Will Disney buy DWA? No! Universal did!

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

Postby EricJ » April 18th, 2017, 9:54 pm

Apart from the design of a horse named Spirit, there's almost ZERO here to do with DWA's '02 attempt at white-guilt revisionist-Western drama--
More like they inserted their own copyrighted-design character into a standard "Barbie Saddle Club" series, because that idea sells, but they had their work cut out for them trying to sell their own melodramatic downer fifteen years ago. (I remember when the movie's ads was reduced to showing just the "Bye-bye, horsie" scene with the cute papoose, and nothing else, because that was the only scene that audiences thought looked appealing.)

This doesn't have the look of a "Long-buried sequel", this looks more like a Going Out of Business sale of white-elephanting any last properties they hadn't developed yet, in the hopes of raising some closing-capital. We may see El Dorado, Bee Movie and SharkTale updates brought back any minute.

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

Postby Ben » April 19th, 2017, 4:08 am

In a recent review (for a title I can't remember or find the reference for), I described the trailer for this on a Blu-ray as "something I never want to see again and cannot now unsee", or words to that effect. It does look truly terrible.

But here's the thing: the Spirit Blu-ray sold surprisingly well a couple of years ago.

Was this from a huge number of young girls who saw a horse on a box cover and made their parents buy them Spirit because they wanted the movie?

No...this was mostly spurred from a bunch of adults who remembered the film, remember it being underrated, and thinking, wow, that movie would look great in HD, and those that want to support traditional (or tradigital, in Spirit's case) animation on Blu-ray, hoping for more.

It sold well (not that this has helped DWA put out its other hand-animated pictures, though they have been busy in the sale and Universal has yet to decide what it's going to do with the older properties).

But, pre-sale, and with JK indeed looking at everything that could translate to an easy TV/Netflix sell, those Spirit numbers must have looked promising, especially with the early DWA films no doubt playing well on Netflix due to the fact that it's the only place to see them in HD.

So the thinking goes that all those Spirit eyeballs must have belonged to equine-loving girls who love the Sofia and Elena Disney shows, and this has been made to compete on those lines.

It has *nothing* to do with Spirit, the movie. It is indeed modern day-ish (so, to me, this isn't Spirit at all...it must be some great-great-great... descendant, which helps cut it off from the movie even more). It's just a low-budget knock-off show about a girl and her horse, who happens to resemble one from a long-ago movie simply because it has some name brand recognition.

And that's all, folks! Nothing more to bother about or see here.

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

Postby Bill1978 » April 19th, 2017, 5:15 am

We may see El Dorado, Bee Movie and SharkTale updates brought back any minute.


I honestly wouldn't mind an El Dorado update. Even a transition to Broadway would suffice me. As much as I love El Dorado, the biggest mistake they made was not going full musical with it. All the songs would have worked fantastic being actually performed as part of the movie instead of as voice over.

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

Postby Ben » April 19th, 2017, 5:42 am

Plus the album had so many more than were in the film!

I honestly don't see any other DWA properties getting this kind of treatment, though. Universal will want to own any IPs from scratch.

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

Postby EricJ » April 19th, 2017, 10:59 am

Ben wrote:But here's the thing: the Spirit Blu-ray sold surprisingly well a couple of years ago.
Was this from a huge number of young girls who saw a horse on a box cover and made their parents buy them Spirit because they wanted the movie?

No...this was mostly spurred from a bunch of adults who remembered the film, remember it being underrated, and thinking, wow, that movie would look great in HD, and those that want to support traditional (or tradigital, in Spirit's case) animation on Blu-ray, hoping for more.


Although I'm thinking it was MORE the Pony-lovers who hoped it would be a horsie movie...I know I did when I first rented it, and that would have made more sense than what we got. I don't think it was the Bryan Adams songs that sold it years later.

Whatever DWA audiences it has years later are the 90's-sentimental Dreamworks-defenders who've now stuck it under the big umbrella of mythologizing all the 2D DWA movies, including El Dorado, as part of the Golden Decade just on the basis of Prince of Egypt. Whether those folks still stick up for Sinbad, I don't know, but a few folk came to its rescue at the time hoping we'd get another Egypt.
Even though we can get a "Charlotte's Web 2" on direct-video, when a "#3" animation studio starts digging through their old properties to find whatever they've got to compete with Disney, I don't think even DWA's current Katz-free owners hit upon Disney's idea of "Fox & the Hound 2", to sell titles to parents whose kids don't remember the old movie, and have blissful amnesia of how bad it was.

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

Postby Dacey » April 19th, 2017, 11:48 am

I'm so confused...
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Re: Will Disney buy DWA? No! Universal did!

Postby EricJ » April 19th, 2017, 11:59 am

Dacey wrote:I'm so confused...


Oh, that's okay, ShyViolet should be along any minute now to explain why Spirit was "underrated" from the folks that gave us Egypt and would some day give us Dragons 2. :wink:

All I know is, sitting through the original Spirit would have been a lot easier if it HAD been the girls' horsie-movie that parents and kids thought it was, and not the attempt at 90's Animated Melodrama that Katz thought he had to make on his Lion King reputation.
Evidently the new owners agreed.

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

Postby Ben » April 19th, 2017, 12:08 pm

The new owners have nothing to do with this new Spirit thing, so that argument is out the window.

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

Postby ShyViolet » April 19th, 2017, 3:50 pm

EricJ wrote:
Dacey wrote:I'm so confused...


Oh, that's okay, ShyViolet should be along any minute now to explain why Spirit was "underrated" from the folks that gave us Egypt and would some day give us Dragons 2. :wink:

.



Um, OK. :roll: By quoting me like that you've basically just reiterated what I'd said: that POE and Spirit were underrated (I think many on this board would probably agree to that) and that DWA did eventually bring us a great film like Dragons 2 due to all of the hidden potential in their underrated 2d films (and CGI as well). DWA's record may be mixed, but it's not all bad either, as many fans and even non-fans would attest to.

And seriously Eric...I kind of have this sneaking suspicion that you haven't sat through half of (at least) the DreamWorks/DWA films you've scorched again and again.
You don't seem to be familiar with the plots, characters, or themes. All you do is quote what you saw in the trailers. Maybe I'd respect your DWA criticism more if you at least watched these films instead of constantly making assumptions. :? Do you really think that DWA made so much money from film after film simply because the audience was "tricked" into liking them? Or maybe people actually had their own opinions on what they actually sat through?
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Re: Will Disney buy DWA? No! Universal did!

Postby Randall » April 19th, 2017, 7:56 pm

For the record, I loved the first couple of "tradigital" films. POE was magnificent, and Road to El Dorado was great fun. Sinbad was a disappointment. I did like Spirit more than I expected. Hard to believe they did so few of these tradigital films. Were there really only four?!

In fact, I was a DWA fan up until recently. Even their minor films were fun and generally well crafted. (I didn't even hate Shrek the Third.) Home and Trolls lost me, after Puss in Boots and Turbo started the slide.

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

Postby ShyViolet » April 19th, 2017, 8:17 pm

Randall wrote:For the record, I loved the first couple of "tradigital" films. POE was magnificent, and Road to El Dorado was great fun. Sinbad was a disappointment. I did like Spirit more than I expected. Hard to believe they did so few of these tradigital films. Were there really only four?!


There were going to be a whole lot more, almost all of them serious epics. (Tusker, Truckers, Diggers, and Wings,
even a version of Moby Dick.). Sadly they were all canceled because of the tradigital films that were already released not making enough. :cry:

Antz is basically an example of all the potential the tradigital epics/DreamWorks SKG had back then...the story was extremely well done, fast moving and carefully crafted, with great celebrity voice overs that actually fit their roles. :). Such a shame all that went down the drain. :(
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Re: Will Disney buy DWA? No! Universal did!

Postby Dacey » April 19th, 2017, 8:42 pm

I may in a minority in that I liked Sinbad more than Spirit, and kinda wish that it had started the franchise that it appeared to be potentially setting up.
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Re: Will Disney buy DWA? No! Universal did!

