Space Chimps

Features, Shorts, Live-Action and Direct-To-Video
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Post by Dacey » April 9th, 2008, 11:10 am

Let's not forget the fact that the animation looks HORRIBLE. I mean, it hurts my eyes even on Youtube. Try to think about how it's going to look on the big screen!
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Post by eddievalient » April 9th, 2008, 10:13 pm

Ben wrote: What's happened here is that they <I>KNOW</I> they have a stinker, so they programmed it against Batman. If it works - unlikely - they can claim counter-programming. When it doesn't work - highly likely - they can say "well nothing could go up against Batman".
I have to respond to this. Ben, how could you say that? Have you forgotten how much time and effort it takes to make these films, even the ones that don't turn out so well? If they "knew they had a stinker" and it was really that bad, it would have been obvious in the development stage and they likely wouldn't have gone forward. If they finished the film and are gambling on a theatrical release as opposed to sending it straight to DVD and/or cable, then they must believe in it on some level.

I'll give you a well known example: Toy Story. It's been well documented that they had tons of problems getting it right, but they fixed it and sent it out into the world. I would imagine that any perceived problems with Space Chimps have been or will be fixed before it's released.

Considering that animation in general is still a much maligned and misunderstood genre (for lack of a better term), we more than anyone should know not to judge a book by its cover. That you all are badmouthing this so vehemently before you've even seen it is, quite frankly, uncool. If you want to say it stinks or call it a pile, you should at least give the filmmakers the courtesy of watching it first. I'm sure they worked hard on it, and it's not very fair to them to jump to conclusions like you are doing (although, in the interest of total honesty, I've been guilty of that too on occasion. I'm not proud). I respect many of you here, even (sometimes especially) the ones I disagree with and I never thought I'd see the day when you'd condemn something so thoroughly this early in the game. I'm not going anywhere, but I must say I'm disappointed.
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Post by Whippet Angel » April 9th, 2008, 10:57 pm

I got the impression that Ben was referring to the distributors, as opposed to the filmmakers.

Could be wrong though...

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Post by Macaluso » April 10th, 2008, 2:06 am

ick. don't compare this abomination to toy story. It looks like crap. Toy Story didn't look like crap in the previews, it looked like a good movie. This just looks like utter garbage right from the get go.

I for one am glad that this mess will be buried under Batman.

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Post by Ben » April 10th, 2008, 7:27 am

Hey Eddie!

Yep, I was referring to the distributors. I am, as previously mentioned, a Vanguard fan...I like what they're trying to do.

But so often these films are created with good intentions by people who just can't see they're churning out old, been seen before jokes and stories. It's the humor here that's really hurting the film - as I said above, I WILL wait to pass judgment on the animation until I can see it more clearly. But the jokes are lousy...there's no denying that. If they have an original laugh-intended moment, it's not in this trailer.

And that's how trailers work - they're <I>supposed</I> to get us all excited about a new release. Excitement turns into word of mouth. WOM turns into box-office on opening weekend. Far from being excited, this trailer invites squirms of disappointment - disappointment that an actually fairly fun idea has been developed with so many ancient-feeling elements in an attempt to "be hip" and attract the CG crowd. Well, you need more than to recycle other films' jokes and lines to make a good movie.

They didn't do themselves any favors by putting the trail out in awful quality online. This is also how a message board works - if we see an amazing piece of work - WALL-E for example - properly presented - in QTHD - we're impressed. If we see a substandard film trying to go out there and do what the much bigger boys can do easily - and it doesn't work - then we're not going to be impressed, right?

Yes, of course people work for years on these things. A lot of them simply need to pay the rent. There CAN be great work in these things, but if the people in charge - ultimately the executives - are not creative enough (and there's a reason certain people make it to working at Pixar and others...don't) - then their regurgitated influences are going to rub off on a film.

What's happened here is that Starz or Fox have committed a long time ago to an animated CG movie with a decent concept. They bought into an idea that probably didn't have a script or any completed visuals. They probably did this before Happily N'Ever After came out. Vanguard is such a small outfit anyway, that they were probably left alone for much of production. This is how some companies get away with completely making their movie with true autonomy before handing it over to the distributing studio. I would bet that Fox/Starz saw it, thought "oh what do we do here?" and programmed it against Batman. No other sane studio would program anything in the region of a Batman film - and this is, both certainly would appeal to me - unless they almost wanted it to die at the BO. It's ultimately probably cheaper for them to release a few hundred prints and let it die, and write it off, than it is to open wider with an Ice Age type publicity campaign and sink more money into it trying to convince us this is something we should all see.

Don't believe me? Let's just see how much ad space this gets against another Fox animation release this year: Horton Hears A Who. Let's see if Vanguard puts out another feature in collaboration with Starz, or at least Fox. They may have a deal with Starz, I'm not sure, but I'm willing to bet it either gets canceled, or at least that Fox doesn't distribute them. Vanguard has yet to release any further animated features with the companies they've gone through before.

