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9 hours ago, Hyper Enesephus said:

Okay, I have to say, I've been rather curious about Trolls ever since I first heard about it, for a couple reasons. For one, it's just such an odd concept. Seriously, DreamWorks, a movie about the Troll dolls? Second, I've noticed that DreamWorks has slowly and subtly been moving in a more "child friendly" direction, with movies like Turbo, The Croods (which I actually really love), Mr. Peabody and Sherman (which is actually smarter than it looks), and The Penguins of Madagascar. With Home, which I haven't seen (though I plan to rent the DVD at some point so I don't have to risk talking out of my ass every time I want to say something about it), so I'm just going off of trailers, clips and reviews, it seemed they had finally completed their evolution into making cute, tame films without much substance. With the exception of sequels, this is what DreamWorks apparently wants to be now, if Trolls is anything to go by, just going by the concept.

...

This teaser made me think of the stuff Sony Pictures Animation puts out. Is that really what DreamWorks wants to be? Then again, with all the money Home apparently made, I suppose it would only make sense for DreamWorks to continue on this path, which really disappoints me, since I was so proud of them with movies like Kung Fu Panda and How to Train Your Dragon. Again, I haven't seen Home, so it may be at least somewhat enjoyable, but even if it is, surely we don't need any more movies like it.

 

6 hours ago, Failinhearts said:

Yeah.... I'm totally not digging Trolls at all. It's clear Dreamworks is desperately trying to pander to the modern "hip" crowd and ignoring everyone else, creating another "Home" it seems like.

This looks more like a parody than a legit movie. They really should learn from Norm Of The North, and that making a character twerk doesn't make them likable. It just makes them dated.

That's a huge problem. This movie looks like it's gonna try way to hard to be "hip with the times". Once one or two years pass, people will see Trolls as something extremely dated while movies that came out in 2007 like Kung Fu Panda continue to be timeless.

I'm sure Trolls, and the unfortunate direction it seems to be signaling for future DWA films, can be attributed to this interview from last year, in which DWA heads gave their thoughts as to why they think earlier films had been underperforming at the (domestic) box office:

"…the company’s slate changes are more realistic/in-tune with the evolution in changes in the box office market as the 2012-2014 film challenges were tied to films which skewed older right as the box office began to see changes whereby animation demand was increasingly skewing younger as kids began to age out of the genre earlier. While we view the ability to reduce P&A as more difficult given the need to advertise to two distinct groups (kids and moms), the combination of both cost reductions in production and a younger skewing slate, do position the slate better in our view."

I'll just repost my initial reaction to that, because in light of Home and Trolls, it couldn't be all more true (I'd quote, but man the new quote system is a mess):

"Or as Cartoon Brew summarized it, kids stopped watching animated films as much as they used to at a point between 2012 and 2014, and now only very small children watch animated films. And because their films didn't appeal as much to this demographic, their output started to flop. And in order to reverse the studio's ailing fortunes, they will start making their films appeal to said younger audiences.

Fascinating that they claim their films during this period weren't appealing to kids. From the top of my head, I remember these films featuring historical childhood icons, superfast snails racing alongside cars, and flightless birds with espionage skills. I also find it funny that that they pointed to the period between 2012 and 2014 that kids weren't watching animated films as much as they used to. I remember a certain Disney film coming out during that period and grossing over one billion dollars at the box office, to the point of becoming the highest grossing animated film ever....I think its title had something to do with ice or snow or something, I'm not sure. Universal also released a sequel to an earlier animated film in that timeframe that grossed almost as much money and was the highest grossing film ever for the studio that produced it, it had something to do with people being despicable or something.

Judging this stunning revelation, I think it's safe to say that one should expect more of DWA's future films to be entrenched in the darkest depths of the animation age ghetto (in layman's terms, more Shark Tales and Shrek the Thirds), rather than films that can appeal to adults as well as children (Kung Fu Pandas and How To Train Your Dragons)."

EDIT: BTW Failinhearts, the first KFP came out in 2008, not 2007.

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4 hours ago, pppp said:

*Sees Trolls trailer*........So yeah when do Zootopia and KFP3 come out again? Also is How to Train Your Dragon 3 still a thing?

I can answer one of those questions. KFP3 just came out today (if you live in the US, that is).

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You know what is the worst part about this, or rather, about Trolls specifically, is? I would actually have been willing to watch it. Yeah, I still think it's a really odd concept. However, I believe you can make a good movie out of just about anything (for example, Shrek started off as an extremely simple children's picture book, and the first two movies are still beloved by many today), and, as off-putting as the trailer was overall, there were a couple things I actually liked about it. The designs of the Trolls are varied and cute (I do like cute things) and, going off the teaser, apparently the antagonists are giants that want to eat them, which I haven't really seen outside of movies featuring personified yet non-anthropomorphic animals. The overall look of the teaser was very reminiscent of the old Smurfs cartoon, which I remember enjoying as a kid, and this movie looks like it may take place in a similar fantasy enviornment. Like I said, though, the teaser was trying WAY too hard to be "hip" and cool for the kids, which kind of reminds me of...

TheSmurfs2011Poster.jpg

So, yeah, my hopes for this one aren't high. I'm also not remotely interested in Boss Baby.

Uh, maybe Larrikins will be good?

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I was expecting Trolls to be stupid, I wasn't expecting this specific brand of stupid. 

And I'm irrationally bothered by the fact that the logo is not made to look like hair. That seems like the obvious thing to do to me. 

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The future line up of Dreamworks films, besides Croods 2 and HTTYD3, sound really bad. Boss Baby straight after Trolls, then Larrikins (whatever the hell that is!)...and there's films like Captain Underpants and B.O.O. which sound like standard kiddie fare. I don't know if it's a good idea to create all these films aimed at younger children. Please Dreamworks, you guys are mega talented, create more films in the style of Kung Fu Panda!

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13 minutes ago, Gabz Girl said:

The future line up of Dreamworks films, besides Croods 2 and HTTYD3, sound really bad. Boss Baby straight after Trolls, then Larrikins (whatever the hell that is!)...and there's films like Captain Underpants and B.O.O. which sound like standard kiddie fare. I don't know if it's a good idea to create all these films aimed at younger children. Please Dreamworks, you guys are mega talented, create more films in the style of Kung Fu Panda!

In fairness to Larrikins, that project from the little we know about it (this ComingSoon article), actually sounds genuinely promising. If it isn't meddled with to be like the other kid-pandering films on the list, or doesn't end up being canned / shelved into development hell (like the untitled project about traditionally animated shadows that was initially Me and My Shadow), it might turn out to be the lone good film of the bunch. (Well, that and maybe Captain Underpants depending on how that adaptation is handled. Though this may be my nostalgia for the books talking.)

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59 minutes ago, Gabz Girl said:

The future line up of Dreamworks films, besides Croods 2 and HTTYD3, sound really bad. Boss Baby straight after Trolls, then Larrikins (whatever the hell that is!)...and there's films like Captain Underpants and B.O.O. which sound like standard kiddie fare. I don't know if it's a good idea to create all these films aimed at younger children. Please Dreamworks, you guys are mega talented, create more films in the style of Kung Fu Panda!

Woah woah woah, Captain Underpants sounds and kinda is childish, but it's a series made with a labor of love from someone who was told by his teacher that his idea would not work well at all.

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Just got back seeing Kung Fu Panda 3 yesterday and while I don't think it's quite on the level of the second one, it's still an awesome addition to the series regardless. But good lord when I saw that Trolls trailer in the theater I cringed so hard. It just reeks of Shrek era Dreamworks.

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I liked Captain Underpants too, when I was a kid. That's why I'm expecting it to be err..more for kids. And probably filled with toilet humour. >>

21 hours ago, Inspector Gabe said:

In fairness to Larrikins, that project from the little we know about it (this ComingSoon article), actually sounds genuinely promising. If it isn't meddled with to be like the other kid-pandering films on the list, or doesn't end up being canned / shelved into development hell (like the untitled project about traditionally animated shadows that was initially Me and My Shadow), it might turn out to be the lone good film of the bunch. (Well, that and maybe Captain Underpants depending on how that adaptation is handled. Though this may be my nostalgia for the books talking.)

