Total Recall: The Best (and Worst) of DreamWorks Animation

RT runs down the studio's complete animated output.

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2. Antz

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."


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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."


Don't forget to take out DreamWorks Cartoon Challenge, or check out the rest of our Total Recall archives.

Finally, here's the trailer for Joseph: King of Dreams, a straight-to-DVD release from Dreamworks:

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