Will Disney buy DWA? No! Universal did!

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Re: Will Disney buy DWA? No! Universal did!

Postby ShyViolet » December 14th, 2016, 3:22 pm

And he didn't invent Frozen, either. :roll:
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Re: Will Disney buy DWA? No! Universal did!

Postby EricJ » December 14th, 2016, 6:44 pm

ShyViolet wrote:And he didn't invent Frozen, either. :roll:


No, he just piled on the anti-princess jokes in the Shrek movies as a cheap cliche'd button-symbol to deliberately try and rally an easily-triggered female demographic to march out and demonize Disney for him...
And THAT was the generation, willingly buying everything Jeff spoon-fed them, that thirteen years later went on to make the big deal about "Look, Anna didn't marry the prince, show this movie to your strong, promising daughters!" :roll:

And although Enchanted and Princess & Frog's backhanded apologias were more Eisner's fault during development, we know that Shrek 2 was one of the direct reasons Eisner was acting so goofy and self-loathing towards the studio before he went rogue and was kicked out--
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Re: Will Disney buy DWA? No! Universal did!

Postby Ben » December 14th, 2016, 10:01 pm

Um...I think there's serious issues with the timing and chronology in some of that. All of that.

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Re: Will Disney buy DWA? No! Universal did!

Postby ShyViolet » March 24th, 2017, 3:52 pm

Well...I guess this was inevitable:

http://www.cartoonbrew.com/business/rep ... 49460.html

:|

As much as I hate to admit it, I do agree with some of what the writer says.
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Re: Will Disney buy DWA? No! Universal did!

Postby EricJ » March 24th, 2017, 4:55 pm

Once DWA started faltering creatively, Katzenberg started making outlandish bets on the future — the future is 3D filmmaking! the future is China! — to help distract investors from the fact that the company was adrift without a captain.


To be fair, DWA basically CREATED the 3D movement of the 00's-10's for CGI/family movies when they embraced it, as it sure wasn't being fueled by Polar Express, Chicken Little or Journey to the Center of the Earth--Even Pixar didn't jump on until "Up".
Monsters vs. Aliens was DWA's first deliberate attempt to go all-out (with 50's homages there for a reason) in the new "craze", and is arguably one of their better ones of the 00's, if we can indeed say they had "better" ones.
So why are we all of a sudden saying "3D was a ridiculous failure, it was money down the toilet, and Dreamworks was nutty to even try and get into it in the first place?" Well, because Jeffrey said it, that's why, when he tried to find his latest responsibility-dodging Alibi Ike for calling some entire industry "dead" as the reason why nobody went to see Mr. Peabody and Turbo. And, as usual, everyone was stupid enough to believe him, because they thought he was, like, y'know, important and knew this stuff.

3D wasn't a mistake--China was. Smooching China's hinder will ALWAYS be Hollywood's mistake, and the consequences will only get uglier until they find that out.

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Re: Will Disney buy DWA? No! Universal did!

Postby Dacey » March 24th, 2017, 5:10 pm

Well, The Polar Express was such a big hit in IMAX 3D (it didn't have a regular release in that format) that it was re-released every Christmas for the next couple of years, so...
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Re: Will Disney buy DWA? No! Universal did!

Postby Ben » March 24th, 2017, 8:50 pm

Keep telling you, Vi...DWA died the second JK walked away with $400m!

The writing for China was on the wall after India got closed down. Time will only tell how long the main DWA studio remains open if their upcoming slate doesn't work and the fallbacks of Shrek 4 and Dragon 3 - if they even happen - fail too.

As for 3D, DWA was actually pretty late to the party by a good three or four years after Polar and Chicken. They may have made the bigger splash, but by no means "created the movement".

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Re: Will Disney buy DWA? No! Universal did!

Postby EricJ » March 24th, 2017, 9:39 pm

Dacey wrote:Well, The Polar Express was such a big hit in IMAX 3D (it didn't have a regular release in that format) that it was re-released every Christmas for the next couple of years, so...


But Polar did have a regular release in theaters, and...did pretty badly in the 2D numbers. The big grosses for the 3D version were self-explanatory, which is why Disney consciously jumped on it to "save" Chicken Little.
By that point, strobing-digital 3D could only be created in a computer for CGI effects, so with so many bad third-party CGI movies glutting the market, 3D was seen as the main reason for giving a CGI comedy a wide release.

DWA would sink to anything, of course, and ended up cornering the market for it on a while before Disney, Pixar and Fox became a little braver.
That JK would suddenly turn around after a few well-publicized misfires of their own and say "What were we thinking, it was a dead fad from the start!"...geez, do I hear a rooster crowing three times somewhere? :roll:

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Re: Will Disney buy DWA? No! Universal did!

Postby ShyViolet » March 25th, 2017, 3:44 am

I gotcha Ben...it just made me sad I guess. :|. Plus just wanted to say that I do agree that a lot of DWA had a short shelf life--not all, of course--but they just didn't have the stability of a large library of classics that Disney has. (Of course!). They were so much about "the present, the latest thing," (in contrast to Pixar who crafted stories meant to appeal to everyone and last for ages) getting, by and large, less and less original as time went on. God it hurts to say these things... :?

Plus I can't help wondering: does JK even care that he just sank his entire animation legacy, casting a shadow over all the good things he did at Disney? Now no one is going to care about that. In many ways what JK just did to his profile in animation history is worse than when Disney tried to erase him...at least then everyone knew they were lying.
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Re: Will Disney buy DWA? No! Universal did!

Postby Ben » March 25th, 2017, 8:36 am

I beg to differ, Vi. :)

DWA has a large library of near 40 full features, including several major franchises, plus a healthy number of TV series. And all this achieved in just 20 years.

Compare that to Disney's, which give or take a hybrid movie here and there, took them into the 2000s to make it to 40 or so. In the thirty years Walt was around for features, from 1937-67, they only made it to just over twenty.

So I don't think you can use that as an excuse. Sure, these were going for the current, contemporary feel and audiences, but what animated film isn't nowadays, and I thought the whole point of buying up Classic Media was to give them an "instant classic" footing - but they did next to nothing with any of those properties, and I bet Universal don't even realise that they just bought WAY more than just Shrek, Toothless and Po.

DWA went wrong three times: when Spielberg didn't really get behind "the brand" (or, rather, when JK hogged it all for himself, leaving Spielberg to say animation was "Jeffrey's thing"), when they initially went public (which put its whole own set of pressures to perform as a too fledgling company), and when JK didn't look at the long picture and stay with perfect fit stablemate Paramount. But instead he chased what he thought was the better short-term deal.

In retrospect, he's been all about the money for JK from day one. And at the end of the day, DWA was nothing but a revenge attempt at Michael Eisner. When he, too, left the Mouse House, there was little reason for DWA to exist, and it's not just a little bit interesting that this coincides with the main downturn in DWA's fortunes.

Did JK get bored? Had he proved he could do it too and, ultimately, outlived the person he was rebelling against? Probably...and then all he wanted to do was to take the money and run (it's no secret that he was trying to offload DWA for a decade or more).

You know why I don't think Chris Meledandri is interested in taking on DWA as well as Illumination, as Lasseter has done with Disney and Pixar? I believe it's because he knows it's a dead duck and just wants it to run its course of original films already obligated to release (Underpants, etc) or too far in production (Larrikins was cancelled before physical animation began, a big mistake as it would have likely been a huge hit) and a bunch of last gasp sequels (Trolls 2, Dragon 3 if we get it, Shrek 5) that really are nothing more than an attempt to scrape some last dreggy profits from the bottom of the barrel and recoup a little on their investment.

But I firmly believe DWA was bought for one reason, and one reason only: to take out their closest major competitor.

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Re: Will Disney buy DWA? No! Universal did!