Ohhh that does sound promising actually! I seriously hope it doesn't go into development hell like Me & My Shadow and Bombay Musical.  

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Back from the movie.

This might be me still being "wow that was an awesome movie!" mode, but I do believe this movie is on par with the second in terms, visuals, comedy and storytelling. Though I do still prefer 2 slightly more, this was an excellent entry nonetheless and highly recommend it.

Kai was a great villain and like previous villains, he had a decent backstory. It might not be as tragic as say Tai Lung's desire for approval or Shen's ambition compensating for disappointing his parents, but you do get there had to be some sadness on Oogway's part in watching a good friend succumb to his own greed and desire for power.

And I'll just say this right now, if you thought the climax in the second film was amazing, then you might want to prepare what this one has since that too, I feel, was on par with it.

 

Spoiler

-Apparently Po's real name is Little Lotus. 

-I literally almost shouted in the theater, "OH GOD, NOT THIS SCENE!" when they recapped Po seeing his mom one last time when looking at a photo of her and him Li keeps in his home.

-Mei Mei surprisingly wasn't played up as the love interest as I'd thought she'd be. Yeah, there were a couple scenes with her flirting with Po but Po never really requited her crush nor showed signs he's interested in her throughout the whole film.

-Lei Lei being so clingy with Tigress was adorbs. "Stripey pretty!"

 

So yeah, as it stands: 2 > 3 > 1, in my eyes.

 

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I'm in agreement that it's not better than 2, but it's better than 1 and overall a genuinely entertaining movie in its own right. Wasn't too fond of Kai though; he seemed like more of a plot device than a living, breathing character taking action, showing up at just the right moments to kick off external conflict. Shen and Tai Lung remain the better villains. However, Kai's powers and the way they were used are cool as fuck. I just wish the desert battle with him had a lot more flare and length to it. I realize that the good guys were on the defensive at that point (and I wish the Furious Five and other masters weren't just jobbers for the sake of building tension), but we didn't get a second-act fight that had the same kind of excitement factor as the tower scene or even the bridge scene from the first one. It was a bit of a wasted opportunity.

The stakes of Po's conflict concerning his dad were also pretty low and predictable. The movie set up the reunion way too early and presented no downsides until basically the last third of the film, whereas in the first two Po was haunted by his internal struggles the entire time where development and thus payoff could be better executed. It was a fluffy plot point and I predicted Po's conversation-ending response to Li Shen immediately. The good that came out of it though, aside from Li Shen simply being an adorable dad character and his presence prompting Mr. Ping to finally get in on the action(<3), was the talk that Ping and Li had, saying that parents just naturally do shitty things for well-intentioned reasons. If nothing else, I've always admired DreamWorks for being more willing to discuss less savory aspects of relationships and self-realization than Disney movies will.

Overall the movie is pretty chill and breezy. It's been a long time since I went to a movie and didn't feel worn down by the act of watching it at some point during. But KFP 3 is brisk, boppy, and funny the entire way through. I was actually surprised at the stuff they were able to wrangle actual laughs from, one particular scene being when Li Shen wore Rhino's battle armor for a bit too long. The fights continue to be fast-paced scenes of cool choreography although with so many characters on the screen I lost focus a few times, they continue to utilize more abstract art design for storytelling's sake for three big moments, the pandas are...well, I mean they're pandas and are just naturally entertaining, and the final confrontation- while not as emotionally resonant as 2's- is probably the best one by just how much sheer madness is everywhere. It was like the animated version of Cabin in the Woods' climax where things just keep escalating to the most extreme scenarios. I need to go see it again just for the finale. xD

Spoiler

- It's cool that we were finally given a reason in hindsight why pandas have been such a feared entity in the universe: They're bad-ass chi manipulators, basically the Saiyans of the KFP world.

- In the desert fight, is it me or did the slow-motion shot of Crane being kicked by Kai go on way too long? I almost started to laugh at how drawn out it was until it finally sped up.

