Animation Smackdown!

by chris cunningham

3 films, three days. Caught the three major animated films that are out there right now by the three major studios. “Cars” by Pixar, “Over the Hedge” by Dreamworks and “Monster House” in 3D by us at Imageworks! Go Imageworks! So how’d they fair? Well, I can honestly say without being biased that Monster House was a love fest! Awesome! In 3D too! I actually had fairly low expectations for Monster House as I hadn’t seen anything in the trailers that really caught my eye. There is soooo much more going on in this film than what’s in the trailers. Love that they kept their cards hidden. Very interesting look but I wish there was motion blur even though they were going for a stop motion look.

Next was “Over the Hedge”. Hmmmm… characters are way too frantic and fast talking. That’s become a run of the mill animated staple and it’s getting way old. And the moral message of sticking by your friends and blah de blah blah. The story is slight. It’s nice looking but the voice talent was really weird. Garry Shandling? Bruce Willis? William Shatner? That’ll draw some adults in say the 40-50 year old range. Weird choices.

Then came Cars. Pixar knows how to make pretty images but this was quite a drop in, um, lets use “interestingness”. The stories are alway nice and layered, but the main character in this one is so unlikable I was actually thinking of ways I would kill him off. Make him burst into flames as he sits in a hot parking lot, he could drown in a car wash, an animated Harold from “Harold & Maude” could drive him off a cliff at the end of the movie. etc. I was thinking this stuff while watching the film. Not a good sign. But I did sorta kinda liked it.

So, I’m going to go with a huge thumbs up on Monster House, especially if you see it in 3D. A tentative thumbs up for Cars and and thumbs down for Over the Hedge. As for the key art posters… Monster House wins again.

SPEAKING OF ANIMATED FILMS! Woo hoo! The website for the film I’m currently working on went live today! BEOWULF!!! Who knew?! Not a lot to see, there’s text and fire and music and and and, well that’s it…