Wednesday, March 20, 2013

An Animated Summer, Pt. 1, DreamWorks.

Once upon a time, back when people actually drew frames of animated movies using pencil and paper, a studio called Disney could create something truly special - an animated movie that would charm your kids with magic for an hour and a half, and then for a lifetime. An experience for the those with kids (or kids still rummaging around inside them), that didn't come more than once a year.

That was then, this is now. For "now" read - computer animated, marketing hyped, theme park blasted, celebrity voice shellacked, throw-it-against-the-silver-screen to see if it dazzles... not kids so much as stockholders - "now".

So it is, that as summer approaches there are five major animation studios fielding seven digitally animated movies in competition for hundreds of millions of kid flick, parent friendly, summer box-office dollars. And Disney is no longer the only magic kingdom of money minting.

The first of the crowd hits screens this weekend so it seems a good time to give interested parties a little preview of animated releases through the end of August. DreamWorks Animation is first up in the summer lineup. In posts over the next two days Moviedozer will also bring you the trailers for Disney, Fox, Sony and Universal.

DreamWorks is actually doing something novel this summer, it's taking a shot at launching two new animated franchises. Yes franchises, nobody things a one shot hit is good enough anymore. For parents, that's good and bad - good, because it means new stories and new characters to keep things interesting, bad, because it means a whole slew of new movies and merchandise to buy if one's a hit.

Judging from the trailers below, there's at least a pretty good shot that there will be a brightly colored stuffed monkeys and a racing striped snail laying around the house by fall.

Friday's release is The Croods starring the vocal talents of Nicholas Cage, Emma Stone, Ryan Reynolds, Catherine Keener, Cloris Leachman and Clark Duke. Moviedozer's favorite scene? The invention of shoes.

A little later in the year, July 19th to be exact, DreamWorks will strike again with a snail who feels the need for speed in Turbo. Once again Ryan Reynolds is in a vocal cast that also includes Paul Giamatti, Michael Peña, Luis Guzmán, Bill Hader, Richard Jenkins, Ken Jeong, Michelle Rodriguez, Maya Rudolph, Snoop Dog and Samuel L. Jackson.

Here's Turbo's teaser trailer...

Stop back tomorrow for a look at what Disney Studios has animated for summer and again on Friday for a wrap of of summer animation from Fox, Sony and Universal.

Thanks to DreamWorks Animation for posters and trailers.

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