- I'm happy that they didn't play up Mei Mei as a love interest for Po, particularly since she wasn't the most developed character and also because such a thing would've been so hamfisted, especially in light of what they did with Po and Tigress in 2.

- I caught that Po's picture with his Mom (bless that panda's soul) was taken on his 100th day alive, which is basically when pandas in real life are named. xD Speaking of which, the picture gags in this film are pretty damn funny. I mean, almost everything in this film is funny. I rarely stopped smiling.

- More comedy: I almost fell out in my seat when the reverence of Po's ascension was shattered by him- and subsequently the bigass energy dragon- dancing around the screen. Holy shit, if nothing else these movies know how to take a badass moment and flip it to comedy in a second. xD

- Chinese rendition of "Kung Fu Fighting" managed to swell my heart omg look at all of the little chi-bending babbus!

So yeah, I suggest everyone go see it at least once. It's a really fun movie. <3

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Minor issue with the film was that I did notice, while I can't really call it a plothole per say, but it was an oddity in terms of continuity and timeline.

In KFP2, Shen said he has been banished for 30 years. And since Po was a baby when the attack on the village happened, you'd think he's around 30 years old. But in this movie, Ping says he has raised Po for 20 years. So...he's around 20 years old now? Either this is a minor retcon from the last film, or the writers simply forgot the extra 10 years.

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Spoiler

It probably took Shen a decade to wrack up the resources to overtake the throne and to perform the attack on the village. Remember, he basically got cut off with his banishment, and with his parents being as powerful as they were politically you would need time to do a coup of that caliber.

 

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Sounds like KFP3 did really well reception-wise, and I'm glad for that. I was kinda dreading that it would turn out not so good, but thankfully I was wrong and my worries can be put to rest on that. Now what I'm really concerned about the Trolls teaser that Dreamworks put out, but based on what you guys are saying made me curious and I'm like "What could be so possibly bad about it, I mean it can't be really THAT bad right?"

After watching the Trolls teaser:

tumblr_mbduh20NG01qljsygo1_500.gif

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Guess who's #1 at the box office

While this is good news, it's not really surprising considering we're still in late-January to early February which is not that great of time period for releasing animated films. Only other animated film that could've been "competition" was Nolan of the North. But that one sucked both critically and financially, so who cares amirite?   

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Alright, I'm aware of my tendency to be long winded, but I just want to say this real quick and get back to what I was doing, so I'm gonna keep this short. I finally got to see Home today, and what I have to say may (or may not, I guess) shock you.

I liked the movie.

Yep, I liked it. In fact, not only did I like it, but I really liked it, a lot! Am I embarrassed by that? Eh, not really, but I do feel rather weird to make that admission. Is it DreamWorks' best movie? Of course not. Is it their most memorable story, with their most complex characters or their most witty humor? Nopety-nopety-no! This movie is simple in pretty much every aspect, from its story, to its characters, to its humor, to its art, to its message, and it is definitely tame and "child-friendly."

So, why do I like it so much? To, be honest, I'm not really sure myself. I guess what I like about the movie is its simplicity. It's charming and takes me back to a simpler time, and everything about this simple little movie just makes me smile. It helps that the animation is amazing as ever. While the designs are definitely on the simpler side, which definitely fits the movie's tone, the actual animation is very smooth and expressive, especially on the Boov, and is rather fascinating to watch.

Now, does me liking Home change my feelings towards DreamWorks' lineup? Hell no, I'm still not expecting much from Trolls and have no interest towards either Boss Baby or Captain Underpants. Now, in Trolls' slight defense, apparently even the people who worked on the movie were disgusted with the teaser, claiming it "didn't represent the film at all," so maybe it won't be as bad as we're all expecting. However, until we at least get a real trailer, I cannot bring myself to get hyped for this movie, or at least get... un-not-hyped.

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I was thinking about what DW have been doing lately in regards to their upcoming lineup, and their justification for it (which many have pointed out as being wrong in the face of Disney's recent success stories), and I think I may have figured it out. What DW said was technically true, if you look at it from this angle:

What if Dreamworks weren't talking about the animation industry in general? What if they were talking about themselves? Then the sentiments start to make more sense.

