DreamWorks Animations Larrkins Has Been Cancelled

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DreamWorks Animations Larrkins Has Been Cancelled

Postby LotsoA113 » March 7th, 2017, 10:57 am

Man oh man, no clue what's going down at DreamWorks Animation, but with just a year to go until release and high-profile voice actors like Hugh Jackman and Margot Robbie already recording their vocal tracks for the motion picture, DreamWorks Animation has abruptly canceled their Australian musical Larrkins from Tim Minchin.

Minchin has released this statement:

"“I’ve recently been working in 3 different continents, missing my kids a lot, sleeping too little and not playing piano enough. And then a couple of days ago, the animated film to which I’ve dedicated the last 4 years of my life was shut down by the new studio execs,” the post read. “The only way I know how to deal with my impotent fury and sadness is to subject members of the public to the spectacle of me getting drunk and playing ballads.”

Real pity to hear that, since both the premise and voice cast had me intrigued. It sounded like a project with a ton of potential. Alas, it was not to be. This also means that 2018 will now be the first year DreamWorks Animation releases zero movies since 1999.
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Re: DreamWorks Animations Larrkins Has Been Cancelled

Postby Dacey » March 7th, 2017, 11:02 am

This was almost certainly the decision of Universal, not DreamWorks. Just as the cancellation of The Croods 2 probably was.

Another concern is that Universal might be giving DreamWorks projects (let's hope Dragon 3 isn't among them) severe budget cuts, as they keep their Illumination releases fairly cheap at $70 million (I suspect producing the animation isn't as pricey in France?).
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Re: DreamWorks Animations Larrkins Has Been Cancelled

Postby ShyViolet » March 7th, 2017, 11:30 am

Can't believe what DWA has been reduced to, after all those blockbusters. Basically, they're gone. :( :( :(
Universal was the absolute worst place for them to go. :!:
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Re: DreamWorks Animations Larrkins Has Been Cancelled

Postby EricJ » March 7th, 2017, 12:40 pm

"Blockbusters", plural? Oh, that's right, they had TWO Shrek movies that were a hit. :P

So, for those of us non-Dragon Ladies, what the heck was "Larrkins" (I'd heard of "Trolls" in production, but...), and maybe we can post-mortem?

Besides, accdg. to IMDb, we still have "Captain Underpants: the <snicker!> First Epic Movie" set for June.

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Re: DreamWorks Animations Larrkins Has Been Cancelled

Postby Dacey » March 7th, 2017, 2:08 pm

Not that it will matter to Eric, but DreamWorks has made no less than 25 films to cross the $100 million mark domestically, so...
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Re: DreamWorks Animations Larrkins Has Been Cancelled

Postby Ben » March 7th, 2017, 3:49 pm

Dacey wrote:...Illumination releases fairly cheap at $70 million (I suspect producing the animation isn't as pricey in France?).


Well not only that (the outfit also keeps its staff on full time, so no layoffs and rehires to push costs up), but Illumination's films are all much shorter than the norm. Remove the credits and on average I think they're about 20 minutes less than an average DWA movie. Although Sing was longer, Secret Life Of Pets isn't much more than just 70 minutes of actual animated content.

Obviously that's not half the budget being saved right there, but it's substantially why their films generally come in at less, plus I don't think they spend as much lead time in development or on voice talent.

At this level of production, Universal should let the primary creatives shop this around. I'm surprised there isn't a huge contract penalty clause that prevented the shuttering of projects this far into their timeline.

The announcement of Trolls 2 signalled that they might be willing to maintain a DWA "front", but I did warn you, VI, that the DreamWorks of old - not that there was much left more recently - was gone. I was surprised as anyone when a second Trolls was announced, my thinking being that they'd let the franchises burn out and just eventually fold DWA into Illumiation (one way to battle the competition is to, naturally, but them and close them down). I still expect that to happen with DWA if they can't get their costs down to Illumination levels.

Universal wasn't a good fit, but Jeff just wanted to move on. He just didn't care. Paramount was the way to go since day one, absolutely no question, but he messed it up with them. Every other studio had an animation unit or pipeline. Paramount, in need of major franchises and already in partnership with DreamWorks Pictures, was the right fit, taking in their kids channels too, but they dropped the ball as much as anyone and JK just grabbed the easy money.

A real shame, a *real* shame, but that's the business of show... :(

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Re: DreamWorks Animations Larrkins Has Been Cancelled

Postby ShyViolet » March 7th, 2017, 5:44 pm

I totally understand Ben...I realize JK is responsible for all of this. Like you said, by the end he just didn't care anymore. I can't help but mourn, though. :(
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Re: DreamWorks Animations Larrkins Has Been Cancelled

Postby droosan » March 7th, 2017, 6:14 pm

FWIW, the TV/Netflix wing of DWA has been pretty busy, for the past year.

I'm not sure if that correlates to 'profitable' or 'successful' for DWA at-large, though. :|

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Re: DreamWorks Animations Larrkins Has Been Cancelled

Postby EricJ » March 7th, 2017, 7:37 pm

Ben wrote:Universal wasn't a good fit, but Jeff just wanted to move on. He just didn't care. Paramount was the way to go since day one, absolutely no question, but he messed it up with them. Every other studio had an animation unit or pipeline. Paramount, in need of major franchises and already in partnership with DreamWorks Pictures, was the right fit, taking in their kids channels too, but they dropped the ball as much as anyone and JK just grabbed the easy money.


In the face of declining returns and the need for artistic/business reorganization with audience disinterest, he preferred to take a page from Trump's strategy for dealing with crises:
"We're a hit, our movies are the biggest things at the box office, we're expanding trade with China, and our Kung Fu Panda series is bigger than ever!" :lol:
Last edited by EricJ on March 8th, 2017, 2:19 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: DreamWorks Animations Larrkins Has Been Cancelled

Postby ShyViolet » March 7th, 2017, 11:12 pm

Hmmm...maybe we can transfer this discussion to the DreamWorks thread. :)
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