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Pixar vs Dreamworks

Shrek 2 vs The Incredibles

I hope I haven’t made it a secret that I prefer Pixar films, because this match-up takes me back to an instance where Dreamworks went out of its way to piss fanboys off. Shrek 2 had done very well over the summer of 2004. Not only did it break the box office record set by Finding Nemo the previous year (for a domestically released animated film,) Dreamworks decided to move the home video release event date from Tuesday to an unprecedented Friday. Why? To steal as much thunder from The Incredibles opening weekend as possible.

The fact that Shrek 2 didn’t do it for me is personal thing, as is the fact that Incredibles is my favorite of the Pixar films. But Dreamworks forcing families to choose one or the other, as if making half a billion dollars entitled it to eliminate animation coexistence, was such a deliberately underhanded maneuver that I’ve only just recently stopped caring about…. Oh God, the games! Right, this is about the games... Both are insipid platformers hastily cobbled together to dupe children out of money and remain an insult to the medium. Happy?

The Incredibles



“Seems to take for granted that because it is aimed squarely at kids, it doesn't have to bother being very good. That's a shame.” - Cory Casciato, GamersHell

Shrek 2



“That it's over in a few short hours (whatever your abilities) and that everything's very contrived and undemanding is, in fact, rather the point.” – Tom Bramwell, Eurogamer





Cars vs Over the Hedge

You can tell a lot about a studio based on their “worst” film. So while Cars is Pixar’s least critically beloved movie, it was incredibly profitable, remains a merchandising powerhouse and has a sequel in the works for 2011. Now compare that to Over the Hedge, a movie most people forget exists even though it’s based on a fifteen-year-old comic strip that is still being produced. Thus, in 2006, Pixar reclaimed the (bad, movie licensed) gaming crown, and Cars would even go on to become the #2 best-selling game of 2006 in the US… seriously!

Cars



“…Cars is a likable little racing adventure. The gameplay is nothing outstanding, but it's fun enough while it lasts…” – Mr. Mikel Reparaz, GamesRadar

Over the Hedge



“Ugh... another sad movie tie-in bleeds fun out of our lives.” - Gabe Graziani, GamesRadar





Ratatouille vs Bee Movie

A colossal battle between little critters in a big world?! Nah, just the standard deception built to last as long as the movie’s media blitz. FACT: GamesRadar has the lowest score for Bee Movie Game in the history of Metacritic. So, in an arcane bit of hindsight that’ll never be revisited following the end of this sentence, that pretty much makes us heroes!

Ratatouille



“Ratatouille - the latest Pixar anthropomorphic animal flick - bucks this trend and offers a solid platformer that doesn’t feel like Disney’s trying to rape your wallet.” – Shane Patterson, GamesRadar

Bee Movie



“Don't force us to play the minigames to expand the already-uninspiring campaign. It's sloppy game design, and it drags Bee Movie Game even further into the mud.” – Andrew Hayward, GamesRadar





Wall-E vs Kung Fu Panda

Kung Fu Panda is the odd Dreamworks duckling, in that it’s actually a really good movie. Great, even! Of course, Wall-E was a way better movie… although, that didn’t save the game based off of it from playing like interactive ass. Sadder still, the PS2 version scored about 15 points higher than its console counterparts, making Wall-E one of the lowest rated Pixar games ever, despite being based on Pixar’s highest meta-scoring movie. Kung Fu Panda, on the other hand, performed so well it got a game sequel, and Microsoft even saw fit to showcase it as a pack-in with family-friendly Xbox 360 console bundles. Sorry Pixar, looks like being the first game to license a Hello Dolly song can only get you so far…

Wall-E



“Damn you, Wall-E…” Rob Taylor, Xbox World 360

Kung Fu Panda



“If the film didn’t exist, the game would still stand alone as a long-lasting shiny romp.” – Jem Roberts, Xbox World 360

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54 comments

  • archnite - June 19, 2012 6:23 p.m.

    An oldy and a goody, plus now I know how Toy Story 3:The Game turned out...it was Great!
  • zigs - June 22, 2010 2:14 p.m.

    Finally got around to reading this article. Fantastic stuff, really interesting read :)
  • oscarpiggy - June 18, 2010 9:35 p.m.

    At least pixar make better movies: http://features.metacritic.com/features/2010/pixar-vs-dreamworks-animation-comparison/?tag=topslot;title;1
  • solidushepherd - June 14, 2010 7:57 a.m.

    Nice article. The fact that Dreamworks games are doing so well is a sin.
  • Marterfarker - June 13, 2010 6:30 p.m.

    Without a doubt, Pixar is the superior studio. I like/love all their films with the possible exception of A Bug's Life, and the first 20 minutes of Cars. The only DW's film that don't make me wretch are the two excellent films, Kung Fu Panda, and How to Train Your Dragon. Those two DW's films were not the cultural-reference-cesspools the the rest of the their pictures tend to be. The only game from this feature I actually played was the one for Ninja Gaiden Panda, I mean Kung Fu Panda, and I thought that game was very good.
  • VirAetas - June 13, 2010 2:20 p.m.

    I saw the headline and immediately knew it was Antista Feature. I will admit that Pixar creates masterpieces while most DW are merely entertaining wastes of time. Kung Fu Panda, Madagascar, and How To Train Your Dragon are excellent though. But Toy Story 3? That's gonna be magical. Good work, Chris. Keep up the work and let's see more articles comparing rival companies. May I suggest Pepsi-Man Vs That Creepy Burger King guy?
  • Fro4show - June 13, 2010 2:53 a.m.

    pixar is better with the exception of Ratatouille and Dreamworks is worse with the exception of Kung Fu Panda and How to Train Your Dragon. The Guy looses an effin leg! HOW COULD U NOT LIKE IT?! Why wasn't How to Train Your Dragon on this list by the way? Was it that bad?
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  • JuliePeesgood - June 12, 2010 7:36 p.m.

    Seriously, though. Who doesn't love a good animated movie? Animated movie games are another story. Well constructed article Chris! Good read.
  • SenatorPepper - June 12, 2010 1:53 p.m.

    Stop apologizing for your obsession, you pansy! It was a great read, even for someone who didn't know Shrek was a Dreamworks franchise or that there was a Shark Tale. Good stuff. Next time you feel embarrassed about writing another article on Disney, think about the relationship between the two words reCAPTCHA is making me type so I can post this comment: "outsell" follows "believe."
  • KnightDehumidifier - June 12, 2010 4:54 a.m.

    Pixar and Dreamworks are reminiscent of the Nintendo and Sega of the early 90s. Think about it, Pixar is known for being innocent with a meager bit a bite. They're mad creative, and the inner workings of their projects are often quiet aside from the announcements. It was also Pixar that led animation into a brand new level of entertainment. However Dreamworks has movies that are rambunctious, and in your face. They also claim to debut abilities to the genre and boast their prowess. (Shrek is the first 3D animated film to properly animate fire)
  • FatRat - June 11, 2010 11:59 p.m.

    Dreamworks has made some great movies How to train your dragon was great as was Over the hedge, and i LOVED Monsters vs Aliens am i the only one that thought Antz was Better than A Bugs Life?
  • Phazon117 - June 11, 2010 11:06 p.m.

    I fucking remember Disney Extreme Skate Adventure! I loved that game when I was like 12!
  • bekkilawrence - June 11, 2010 6:51 p.m.

    maybe pixar? Dont really know, i've played about 3 of these and i got bored after 10 minutes.
  • Mechamorbo - June 11, 2010 5:27 p.m.

    Dreamworks movies can be fine, funny even, but at the end of the day they're fluffy meaningless entertainment. Maybe that's why they're easier to translate into a light and airy game that scores well.
  • Shrimpandwhitewine - June 11, 2010 4:46 p.m.

    You must have loved writing this article! (I enjoyed reading it).
  • Styrophoamicus - June 11, 2010 3:41 p.m.

    What about How To Train Your Dragon? Never played the game, but the movie was fantastic recaptcha: workshop guerrillas
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