Ice Age: Blue Sky's Answer to Shrek?

D'Snowth

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There's been some speculation and predictions that Blue Sky was going to continue with the Ice Age franchise, and apparently, those speculations are being confirmed, as July 2012 is going to see the release of a fourth installment (the current working titles are "Ice Age 4: The Continental Drift" and "Ice Age: TH4W").

This really begs the question, is Blue Sky trying to make Ice Age their signature movie series in the same fashion DreamWorks did with Shrek?

Let's take a look at all the similarities...

Shrek was DreamWorks' first big animated hit, and kept spinning off into new sequels and "chapters" in the storyline; Ice Age was Blue Sky's first big animated hit, and similarly, the storyline seems to be continuing in each new sequel.

Inbetween the Shrek movies, DreamWorks has had one flop after another, with the exception of Bee Movie and How to Train Your Dragon; likewise, Blue Sky's inbetween movies seem to have been relative flops as well, even though their remake of Horton Hears a Who! became an instant cult movie.

Even with each new Shrek movie, it seems like the rely on side-splitting jokes/gags and cultural references seem to keep increasing; the third Ice Age movie was like a complete rip-off of Land of the Lost.

Shrek the Third ends with Shrek and Fiona becoming parents to ogre triplets; Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs features of subplot of Manny and Elle expecting a new baby, while Sid "adopts" dinosaur triplets.

Shrek is a curmudgeonly character, with a thorn-in-the-side of a best friend/sidekick in Donkey; Manny is a curmudgeonly character, with a thorn-in-the-side friend in Sid.

Need I say more?
 

BobThePizzaBoy

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Inbetween the Shrek movies, DreamWorks has had one flop after another, with the exception of Bee Movie and How to Train Your Dragon; likewise, Blue Sky's inbetween movies seem to have been relative flops as well, even though their remake of Horton Hears a Who! became an instant cult movie.
I wouldn't say Blue Sky's non-Ice Age movies were flops per se. Robots still received mostly positive reviews and a good box office total despite it being a bit underwhelming compared to the original Ice Age. And Horton Hears a Who (in my opinion, Blue Sky's best movie) was still a big success and one of the top 10 highest-grossing movies the year it came out.

But, I do agree. Ice Age has run it's course. I hate to say it because I live very close to the former Blue Sky studio headquarters and my parents even know some former Blue Sky employees but seriously, the first one was a fine film but the second one was completely lackluster. I haven't even seen the third one yet because considering the reviews, it's nothing worth going to see. When I heard there was going to be a fourth one, I couldn't even believe it. I find it incredible that they just won't let this franchise be one film.

I am, however, looking forward to Rio in April. I just wish Blue Sky would make more original movies than keep doing this original-Ice Age sequel-original-Ice Age sequel pattern they've been doing.
 

Drtooth

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I wouldn't say Dreamworks ones are flops, either. Their worst film, hands down was Sharktale, and all you need to do is look at the Black Friday Toy Story real to see where that comes from. Sort of a passive aggressive forced edgy Finding Nemo concocted by Katzenburg (as we all remember, the one who wanted Toy Story to suck). Seems that they've turned a new leaf ever since, starting with Over the Hedge. Kung Fu Panda was their biggest turning point, actually approaching it as a honest to goodness kung fu movie, and not a random line of non-stop kung fu movie parodies.

I think they did a good thing ending the Shrek legacy and moving onto other kinds of films. Originally, it was to be a long series, with Shrek goes Fourth, Shrek Pleads the Fifth, all the way till Shrek Eight some bad Clams and spends the weekend in Bed. Okay, I made the last 2 titles up... but there was an option for at LEAST 6 movies, and I don't think they very well could milk it that long. There was something off about the third one... it plays better on television, but it has a rushed vibe to it, and like they were trying to do too much in a single film. The fourth one however, had something special to it. There no longer was a constant barrage of pop culture gags, and they almost thought of the plot first. And in the strangest of all moves, there was hardly a fart joke uttered. That is a sign of growing up and moving on.

As for Blue Sky... well, Ice Age is their Shrek, in the terms that it's their franchise. By Contrast, Toy Story was forced into a sequel by Disney as a DTV, but they put so much effort into it it got the respectable theatrical release it deserved. The third one was CLEARLY made because Disney threatened to make one after Pixar left (don't look it up, it's TERRIBLE!) and took it as a challenge to make their OWN third movie. But with Ice Age it came out of that natural "OOh! We got to make a second one" and eventually decided it should be their answer to Shrek. Their other movies do alright, but really.. other than Robots and Horton, they've only given us Ice Age films so far. Rio comes out sometime this year, though.

I felt the first one missed something, the second one missed a little less, and the third just took a weird direction. Now, I like Ice Age and all, but John Leguizamo carries the film... Simon Pegg in the third. Any similarities between the characters and the Shrek characters is due to tropes and cliches. I don't know if they're intentionally Dreamworks style spying on them, but they're cliches anyway. I do NOT want to see a fourth, though if the merchandise is good, I might pinch a Sid and that's it. I liked Scratt and all, but it's a one note joke that's losing its charm.

