Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

There’s one very specific thing happening in How to Train Your Dragon 2 that would cause me to kind of love it a bit even if it the rest of it was a crashing failure instead of a small disappointment. Which it is, unfortunately; still one of the top handful of movies ever made by […]

The first surprise – ah, hell, it’s the only surprise, let’s be honest – is that Mr. Peabody & Shermanis not terribly good, but it’s not terribly good in the way that DreamWorks Animation features tend to not be terribly good. That is to say, it’s not a hell-spawned devouring nightmare that leave nothing but […]

2013 has been a remarkably mediocre year for American animated features, but even in the company of Monsters University and Despicable Me 2, there’s something special about Turbo, the second and final DreamWorks Animation project of the year (following The Croods, which is starting to look like an elder statesman). It is mediocre; unabashedly so. […]

Dean DeBlois, I am sorry. This whole time, through both Disney’s Lilo & Stitch in 2002 and DreamWorks Animation’s How to Train Your Dragon in 2010, we’ve all been like, “Chris Sanders is so great”, and “good for Chris Sanders, nurturing Stitch as an idea for so many years”, and “poor Chris Sanders, couldn’t make […]

Whatever else you might want to say about DreamWorks Animation’s Rise of the Guardians, it sure has a mother of a high concept: Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and other mythological figures from Euro-American childhood are a Justice League-esque team of heroes. Maybe even too high of a concept, in fact, given how the film […]

Speaking personally, I had absolutely no use for DreamWorks Animation’s 2005 pop-culture-spewing talking animals adventure comedy Madagascar, and only a hair more for 2008’s Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa, so perhaps my opinion doesn’t count; but I found Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted to be comfortably better than either of its predecessors, enough to make it […]

As if it wasn’t enough of a drag that Cars 2 sucked: DreamWorks Animation has now followed Pixar* with a movie that takes the heavily, one might say offensively stereotypical comic sidekick of one of their previous hits and places him in an adventure all his own. But unlike Mater Goes Bananas, they did it […]

When Kung Fu Panda came out three years ago, it was greeted with a special kind of enthusiasm beyond what it altogether deserved: for this was not just a perfectly fun talking animal comedy, it was the film that finally, after so many years, proved that DreamWorks Animation could make a good movie (or, if […]

The second of two reviews request by Kara Wild with her donations to the Carry On Campaign; the first is here. Well do I remember when The Prince of Egypt opened: for it was 18 December, 1998, which happened to be my 17th birthday,* and I recall my mother asking if I wanted to see […]

Several years ago, it seems, DreamWorks Animation seemed to have turned a major corner with How to Train Your Dragon – or was it really just this past March? It feels longer, at any rate, since that film came along and showed that the studio born from Jeffrey Katzenberg’s pathological (and entirely justifiable) hatred of […]

A series of rattletrap Disney parodies put out by DreamWorks Animation whenever they need quick access an amount of ready cash greater than the gross domestic product of any given African nation, the Shrek films have never exactly been my cup of tea: they’re snitty rather than clever, they shoulder most of the responsibility for […]

Of all the signs and portents that we are drawing near to the end of human civilisation (floods! earthquakes! economic strife! global unrest!) none has scared me more than this: at last, DreamWorks Animation has made a great animated film; a Pixar-quality film, if I dare say it, despite fear of my blasphemy bringing down […]