As mentioned above, the number of screens Space Chimps ultimately makes it on to will determine how much faith the distributors have in this. While I'm always considerate about the amount of time and effort required to make one of these things, surely with all that time and effort they should be making better things than this lazy outing? This is why my words are based on industry practice and educated guesswork. I'm not just coming up with words to bash an unreleased film: I'm applying years of following trends, filmmaking, marketing and studio politics to this.

Trust me: Starz or Fox know they have something that isn't going to pull in much cash, and they're going to let it die at Batman's hands.

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Post by eddievalient » April 10th, 2008, 9:25 am

Hey Ben! I guess what set me off was that your judgement was as harsh as it was based on 2 minutes or so of footage. There have been times when a trailer didn't impress me, but when I saw the film itself, I liked it (Return To Neverland being one example) so unless the film in question is a sequel to something I didn't like the first time (Madagascar), I try not to prejudge. Even then I'll probably still watch, just as a rental though and not at the theater. All I'm saying is that you should give it a fair chance.
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Post by Dacey » April 10th, 2008, 11:06 am

Yes, you shouldn't always judge a book by its cover, but the thing about the "Space Chimps" trailer is that it makes want to do ANYTHING but actually shell out seven dollars to see the film. Quite seriously, the preview is so freaking bad that I don't have any desire whatsoever to see anymore of it.

Normally, I am an extreme sucker for animated films. I see almost all of the ones that come here. A cartoon feature has to look REALLY bad for me to not what to see it. And "Space Chimps" looks like one of those films.

Besides, not only is Batman coming out the same day as this, but so is "Mamma Mia!". And "Hellboy II" comes out a week earlier. With all of those movies playing at the same time as this, I see no real reason to even try to find some time to spend on these chimps.
Last edited by Dacey on April 10th, 2008, 2:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by eddievalient » April 10th, 2008, 1:08 pm

The thing about the trailer, though is that it only shows the chimps in training and there's a whole other story after that, right? They go through a wormhole or something and end up on another planet? I don't think we've seen any of that yet and that may be because they don't want to give it away. They could have some great stuff there but we won't know until the movie comes out (or until they release another trailer that shows it, whichever occurs first).
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Post by CharlieBarkin » April 10th, 2008, 1:10 pm

Patrick Warbutton again!? Is he the Phil Harris of modern day animation or are studios too lazy to find anyone else? Not that I have anything against him, I love him in Family Guy, but you can over-do things and he has been in a heap of animated flicks in the last few years.

Won't be seeing this. Looks totally unoriginal and unfunny.
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Post by Ben » April 10th, 2008, 3:38 pm

Hey Eddie...

I'm interested in that you want to give this a chance and not want to judge this by the first trailer, but...um, you already have!

"I'll probably still watch, just as a rental though and not at the theater" - obviously the trailer hasn't worked on you either, or you'd be lining up right now to see this.

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Post by eddievalient » April 10th, 2008, 6:46 pm

My error. I should have clarified. I meant that I would be watching the Madagascar sequel as a rental (I said as much in the thread for that movie). I didn't like the first one very much, but I'm still willing to give the second one a shot, just not for the price of a theater ticket. I think the Space Chimps trailer is funny, actually, and I'd like to see it when it comes out although with all the other potentially cool movies coming out this summer, I may not be able to fit it in. I'll just have to see what kind of time I have.
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Post by Ben » April 10th, 2008, 8:08 pm

So, it's still not a "must-see" then? ;)

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Post by eddievalient » April 10th, 2008, 9:52 pm

Well, the closest theater to where I am is 30 miles (in any direction. literally.) and I can't always find the time to go see the movies I'm interested in. Aside from the really huge releases (Indy Jones, Wall.E, Batman) it's going to be a matter of whether or not I have the time to go 30 miles, watch a movie, eat dinner and come back. Certainly if I'm able to see Space Chimps this summer I would love to, but I'll just have to wait and see. But you can bet that if there was a theater in my town I'd be there opening weekend (maybe catch Chimps as a matinee and come back for Batman in the evening?). I hate living in the mountains. Have I already said that?

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Post by Ben » April 11th, 2008, 12:42 pm

I think my point still stands. You're still not lumping Chimps in with the "huge releases", are you? ;)

Just pulling your leg.

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Post by DibujosAnimados » May 12th, 2008, 3:30 pm

Space Chimps wasn't a "lazy effort." It was an effort of lots of animators working sincerely and diligently to make something entertaining for 12 year olds.

I think SC is a cute movie for kids. It's not Shrek. It's not Wall-E. Frankly it's not Hoodwinked.

However it's perfectly good indie animated feature cartoon with a cute main character very competently voiced. Patrick Warburton is funny as always. The director Kirk DeMicco makes a capable first time debut.

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