Postby ShyViolet » March 25th, 2017, 10:50 am

Very good points Ben. :). I guess I'm just worried about not only what will happen to the DWA library (will consumers buy DVDs now when DWA no longer exists? That's why I wanted them to go to Disney) but how JK will be viewed years from now. I mean it's one thing to be viewed as an innovator, someone who made a real difference in animated film, and quite another to have that reputation sullied by just taking 400 million dollars and forgetting everything else. What are people going to write about him now? That he did great things at Disney, then sold off the very thing he called his 'baby'? What will his real legacy be? :? (And yes I'm completely aware he's not in the league of John Lasseter and Don Bluth and Richard Williams, but he did great things nonetheless. :|)
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Re: Will Disney buy DWA? No! Universal did!

Postby EricJ » March 25th, 2017, 3:19 pm

Ben wrote:DWA went wrong three times: when Spielberg didn't really get behind "the brand" (or, rather, when JK hogged it all for himself, leaving Spielberg to say animation was "Jeffrey's thing"), when they initially went public (which put its whole own set of pressures to perform as a too fledgling company), and when JK didn't look at the long picture and stay with perfect fit stablemate Paramount. But instead he chased what he thought was the better short-term deal.


Spielberg--the sentimental Disney nut who threw Pinocchio references all over Close Encounters and wanted to cram every classic cameo into Roger Rabbit--wanted his own Disney.
He bought Don Bluth fresh off our 80's thinking that Bluth's "Secret of NIMH" would replace Disney someday, made some hideous quasi-Bluth imitations without him ("We're Back!") when Bluth left, until the mid-90's and...THEN CAME Lion King.
And then, like every other smitten Disney nut in the 90's, Spielberg wanted his very own Lion King all to himself, set out hire the "genius" who had "thought it up", and thought he'd found a diamond at a garage sale when JK needed a new boss.

And at the end of the day, DWA was nothing but a revenge attempt at Michael Eisner. When he, too, left the Mouse House, there was little reason for DWA to exist, and it's not just a little bit interesting that this coincides with the main downturn in DWA's fortunes.


JK seems to be stuck doing exactly the last thing he thought worked--which includes his nasty bully/martyr issues about sniping back at Eisner in the first Shrek--and it only takes a failure (and more "deaths") to ever snap him out of it. At least into doing something else, not changing his thinking.
He thought Lion King meant that 2D movies had to be Epic and Important, with hatable melodramatic villains, until "Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron" fell on theaters like a 2-ton weight, and then it was back to Shrek-mania again.
After all, 2-D was "dead", big, epic important Sinbad had proved that.

ShyViolet wrote:Plus I can't help wondering: does JK even care that he just sank his entire animation legacy, casting a shadow over all the good things he did at Disney? Now no one is going to care about that. In many ways what JK just did to his profile in animation history is worse than when Disney tried to erase him...at least then everyone knew they were lying.


No, JK, from interviews, has clearly taken a corporate leadership page from Donald Trump:
Everything great that he ever touched happened because of him, no bad idea ever happened to the company--just ask him--and if it did, it was somebody else's fault, or DWA was just the innocent casualty of a growing national problem that only he was industry-genius enough to see but the rest of us just can't bring ourselves to admit. (2-D is dead! 3-D is dead! Theaters are dead! Catalog DVD is dead!)

So, in re the question, I'm going with, um, "No": He DOESN'T care that he sank his entire animation legacy, casting a shadow over all the good things he did at Disney (like "thinking up Lion King himself", unquote), because he literally doesn't think he did.
Like the Don's loyal followers, he certainly doesn't hear bad things about himself from his fellow producers or animators (remember how the working-stiffs at the TAG Blog would praise JK to the skies and Fox-News every John Lasseter Pixar/WDFA film into a "disaster" in the hopes that Disney would hire JK instead?), and has that Humanitarian life-achievement Oscar on his shelf to prove he's right. And given that he still singlehandedly credits himself with the 90's Renaissance and thinks that the management "went after him" for it, he's not given to introspection about whether or not his styles need changing in a modern post-Tangled/Frozen age.

