When it comes to animation, Walt Disney was home to some of the most revolutionary pioneers. For decades, this company was the only one who could create quality entertainment that appealed to kids and adults alike. However, nothing is perfect, and that even goes for Disney. They made several mistakes along their route to success, including ticking off some of their animators.
Inadvertently, these events caused some former Disney employees (as well as some new faces) to band together and form the company known as Dreamworks. This company would go on to craft their own animated movies with a formula reminiscent of Disney's, but with elements all their own.
While you could argue that the quality of the end product is different between these two companies, Disney and Dreamworks both have had excellent films and some really terrible films.
Quality isn't the topic of discussion today, though. Instead, a lot of people get Dreamworks and Disney movies confused with one another. Because of how distinct they really are, we're going to have a little test with you film lovers in the audience.
How well do you know these animated movies? Did they come from Disney or Dreamworks?
Alex the Lion, Gloria the Hippo, Melman the Giraffe, and Marty the Zebra are popular animals at the New York Zoo. One day, Marty longs for the wild where he can roam freely. This persuades him to escape the zoo, where he and his friends are eventually detained and shipped off to Africa. Yet a ship accident results in them being lost at sea and washed up on the strange shores of Madagascar. From there, the adventures only get crazier.
What if a superhero story was told in reverse? Megamind is not the story of the Metro City's hero, Metro Man, but is instead the story of the city's villain: Megamind. Megamind was a young alien who always got the short end of the stick. Eventually becoming a villain, he came up with elaborate schemes to try and destroy MetroMan. Yet one day, he finally succeeds. Wondering what more to do with his life, Megamind discovers interesting things about the hero vs villain dynamic as well as himself.
Prince of Egypt
If you wanted to see a movie based on the Bible that was both well-done and accurate, then look no further than the Prince of Egypt. This film tells the story of Moses (which can be found in the book of Exodus) and his life. However, it puts a perspective and realistic vibe that the pages can't quite capture. The animators of this movie not only created a gripping narrative but paid a respectable homage to the source material. Well done.
The Emperor's New Groove
Kuzco is the Emperor. All his life, he's had everything handed to him: from baby toys all the way to summer resorts. He decides to build a water park over the house of a villager named Pacha. Yet in his arrogance, Kuzco is turned into a llama by his advisor Yzma. The tables turn and Llama Kuzco must work with Pacha in order to get back to the palace and stop Yzma from running the Empire into the ground. Expect brilliant banter.
Featuring the same clay animation characteristic of the Wallace and Gromit series, Chicken Run is the story of chickens who are stuck on a farm. The couple who owns the farm is some of the meanest people to ever be depicted in a children's film. Unfortunately for the chickens themselves, the couple loves to brutally kill the poultry for whatever reason. It's up to the chickens to then devise a way to foil the mean couple and find a way out of the barn.
The Croods stars Emma Stone and Nicolas Cage as members of a caveman family who live life in safety. However, when tragedy starts to break, a mysterious traveler named Guy will warn them of an incoming "end of all days" scenario. The Croods then have to team up with Guy to walk across the landscape and into a realm where they can all be safe. Featuring a comedic family dynamic, interesting animal hybrids, and some nice music, the Croods is a solid family film.
Chicken Little opens with the character of the same name being hit on the head with what looks to be a piece of the sky. After getting the whole town in a frenzy, he can't prove that anything hit his head. The entire neighborhood (and even his father) label him as a nutjob and remind him of his failings. Yet, Chicken Little pushes on and decides to make his dad proud. Along the way, he and his friends will discover the true secret to the falling sky.
Turbo tells the story of a snail who is enamored with races like the Indy 500. While he has dreams of joining such a competition, he realizes that he will never get there. However, one fateful day, the snail finds himself in an accident that gives him the incredible speed that he desires. From that point on, Turbo acquires a following and fanbase that pit directly against the top racers of the world. Even other snails appear as speedy sidekicks.
The Princess and the Frog
Classic fairy tales have been known to make for some interesting stories, and The Princess and the Frog is no exception. Starring a young lass who tries to carry on the torch of her father's business, she comes across a frog who claims to be this suave prince. However, the only way he can return to his human body is by being kissed by someone he truly loves. Along the way, the two of them will traverse the dark New Orleans setting, featuring witchcraft and jazzy alligators.
Jim Hawkins is a strapping young man who has a disregard for the rules and a hatred for "the man." However, his disposition changes when a mysterious and wounded pirate comes to his doorstep. After being attacked by a band of thieves and murderers, Jim realizes that he got caught up in something big. He and Dr. Delbert Doppler decide to travel on a massive ship in order to figure out what's going on while piecing together the legendary map of Treasure Planet.
Kung Fu Panda
When the ferocious Tai Lung is set to break free from his prison, the legendary Master Oogway and Shifu decide it's time to choose the Dragon Warrior. Yet of all of the Kung Fu masters in the world, Oogway chooses Po, a panda who has had no prior training or experience. He's just a fan of kung fu. From there, he trains with Shifu and the Furious Five to become the strongest warrior in the Valley of Peace. Po will discover new things about himself as well as the true meaning of kung fu.
How To Train Your Dragon
Hiccup Haddock Horrendous was a viking unlike any other. While he was raised to kill dragons, Hiccup was the only one who couldn't do it. However, he finally put the tools together to take down the vicious Night Fury, he dropped the knife at the last minute and decided to nurse it back to health. The friendship that spawned between Hiccup and the Night Fury (named Toothless) became one for the history books. However, Hiccup's father and the rest of the vikings had a lot to say about it.