Other than that, Dreamworks, unlike Blue Sky, is a self sustained studio. BlueSky needs Fox's distribution. DW has been doing movies since the 90's, mostly 2-D's that have cult fan bases... but nothing along the lines of Disney. DW has moved away from Shrek aside from merchandising... they still have another Madagascar, and as much as I enjoyed that one, I'm gonna pass. The second was enough... I didn't get the chance to see the Nickelodeon series though... is it any good?
 

D'Snowth

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I agree, I hated Sharktale... but on the same token, I wasn't really fond of Kung Fu Panda either. Over the Hedge was okay -- it wasn't the best movie I had ever seen, but it wasn't the worst either.

But that's interesting insight you shared regarding Toy Story 3, Drtooth, I wasn't sure what the deal was behind that one... I just know it kept getting shelved, then reopened, then shelved, then reopened, etc.

Forgive me, my unmanliness, but TS3 almost made me cry. :cry:

But, getting back on topic, I'm glad I'm not the only one who felt Ice Age was Blue Sky's Shrek. I don't know what could've been missing from the first one, but to be honest, I thought the first one was one of those movies that was fine as is, and didn't need a sequel (I will be VERY disappointed if Robert Zemeckis actually gets the sequel to Roger Rabbit greenlit), but then the second one came out, and it sucked richard. The third one was a bit more amusing, but like you said, Simon Pegg pretty much stole the show in that one; not only that, but there really wasn't any genuine character development for Diego - he basically went into depression because he was getting "older" and "tamer", like a saber-toothed tiger shouldn't be, and kind of disappeared from the movie.

I agree, they ended Shrek at the right time; people were already dreading a fourth one, they wouldn't even had had an audience for a fifth and sixth... their best bet would've been made-for-TV sequels instead, like the Land Before Time (and WHY did it take so long for them to just do a TV show for that series?)
 

Drtooth

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But that's interesting insight you shared regarding Toy Story 3, Drtooth, I wasn't sure what the deal was behind that one... I just know it kept getting shelved, then reopened, then shelved, then reopened, etc.
Oh yeah. Remember, Toy Story 2 was around 1999. and that's when Disney had the hot yen to do those cheapquels. I SWEAR the true blame falls under Filmation with Pinocchio and the Emperor of the Night and Snow White and the Land of Doom. They were unofficially making sequels to fairy tales done specifically for Disney, in effect sequelling movies they had no copyright to, but as they were public domain fairytales, they got away with it. But make no mistake, they were CLEARLY sequeling the Disney movies. I guess Eisner got wise to it eventually and took that as a challenge also. At least that's how I see it. I have the utmost respect for what Filmation did (though their Tom and Jerry and Droopy cartoons were an affront to good taste), but those movies... ugh... they aren't held in the highest of regard. Sigh... they shoulda stuck to He-Man and Bravestarr and Ghost Busters that decade. Those were good, especially Bravestarr.

Anyway... Disney STILL had the rights to the Toy Story characters even after Pixar left. I call that a bargaining chip. Sad thing is, I don't think Pixar could have thrived without Disney. They would clearly have had to be part of another studio, and I'm sure they would have put them under WORSE strain.

But, getting back on topic, I'm glad I'm not the only one who felt Ice Age was Blue Sky's Shrek. I don't know what could've been missing from the first one, but to be honest, I thought the first one was one of those movies that was fine as is, and didn't need a sequel (I will be VERY disappointed if Robert Zemeckis actually gets the sequel to Roger Rabbit greenlit), but then the second one came out, and it sucked richard. The third one was a bit more amusing, but like you said, Simon Pegg pretty much stole the show in that one; not only that, but there really wasn't any genuine character development for Diego - he basically went into depression because he was getting "older" and "tamer", like a saber-toothed tiger shouldn't be, and kind of disappeared from the movie.
Almost any movie deserves a sequel , I feel, but they never seem to get it right. Toy Story managed to top itself each time, BTTF 2 was great, the 3rd was okay, but just not as good... come on? Going into the FIRST movie?

I see Ice Age 2 as a movie they made to get footing into the animation movie business. Out of 5 movies, they did 3 Ice Ages, one movie based on a book, and one other based on an original idea. Maybe after Rio, they'll get somewhere where they don't need to sequel everything... but IA was their biggest hit and they turned it into their franchise picture. That said, I think Robots was a lot better than their other work, but it still was missing something.
I agree, they ended Shrek at the right time; people were already dreading a fourth one, they wouldn't even had had an audience for a fifth and sixth... their best bet would've been made-for-TV sequels instead, like the Land Before Time (and WHY did it take so long for them to just do a TV show for that series?)
Exactly. WHY? Even before they made those terrible American Tale sequels, they had a TV series that took place after the second movie. How many LBT movies did they make? Seriously, animated series... and by the time they made one, people stopped caring BECAUSE of the over exposure of bad cheapquels.
 

frogboy4

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"Bee Movie" was considered a flop as it fell short of making back its budget domestically by 24 million dollars. What an absolutely terrible film that was.

