Total Recall: The Best (and Worst) of DreamWorks Animation
RT runs down the studio's complete animated output.
As a fledgling animation studio looking to set itself apart from typical 'toon fare, DreamWorks could hardly have done better for a debut than 1998's Antz, a Woody Allen-led comedy about the tension between individuality and conformity that just happened to feature a cast of CG-animated ants. Exciting enough for kids, but loaded with enough smart humor and subtext to keep adults entertained, Antz was overshadowed at the box office by Pixar's A Bug's Life, but still managed to top $170 million -- and earned the admiration of critics like the inestimable Gene Siskel, who called it "distinctive" and "delightful."
1. Chicken Run
It clearly wasn't a marriage destined to last, but whatever its failings, the short-lived partnership between DreamWorks and Aardman still managed to produce some excellent films -- one of which, 2000's Chicken Run, just so happens to be the best-reviewed release in DreamWorks history (so far). Starring Mel Gibson and Julia Sawalha as a pair of fowl who help organize a daring, Great Escape-style jailbreak from the chicken farm, Run helped prove that Aardman's painstaking, meticulous style of stop-motion animation still had a place in the CG-dominated marketplace -- and won the hearts of critics like the Los Angeles Times' Kenneth Turan, who marveled, "before our disbelieving eyes, a pageant of jeopardy, romance and rescue unfolds."
Finally, here's the trailer for Joseph: King of Dreams, a straight-to-DVD release from Dreamworks: