Bucket Bros: The Carpenters of
The Disney-Dreamworks Feud: Antz vs. A Bug's Life to The
Wild vs. Madagascar
By Zeus | 2007-07-27
Ever since Antz and A Bug's Life, Disney/Pixar and Dreamworks/PDI have fought a series of duels, with each releasing animated films with strikingly similiar premises. From The Wild & Madagascar to Ratatouille & Flushed Away, Zeus exposes the gory details.
The Rules of Combat
A duel is a pair of animated movies released by
Disney/Pixar and Dreamworks/PDI (Pacific Data Images).
Before we begin, we must remind you that "which came first" is not our concern. The glory is in the battle, not a children's game of chicken-or-the-egg. Remember, Carnosaur beat Jurassic Park to the theaters by 21 days. Of course, the book Jurassic Park was based on predates either film. Then again, the book Carnosaur was based on came out back in 1986. The Disney/Dreamworks feud is even fuzzier.
- Duels are always released within one calendar year of
- These films have the same premise, though the end result
is often wildly different. It's as if both companies were
told to make an animated feature based on the same one-sentance
- There is no Dreamworks counterpart to Disney's
Cars nor Disney counterpart to Over the
Hedge. Not all films released by Dreamworks/PDI or Disney/Pixar are
This isn't about one company ripping the other off. It's about two mega-corps waging a very public war, with anthropomorphic animals as their soldiers and CGI as their weapon of choice.
Antz versus A Bug's Life
|Title:||Antz||A Bug's Life|
|Shared Synopsis:||A free-thinking
ant in a close-minded hill proves he's no mindless drone when he
falls for the princess and saves his colony from an army of bug-eyed
After reviving Disney's animation studios with The Little
Mermaid, Aladdin and The Lion
King, Jeffrey Katzenberg asked for a promotion. No can do. Katzenberg swore revenge and founded Dreamworks along
with Steven Spielberg and David Geffen. Within ten years, Dreamworks'
Shrek 2 became the third highest grossing movie of
all time. (At the time of writing, Disney's best effort, Finding Nemo, is
The moral of this story? Don't screw with the Jews from Malibu. They
will band together like Voltron and leave you in the dust.
The Road to El Dorado versus The Emperor's New Groove
|Title:||The Road to El Dorado||The Emperor's
slapstick buddy picture set in ancient Peru follows the adventures of
the Man Who Would Be King.|
|Fun Fact:||A deleted sub-
plot implied Dorado's flamboyant heroes were... more
than just friends. In the original script, Kevin Kline and Kenneth
Branagh (who recorded their dialog together in the same booth, a
rarity in animation), called each other pet names like "darling."
This was in addition to the Elton John soundtrack, Miguel's low-cut
"he-vage" blouse and the infamous skinny dipping hot tub scene.
The "darlings" were excised from the final cut, but you can still
read them on DVDs with subtitles based on the original script.
Shrek versus Monsters, Inc.
|Shared Synopsis:||A big scary
monster who's really a big softy on the inside teams up with his
diminutive, wisecracking friend to save the girl.|
We all know that Chris Farley was originally cast as Shrek, but did
you know that after being hired as a replacement--years into the
project--Mike Myers decided to re-record all of his dialog in a
This one request wound up costing Dreamworks $4 million in expenses,
as the animators had to change every scene to re-synchronize Shrek's
lips. Which reached for comment, Myers had this to say:
Shark Tale versus Finding Nemo
Madagascar versus The Wild
|Shared Synopsis:||A lion, giraffe
and their animal buddies are forced to leave a New York City Zoo when
they follow a friend out of the big apple and onto a boat bound for
The following "inaccuracies" are listed on the Wikipedia entry for
Notably absent: ANIMALS CAN'T TALK; IT'S A STINKIN'
CARTOON, MAN!; WIKIPEDIA IS FRENCH FOR "TINY GENITALS."
- The notion that there are alligators in sewers is an urban
- Chameleons' color-changing abilities are not so
- Elephants are not afraid of lions.
Flushed Away versus Ratatouille
|Shared Synopsis:||A high-culture
rat loses his home; his life literally going down the drain of a
major European city. In the process he learns a little something
about life, love... and how get cheap laughs from raw
Flushed Away was originally going to be called
Ratropolis, but the title was changed for fear it
sounded too much like Ratatouille.
The only thing left to say is... Why stop there?
- Zeus (email me!)
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