesn’t mean Dreamworks doesn’t have lots of talented people. In fact, I feel like the studio has progressed quite a bit. I’m sure it’s hard for artists to progress in a studio run by Jeffery Katzenberg, though, and that makes it even more impressive.

  • Albert

    Dreamwork’s movies are like McDonalds, looks good, taste good, but doesn’t really fill.

  • Russell H

    I think the blogger was poking fun at both studios: He seemed to be showing how strange and implausible a lot of Pixar films sound if you summarize their “concepts” into a few words, and also showing how “repetitive” most Dreamworks films are in terms of characters and setups (I especially appreciated their jab at the “‘tude face,” that know-it-all smirk that becomes a trademark of the pseudo-cynicism and “irony” that’s larded over too many films today, regardless of studio).

  • Adam Van Meter

    He’s clearly on the pixar side.

    The characters on top are all enthusiasm and smiles.

    The ones on the botom.. not so much.

    And the strip has a valid point. DW really overuses the ‘cynical sneer/smirk’ thing way too much. Part of the overall snarky nature of their films. It’s guaranteed to come up in pretty much everything they do.

  • Jorge Garrido aka Some Guy

    /cartoonbrew/ – 4chan MS-paint pictures

  • Kris, it would have been a sad comparison when Dreamworks was in the midst of Antz, Road to El Dorado, Sinbad, Over the Hedge, Bee Movie, Shark Tale, etc. At those points Pixar was on another level in terms of execution and story. Dreamworks was more on par with Blue Sky in my opinion. I was at Disney at the time and didn’t see them as much of a competition. Because, Dreamworks was all over the map. There was no direction. I’m giving credit to the gains made by Dreamworks and think it’s good for Pixar to have a little competition. Nothing to due with the artistic talent-more to do with the direction of the studios. By the way, I enjoyed all those movies for what they were.

  • Malcom Daniels

    Let’s get down to brass tacks:

    The heart and soul Pixar is a man who had passion for animation as a child, and when he grew up he studied under the Old Disney Masters at CalArts and became a master animator himself.

    The heart and soul of Dreamworks is a former Paramount studio exec.

  • Bobby D.

    Malcom you’re right…you’ve convinced me. I’ll never enjoy another Dreamworks film again, because it wasn’t “made” by the “master”.

    Next time I’m laughing out loud or marveling at the stunning visuals, I’ll remind myself that I should stop, because it wasn’t produced by the right studio.

    Again, I am a HUGE fan of almost all of Pixar’s films, (especially “the earlier, funny ones”….hat tip to Woody Allen;)). But like I keep saying…this is the only business within show-business, that regularly “eats its own.”

  • Malcom, could you mythologize me too? That sounds pretty good.

  • Malcom Daniels

    Funny how people jump to conclusions. There happen to be some Dreamworks stuff I love (Prince, Antz, Hedge, Panda, MvsA) and Pixar stuff I dislike (Bugs, Cars, Ratatoullie). I never said “Dreamworks bad, Pixar good”. I merely pointed out the core, fundamental difference in two studios.

    Mythologize? What? Those are flat facts, unless the Pixar documentary from a couple years ago was misinformation.

  • Steve K.

    Oops, I thought the title of the next DW feature was “How to Drain Your Dragon”…my bad.

  • badjoojoo

    I think this criticism is spot on!

    That ‘tude smirk was old and annoying the first time they used it.

    The live-action equivalent would be a studio that made every character in in every minute in every movie be played by that ShamWow! guy.

    It gets old real quick for me.

    But apparently some people just can’t get enough of it.

  • I didn’t know that it was a fact that Pixar has a particular heart and soul. I think Ed Catmul among others would feel a bit left out…My point is that your statement sounds nice, but let’s just say it sounds like a fundamentalist version of the book of Pixar. Nevertheless, it would be nice to have a following such as Lasseter.

  • Malcom Daniels

    Oh, come on. Now you’re going to deny that a company has a “heart and soul”? Every company generally has one person at the center who is the primary driving force. The company wouldn’t exist if not for their close partners and cohorts who work with them, naturally. I never said Pixar was a one man endeavor, but I firmly believe that Catmul would be the first to admit Lasseter is the heart and soul, and not just out of humility.