Bolt is a movie all about facing reality and finding your home. The dog, Bolt, is an actor in a popular TV show where he thinks he has real superpowers. Unfortunately, that results in him getting accidentally shipped across the country in a new and unfamiliar world. Bolt must then work together with Mittens the cat and Rhino the hamster in order to travel to the west coast and reunite with his owner. All the while he learns that he is just an average dog.
The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Quasimodo is not the easiest on the eyes. However, this leads to his surrogate father, Frollo, locking him away in the Bell Tower. Little does Quasimodo know that Frollo was responsible for the death of his gypsy mother and seeks to rid the world of all gypsies as some sense of self-righteousness. However, when the mysterious and beautiful Esmeralda captivates both Frollo and Quasimodo, tensions arise and the life of our hero is tested to its very limits. Featuring themes of acceptance and guilt, this movie is a treat.
Meet the Robinsons
A young orphan boy by the name of Lewis finds himself questioning his origins. Because of this, he becomes a brilliant inventor and decides to create a memory scanner that will help him find his birth mother. As his invention fails, he comes in contact with a young boy from the future. Together they travel "back to the future" and meet the Robinson family- a quirky yet perfectly eclectic mix of people. Together they form one of the most loving families and give Lewis the inspiration he needs to keep moving forward.
Moana is the tale of a young girl (named Moana) who loves the ocean. However, her father and their tribe live on an island and vowed to never go out to sea so that they would all remain safe. As the future leader of the tribe, Moana notices food going bad and decides that the only way to survive is to travel out to sea and look for help. However, she is assigned a different task by the ocean itself and gets wrapped up in the greatest nautical adventure since The Wind Waker.
One of the newer movies on this list, Home stars Jim Parsons as a weird little alien (Oh) who is part of a race known as the Boov. The Boov have been on the run from predators for some time and decide to settle on planet Earth. However, they inhabit the planet by kidnapping all of the humans and moving them to another part of the world. Enter Tip, the girl who was left behind and must work with Oh to set things right.
Mr. Peabody and Sherman
Time travel is always a fragile concept to mess with, and that's something that Mr. Peabody and Sherman points out in its runtime. Mr. Peabody is a perfectly intelligent dog who adopts a young boy named Sherman. After Peabody invents a Time Machine and warns Sherman not to mess with it, Sherman does so anyway only to impress a girl who doesn't like him one bit. Because of this, the entire space-time continuum gets all out of whack, putting history's greatest figures all in the same room.
Rise of the Guardians
What if holiday figures like the Tooth Fairy, Santa Claus, and the Easter Bunny were actually guardians of the Earth? That's the premise behind Rise of the Guardians. The movie follows Jack Frost- a mischievous holiday spirit who has a lot of natural talent. When the Boogeyman (AKA Pitch) begins threatening the children of the world with nightmares, the Guardians bring Jack Frost to their ranks. Together they gear up and move out to war, while still trying to get the holidays figured out.
Robin Hood takes the classic tale, turns everyone into animals, and makes it friendly for kids to watch as well. The story follows Robin Hood and Little John as they use crafty tactics to rob the rich and give to the poor. However, King John puts a bounty on both of their heads and does everything he can to see justice done. Yet, Robin is clever and makes sure to outsmart the King at every turn and make sure that the poor folk of Nottingham get enough money to survive.
Perhaps the middle finger to all classic fairy tales, Shrek subverts expectations at every turn. Instead of having a dashing prince as the lead role, we get a gruff ogre who has to work with a talking donkey. In order to save his swamp from the clutches of Lord Farquaad, Shrek and Donkey have to save the beautiful Princess Fiona from the Dragon's Keep. However, the trio will find that Shrek values more than just being alone in his swamp. The only bad thing about Shrek is that its sequels weren't as good.
Little Judy Hopps has always had a predisposition to bring criminals to justice. This persuaded her to become a member of the police academy and work in the city of Zootopia. While nobody takes her seriously, Judy, and her unlikely friend Nick Wilde discover a strange and sinister plot to turn the animals of Zootopia into ferocious monsters. Dealing with themes of racism, prejudice, and expectations, Zootopia is as thought-provoking as it is entertaining. It also has a very satisfying conclusion.
Kenai was a native American hunter who worked with his brother to bring in excellent game for their tribe. One day, Kenai's brother was killed by a massive bear. Desperate for revenge, he seeks out the bear and murders it in cold blood. Because of this, the spirits, furious, turn Kenai into a bear to force a perspective shift. Along the way, he meets and befriends a young cub named Koda, and the two form an unbreakable yet tested bond.
Monsters Vs. Aliens
When aliens begin threatening the world, the government decides that the only way to combat it is with giant creatures of their own. They open up the cells and unleash monsters they've collected over the years to fight. Along the way, a young woman by the name of Susan is involved in an accident that makes her grow 50-feet tall. She too is contained by the government and forced to work aside other creations like B.O.B. and the Missing Link.
With most dinosaur stories, it's about friends working together to avoid the incoming apocalypse. Dinosaur is instead about a herd of misfits trying to find a safe place in the world after it was struck by a meteor. Legend tells of a haven known as the Nesting Grounds, and the group makes their way toward it. The young Aladar is the central character of this story, having been plagued by loss but motivated by his desire to survive. Some impressive CG (for the time) is present in this film.