And they made no effort to make Peabody & Sherman appeal to the old-school Jay Ward / Bullwinkle show fans, in fact, everything I heard indicated that they completely ignored the tone and theme of the original IP. From a quick skim of the movie on Netflix, it looks like they went for sentimentality rather than illustrating the foibles of man through history. That “Beautiful Boy” song makes pedobear seem wholesome. And the voice actor for Peabody is just bad at conveying the character.
Looking over that list, I’m struck by the level of “quality mediocrity” in there. I see their record as having more peaks than valleys. Shrek, Madagascar, How to Train Your Dragon, Kung Fu Panda; all really high quality films with witty dialog and stories – The worst I can say about them is that the sequels might have gone back to the well once or thrice too often.
You’ve then got a LOT of pretty fun movies that don’t rise to the level of classics: Chicken Run, Over the Hedge, Flushed Away, Megamind, Monsters vs. Aliens, Rise of the Guardians, Price of Egypt… really, most of them.
Are there stinkers? Sure, but few enough of them. I’d think that any studio would like to have that kind of ratio. From that Wikipedia page it seems to me that there was only a single movie (El Dorado) that wasn’t in the black before leaving the box office… but that same page shows Penguins being a runaway profit-monster, so maybe it’s just weird data.
Turbo’s actually nowhere near as bad as it looks, and my kids enjoy it quite a lot. The premise is definitely out there (a snail racing in the Indy 500?), but once you get past that there’s some good humor, great animation, and a decent story (that’s actually not that different from KFP at its core). It’s not as good as Kung Fun Panda or How to Train your Dragon, but it’s a far bit better than the rest of them.
Hollywood Accounting is used to screw actors/writers out of money.
Write-downs are a whole 'nother story. You’re talking about publicly-traded companies reporting earnings. Lying about those is a federal crime, and you never fuck with the SEC. The facts are clear and cannot be disputed: DreamWorks Animation is floundering.
If you put their reported numbers into the context of the movies’ revenues @Boxofficemojo it seems DWA only gets roundabout 25% of the box office, but still has to carry the whole risk for producing the films and recovering their partner’s distribution and marketing costs. Maybe their real problem is a bad deal?!
I really enjoyed Over the Hedge. I would put it up there with some of the others. I just don’t know what playbook Dreamworks would use to think Peabody would be a real draw. Like RickH said, Turbo looked awful, but I never saw it. The one thing that there top movies seem to have in common is they are tolerable if not outright fun for adults. Their middle of the road and stinkers often are not. I know there are a lot of arguments about whether or not animation directed at kids should appeal to adults… but the dollars don’t lie.
I thought Flushed Away and Prince of Egypt were both quite well done too - possibly above Madagascar if not the others. I thought Prince actually did achieve some ‘classic’ status, but maybe only because it was an approachable biblical movie.
Ward’s studio did not have a high budget for animation, but they made up for it by using snappy, clever dialogue (if a bit pun-heavy for my tates, but I’m a known pun-hater) and solid & distinctive voice acting. Just listenining to the Bullwinkle shows is a treat, even though not every rotating feature was great (I usually considered a Dudley Do-Right segment a dud).
I remember we had a Chucke E Cheese like place based on Rocky and Bullwinkle. The show was before my time, but i remember watching it on TV but mostly going there. I think it’s a Family Fun Center now.
Yeah, I spent a good chunk of my youth watching it, too, and am still in the under-30 club. Of course, since I only sort of have a use for Twitter and see none for Vine, Instagram, et. all, perhaps I’m not really in-tune with youth culture anymore these days, anyway ;)