Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Dreamworks Animation Has Struck Out

Given all the hype for Inside Out (Bing Bong, you may be the most noble character in any Disney film) deservedly cropping up every which way, it makes me think of what Pixar's rivals are doing to catch up. What's Dreamworks, the biggest rival to Pixar doing?...


Dreamworks goes back to their most popularized period of the mid-to-late 2000s with their recent non-sequel work, Turbo and Home. While prior films, like The Croods and Rise of the Guardians, showed a more dramatic, heartfelt, and touching side to their plots, feeling more "family" than "children only", Turbo and Home (along with The Penguins of Madagascar) step right back into kiddie crap. I luckily never saw Turbo, but I did go out to Home because I had nothing else to do. The movie was... kiddish.

Slapstick violence, goofy jokes, and little substance make sure this film feel like it was made in 2005. The worst moment was Oh's "sacrifice" at the end. We had seen Oh being flattened before and surviving, and I think even the girl saw Oh get crushed and live. So why the sad music and the weepy faces when he gets crushed under the treads? Was the implication that he was going to be trapped forever? There was no dramatic gravitas to this sudden scene from a silly movie that breaks the film's logic (It didn't stop that one death in Jurassic World).

The humor was similarly simple and juvenile. Even the plot began dumbly, with Oh, a weird, party-loving Boov, sending a message to everyone possible. This lures in the Gorg, the thing the cowardly Boov are terrified of. This Gorg is searching for his eggs, which were stolen by the Boov captain. He inhabits a large suit of armor ala Krang to hide his lonesome shame as he hunts the Boov. Oh meets a displaced human girl and helps her build a vehicle to try to track down the Boov base and get the memo and the whereabouts of her mother. They find she's in Australia and go there. Then the Gorg arrive and Oh steals and delivers the eggs. Capatin Smek is then overthrown for cowardice.

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