And if, as Ben correctly observed, DWA went into a slump from the very minute we finally got over our Eisner-fueled Shrek-mania just before the crappy third movie, well, hey, it's business, slumps happen and the turnaround is just around the corner--We've got the next Panda movie filming at the China studios, and it's going to be a hyuuuge beautiful thing!

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Re: Will Disney buy DWA? No! Universal did!

Postby ShyViolet » March 25th, 2017, 4:21 pm

Spielberg didn't sign on for DW because he wanted "his own Disney." He mostly just felt sorry for JK, like Geffen did, because JK had no real future as a studio head anymore. He was still too associated with Eisner and Disney animation for that; Spielberg may have said he wanted to produce more films and build a studio, but he was really just doing it for JK.



Like the Don's loyal followers, he certainly doesn't hear bad things about himself from his fellow producers or animators (remember how the working-stiffs at the TAG Blog would praise JK to the skies and Fox-News every John Lasseter Pixar/WDFA film into a "disaster" in the hopes that Disney would hire JK instead?)


Hmmm...maybe that's because John Lasseter kept treating them like crud, firing them and coddling Pixar directors?


And given that he still singlehandedly credits himself with the 90's Renaissance and thinks that the management "went after him" for it, he's not given to introspection about whether or not his styles need changing in a modern post-Tangled/Frozen age.


But Disney did go after him, not just erasing him from Disney history but attempting many times to completely destroy his personal and professional reputation. (Read articles from summer 1994 and see how Eisner, Roy and Stanley Gold all said that he made no difference in the success of the animated films, even though Lion King (!) had just been released and was shooting into the stratosphere box office wise.
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Re: Will Disney buy DWA? No! Universal did!

Postby Dacey » March 25th, 2017, 4:28 pm

How long has the so-called "war" between DreamWorks and Disney really been going on for, though? Maybe among the big heads, I guess, but I always felt it spoke volumes when I saw that Pixar had a Shark Tale poster up in their offices. And the Shrek commentary has several genuine compliments to Disney, and heck, Andrew Adamson was even brought aboard to helm their mega-budget Chronicles of Narnia (which probably hurt Shrek the Third, but I digress).

Point being: I don't think the "rivalry" has ever been as big as some might claim.

(Also, not that it matters, but The Polar Express made $160 million. You don't make that from IMAX screenings alone)
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Re: Will Disney buy DWA? No! Universal did!

Postby EricJ » March 25th, 2017, 4:31 pm

ShyViolet wrote:Spielberg didn't sign on for DW because he wanted "his own Disney." He mostly just felt sorry for JK, like Geffen did, because JK had no real future as a studio head anymore. He was still too associated with Eisner and Disney animation for that; Spielberg may have said he wanted to produce more films and build a studio, but he was really just doing it for JK.

But Disney did go after him, not just erasing him from Disney history but attempting many times to completely destroy his personal and professional reputation. (Read articles from summer 1994 and see how Eisner, Roy and Stanley Gold all said that he made no difference in the success of the animated films, even though Lion King (!) had just been released and was shooting into the stratosphere box office wise.


Keep in mind that JK believed his entire reputation was built on Lion King--during our insane national mania for it, during and since--and his attempt to get a piece of credit for his years at Disney didn't exactly make him any more publicly self-effacing for it.
Granted, most people on the street don't know who wrote or directed a big Disney movie, just off the top of their heads, but from JK blowing his own wounded horn fresh out of the studio, you had Disney fans who literally--literally--thought JK had directed it himself, not just been the studio producer who had been lucky enough to steal...er, greenlight it.

And I don't think Spielberg particularly put his Disney passion aside to worry about distinctions, either, when he was assembling Talent to put in his new toybox.
Spielberg's first new Dreamworks SKG animation-project idea of "Make me an animated Ten Commandments, and make it a big serious dramatic 90's-Renaissance musical like LION KING!" doesn't exactly seem like it's putting a coin in a poor lonely street-orphan's tin cup...