  • amid

    Malcom – No disrespect to Lasseter, but Pixar is as much the vision of Ed Catmull as it is Lasseter’s, and Catmull’s influence pervades every aspect of that company from the way it treats its employees to their vision for the art of CG animation.

    Having said that, your point is well taken that Lasseter and Catmull come from a very different place than Katzenberg does, and that difference manifests itself in the films each company produces.

  • I think the issue of which side it’s on would have been more ambiguous if he had distilled Pixar down to the same one-line trope that he did with Dreamworks: “So there are these things that aren’t people but are funny because they act like people… and there has to be a four-beat pause between the joke and the punchline.”

    Dreamworks’ problem is just that they didn’t follow up “Prince of Egypt” with anything particularly good or original. Their funny animals are just what happens when suits get ahold of the Pixar formula.

  • FigmentJEdi

    Been nice to see something that’s been posted on /co/ the last few months make it’s way into the wild.

  • Roygbiv Orbison

    You guys are really putting a lot of analysis into a stick figure drawing someone threw together to make fun of Dreamworks. Never give up! You’ll find that rainbow someday :D

  • Malcom Daniels

    amid, your point is well taken as well. Anyway, if I had to categorize Catmull as a body part of Pixar, I’d be inclined to say he was the brain. ;)

  • big bad ballooon

    ahhh i so love it when the elitist sheep come out to play.

    “how DARE amid not give us state-of-the-art, cutting edge posts!”

    get a life.

    oh, and someone needs to tell psycho-charles at animation nation to stop acting like a self-righteous nazi – then maybe he won’t have to bully his posters into advertising for free on his site.

    take care now!

  • Bobby D.

    Guys, I think they’re hiring over at the website ‘Pixar Planet’. There, you can live a web-life free of debate and controversy…have pithy exchanges with “Jesse’s Girl”, “Masta Frozone” and ” Pixar Pete”. Exchange photos of the famous “cereal bar” and the hidden “love lounge”! Come on over…it’s nice here….it’s nice here…nice…here…:)

  • jim

    Amid, to your first reply, then do you want to post this?


  • Jorge Garrido

    jim, that was one of several replies, but the most damning thing about them was

    1. Nobody could make Shark Tale sound good
    2. Pixar makes that `tude face just as much as Dreamworks.

  • Seamus

    People, people! Both studios suck at making cartoons!

  • Hal

    Jim – rebound comic FOR THE WIN!

  • Bobby D.

    Very funny Jim…and good job letting him post it, Amid. We can all still have a little fun here.

  • tworedsnappers

    I think it basically comes down to the scripts and people holding onto the money.

    Dreamworks should streamline their casts and scripts of ‘pop’ jokes. See: fucking LAME characters who are solely there for comic relief or one repeated joke. It works in pixar films because such characters have redeeming, human qualities, such as Dory in Finding Nemo. Sure, she’s a retard who won’t shut up, but.. actually underneath all that there’s a deep loneliness which is just.. heartbreaking. Also, I hate people repeating them as if they’re funny. I guess that’s just a hate i have with the world, but the sort of culture around simply repeating things isn’t funny. Perfectly explained by Ricky Gervais/Stephen Merchant in Extras. But I digress…

    Dreamworks IS full of really talented artists and directors, it always has been. Although films like Shrek feel really ‘underdeveloped’ for me, it’s undeniable that in their 2D days, and even films like madagascar and obviously more recently kung fu panda have wonderful style and craft. However, at pixar it’s creative people, risktakers holding onto the money. Whereas at dreamworks, it’s real exec types who do, and they think strategically, not creatively. For example, Kung Fu Panda is recieved well critically and at the B.O., “GREAT, let’s make 7 more.” And if sequels are anything like madagascar or shrek to go by, you can only expect revisitations of jokes and only a slight difference in styles or concepts. Once dreamworks takes risks, that’s when they’ll start making geniuenly good films, I believe. Just take the revamping of Disney for example. Lasseter put it perfectly, putting the control back into creative people’s hands, and out of the exec’s.

    and sorry for that being quite a rant


    I hate DreamWorks. I love Disney movies.
    Bee Movie: boring
    M vs. A: stupid
    Madagascar Saga: unoriginal
    Toy Story Saga: great!!!
    Monsters inc.: funny!!!
    Up: Emotional, THE BEST!!

  • Always preferred Pixar to any other CGI features, although I did like Flushed Away. Although I never could get into Madagascar or Ice Age: The Letdown