Postby ShyViolet » April 19th, 2017, 9:10 pm

Even with its hiccups in storytelling it was extremely well crafted technically as well as artistically. It definitely would have been great if it had spawned a franchise. :|
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Re: Will Disney buy DWA? No! Universal did!

Postby EricJ » April 20th, 2017, 3:57 am

ShyViolet wrote:And seriously Eric...I kind of have this sneaking suspicion that you haven't sat through half of (at least) the DreamWorks/DWA films you've scorched again and again.
You don't seem to be familiar with the plots, characters, or themes. All you do is quote what you saw in the trailers. Maybe I'd respect your DWA criticism more if you at least watched these films instead of constantly making assumptions. :? Do you really think that DWA made so much money from film after film simply because the audience was "tricked" into liking them? Or maybe people actually had their own opinions on what they actually sat through?


A few fact checks:
1) I may not have sat through "Bee Movie", home-theater 3-D desperation made me sit through all of Monsters vs. Aliens, Rise of the Guardians, Megamind, both Dragons, one Panda, and Puss in Boots, I watched El Dorado for its Elton John soundtrack, and only got through twenty minutes or so of Turbo before seeing no light at the end of the tunnel--but I DID sit through Spirit. Oh, good lord, did I ever. (Thanks to my relative-babysitting duties.) I stand by my claim that it is every bit as ponderous and post-Lion King humorless as its reputation precedes it--because JK still believed he "directed" Disney's corniest smash hit and that all animation should look just as corny--and it was every bit as outdated by the 2002 that Pixar now ruled.
I even recall, fifteen years later, discussing the experience of watching it, on other forums at the time, that the gimmick was that all of what would normally be corny 90's-wannabe dialogue was now translated into Horsie. (Eg., "Your fight's with ME!" would now be "Whin whin-whin WHINN!") And, innovatively enough, no subtitles, but that's the good thing about the script being so by-the-numbers predictable, that you don't need any.
I also remember joking about how bonehead-literal all of Bryan Adams' songs were...Eg., when bad cowboys try to bronco-bust Spirit, we hear Adams on the soundtrack singing "Get Offa My Back"--Ohh, I see, that's supposed to be what the character's thinking, because he doesn't want them to ride him! :roll: To be fair, at least it was one of the last times we ever heard NEW songs in a Dreamworks movie--Be grateful for small miracles.

2) Spirit flopped. BADLY. It opened in 4th place to $23M ($1M less than Disney opened with Princess & the Frog, only this was in summer), and limped along to $75M by wherever it was playing in August. (Maybe Episode II and Spiderman were still in theaters that May, but when you're beaten by Christopher Nolan's "Insomnia"...) DWA tried to sell it as "Important", because everything the Lion King Genius touched was meant to be, and then found no child wanted to go see "Important", they wanted to see horsies. And something funny. The latter particularly turned out to be a problem when the movie needed to be drastically re-marketed the second week.
Maybe Shrek hadn't flopped--which is why it came as such a traumatic shock for DWA a year after they thought the entire studio had the Magic Green Golden Touch after "Shrek", but the theories for why the 3D was a hit and the 2D was a flop was not put down to artistic quality, either by the studio or the industry analysts. There was a big 2D animation boom from '98-'02, after Paramount's Rugrats had opened the floodgates to a lot of studios trying to sell 2D cable-based movies, and DWA was seen as the "quality" studio entry for doing originals, but had the misfortune to open during the same summer as Warner had bet the studio on "The Powerpuff Girls Movie", and lost. ALSO badly. Guess what started coming to a screeching halt.
JK finding scapegoats for Sinbad technically gets the credit for "killing off" 2D animation in '03, but that wasn't the publicly embarrassing blow he'd been licking his wounds from. And was he as Ahab-obsessed about not getting "his" Best Animated Oscar the second year as legend suggests?...We'll never know.

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

Postby Dacey » April 20th, 2017, 9:10 am

So DreamWorks greenlit the risky movie in which the main character doesn't talk based on the box office success of a Nickelodeon property. Gotcha.

And Warner Bros. "bet the studio" on The PowerPuff Girls Movie...which had a production budget of $11 million. Gotcha.

:roll:
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