Why Pixar is better than Dreamworks

So, as it says in my snappy WordPress biography, I am a cartoon-lovin’ man. This was most evident about a year and a half ago when I became convinced that a career at Pixar was for me. Their output consumed me and, I confess, I spent a good few hundred hours watching director’s commentaries, analysing the story structures, and trying to think up my own animated screenplay ideas. But this obsession was specific to Pixar, I do like other animators, but mostly it’s just Pixar. And I am aware that this distinction is pretty irrelevant to most, this was evident at the moment when I asked Wrexham friend (at the tentative early stages of our friendship) what his favourite Pixar film was, and he naïvely replied “errm, I dunno, Shrek?” at which point I fainted.

My wifey made me watch the Madagascar films. I’d avoided them stealthily over the years, even managing to tacticly sneak out of the room when they appeared on television over the festive period. But I relented, because there is a joy in watching Wifey laugh at Sacha Baron-Cohen’s semi-racist leemur, so I succumbed to the banal mediocrity. And, last night, as one of the lions voiced by Alec Baldwin, (who is in actuality just a cheap version of Lion King’s Scar) was chased away by a karate-chopping old lady, I had a moment of clarity…

The difference between Pixar and Dreamworks animations are in their attitudes to story. The famous Pixar mantra is something along the lines of ‘respect the story’ and this seems to be exactly what Dreamworks don’t do, they, in their lazy way ‘disrespect the story’. Compare the Baldwin/Octogenarian/Ninja moment to say, Lotso’s demise in Toy Story 3, each detail in the story has been elaborately considered, and is more emotionally potent as a result. At the end of Toy Story 3, (spoiler warning) Lotso is cable tied to the front of a dustbin lorry, where he is forced to spend an eternity as one of those toys who gets cable-tied to the front of dustbin lorries. Not only is it an observant nod to the stuffed animals we have all seen cable-tied to the front of dustbin-lorries (why do people do that?) but it comes at the end of a long and arduous battle (goodies against baddy) where he makes approximately seven and a half come-backs, and gets lots of chances to repent from his immorality. Alec Baldwin’s lion was chased away by a ninja Grandma, and we shrugged. But Lots-O’-Huggin’ Bear was cable tied to a dustbin-lorry and we thrusted our fists into the air at the perfect justice of it all. Well I did anyway.

One thought on “Why Pixar is better than Dreamworks

  1. I agree Pixar is far superior to DreamWorks, however, no Pixar film has changed my life like Bee Movie has

    P.S. I’m not sure I’m comfortable with the fact that you still remember *that* quote so clearly. I’ve learnt a lot since then, just let it go

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