I enjoyed "How to Train Your Dragon" and "Kung Fu Panda". Actually, those two visually blew me away more than any recent Pixar film since "Ratatouille". It was unexpected and that probably factors into it. The art direction on Panda was gorgeous. I'm glad it's spawning sequels.

"Shark's Tale" was a cynical post-"Nemo" cash grab.

I liked the first "Ice Age" but was disappointed with the second and failed to see the third. It just seems like a mess to me, but kids like dinosaurs so they keep churning them out.
 

Drtooth

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I enjoyed "How to Train Your Dragon" and "Kung Fu Panda". Actually, those two visually blew me away more than any recent Pixar film since "Ratatouille". It was unexpected and that probably factors into it. The art direction on Panda was gorgeous. I'm glad it's spawning sequels.
Rewatch the black Friday Toy Story reel, consider how Katzenberg was behind that, then you'll see there was an ulterior motive behind that one. Very passive aggressive of them to release. I will say this, Jack Black was good in it. That's about it. If nothing else, it made me appreciate how Chris Rock was the voice of Osmosis Jones. Not that I don't like Will Smith, but he just gave a bland performance in it.

I dunno about sequels to Kung Fu Panda. I'm raring to see it, just hope they keep the same integrity of the first one.

I have to say, a good number of Dreamworks films have been good. I agree what you said earlier about how Larry David was clearly the more talented one that made Seinfeld a classic. The movie felt like a 90 minute animated stand up routine. I enjoyed it, but I hardly think it was one of their good ones. Monsters Vs. Aliens I adore. I didn't think I'd like it, but they actually got pop culture jokes to WORK in that one. Didn't care much for casting Reese's Witherspooncups in it, but she pulled it off (not a favorite actress of mine). I wouldn't be myself if I didn't throw a shoutout to Megamind. Now, I USED to love Super Hero parodies, and then everyone did them to death and just kept stealing from each other. You won't believe how many "indie" (they publish at Kinkos) comic artists do the lame geeky guy getting super powers/be careful what you wish for crap. But Megamind proved there's STILL some twists to the Super Hero Genre. And it was one of the few movies Will Ferrel is actually really good it.
 

frogboy4

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Rewatch the black Friday Toy Story reel, consider how Katzenberg was behind that, then you'll see there was an ulterior motive behind that one. Very passive aggressive of them to release. I will say this, Jack Black was good in it. That's about it. If nothing else, it made me appreciate how Chris Rock was the voice of Osmosis Jones. Not that I don't like Will Smith, but he just gave a bland performance in it.

I dunno about sequels to Kung Fu Panda. I'm raring to see it, just hope they keep the same integrity of the first one.

I have to say, a good number of Dreamworks films have been good. I agree what you said earlier about how Larry David was clearly the more talented one that made Seinfeld a classic. The movie felt like a 90 minute animated stand up routine. I enjoyed it, but I hardly think it was one of their good ones. Monsters Vs. Aliens I adore. I didn't think I'd like it, but they actually got pop culture jokes to WORK in that one. Didn't care much for casting Reese's Witherspooncups in it, but she pulled it off (not a favorite actress of mine). I wouldn't be myself if I didn't throw a shoutout to Megamind. Now, I USED to love Super Hero parodies, and then everyone did them to death and just kept stealing from each other. You won't believe how many "indie" (they publish at Kinkos) comic artists do the lame geeky guy getting super powers/be careful what you wish for crap. But Megamind proved there's STILL some twists to the Super Hero Genre. And it was one of the few movies Will Ferrel is actually really good it.
Just watched "Waking Sleeping Beauty" and have a new appreciation for just how horrible Eisner and Katzenberg really were. I suggest anyone who loves classic Disney animation should rent this film.
 

D'Snowth

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Onthe subject on cheapquels, those are quite a staple in the cheap, off-brand CGI movie scene.

A lot of these movies that most have never even heard of, and just as many who do know don't care, get new cheapquels without warning. Like Open Season 3 (when was there ever a number two, and did anyone even like number one?), and wasn't there a cheapquel to like Hoodwinked and Happily N'ever After?
 

ZeppoAndFriends

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and wasn't there a cheapquel to like Hoodwinked and Happily N'ever After?
There's SUPPOSED to be a sequel to Hoodwinked!, but Weinstein is sitting on it.

I wouldn't call it a cheapquel, though. It was set for a theatrical release. Then it got pushed back...and back...and back.

:grouchy: JUST BRING IT OUT, ALREADY! THE FANS HAVE WAITED LONG ENOUGH! :grouchy:

*Catches myself*

Sorry. Let's not turn this into another Weinstein bashing thread, okay?​
 
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