Let's face it - DW isn't doing anywhere near as well as they used to way back when. Shrek's been done and dusted for years, with Kung Fu Panda & How To Train Your Dragon doing well enough but little more, and any new movies like TURBO, Peabody & Sherman and the like have gone by without a whimper like so many direct-to-DVD Disney knock-offs. Compared to eight years ago, where they planned on having six Kung Fu Panda films based on the success of the original alone (before the Marvel Cinematic Universe made that kind of over-excessive commercialism seem normal) and at least two for every other movie they were putting out, it's like watching Donald Trump become a crack-smoking bum in Birmingham.

They've been trying to make their money back by going into half a dozen or so Netflix TV show projects, but they won't rake in the kind of serious money they wished their films could get these days. It just isn't enough anymore. And is that really surprising, when you look at the competition?

Eight years ago, Dreamworks and Pixar were the only people reliably releasing well-made CGI animated films. Disney was stuck in a rut, trying to figure out what to do with themselves after they closed their original animation studios; Blue Sky was doing pretty alright whenever they decided to put out another Ice Age; and Sony Pictures hadn't done much more than Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (if you don't remember that film, you've proven my point). 

DW could do what they want and people would go see them, since there was no real alternative (Pixar tended to not be all that comparable to them beyond doing CGI animation themselves). But nowadays? They're everywhere! Disney's back in business like it's the 90's, with Zootopia and Moana both coming out this year; Blue Sky's still doing pretty alright; Sony Pictures can generate a micro-nation's worth of money just by taking some yellow pills; and that's not counting all the other studios starting to pop up with their own franchises (I'm still surprised at how many Alpha & Omega films have come out/are still being made). People have way more choice in their CGI films than ever before, and DW for them just isn't good enough anymore.

Whether you agree with this or not isn't up for debate, but the box office results have spoken - DW doesn't grab people the way they used to. Be it through getting a bad reputation from their earlier films or their marketing, the newer films having unappealing/way-too-dumb premises, or just not having anything of interest for a good chunk of the public, DW can't compete for anyone beyond really little kids and parents who grew up with their older films these days.

It's not helped by my belief that DW often over-estimated the success of their films to the point of planning to make them into multi-billion dollar franchises, instead of preparing themselves for any middling returns. Maybe if they hadn't been so extreme in their plans to please shareholders who seemingly wouldn't be satisfied with a golden elephants sculpted from the nipples of God himself, things might've turned out better. But they haven't, and if this is the direction DW feel they have to go in order for their animation to survive, then so be it.

Just a thought.

-JM

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So I finally got to see Kung Fu Panda 3 last night and i thought it was really good! I think the best thing about the movie were the visuals, backgrounds and music. Gorgeous, top quality animation by Dreamworks. I also really liked the relationship between Po and his father Li Sheng and the conflict with Mr Ping.

HOWEVER

While Kai looked intimidating and cool, he lacked something that made Tai Lung and Shen so great; a motive. Why did he want all the Chi for himself? How did Oogway betray him exactly? It wasn't really explained. I also felt the story was rushed at points, there wasn't enough of the Furious Five and Mei Mei was horrible without Rebel Wilson's voice (seriously why did they replace her with Katie Holmes? ><). I also felt there was a bit too much comedy, in fact it almost felt forced at times.

If I were to rate this I'd probably put it on par with the first film, maybe a little lower even. While I enjoyed it and had a blast seeing it on the big screen, I still think Kung Fu Panda 2 is the best and my personal favourite. I just hope there won't be any more sequels...

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2 hours ago, Gabz Girl said:

I enjoyed it and had a blast seeing it on the big screen, I still think Kung Fu Panda 2 is the best and my personal favourite. I just hope there won't be any more sequels...

Dude this is supposed to be like a 6 movie long series. 

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3 minutes ago, nintega137 said:

 

Dude this is supposed to be like a 6 movie long series. 

While there were plans for that at one point, I haven't seen anything regarding plans for more KFP sequels in forever, so, until DWA announces a KFP4, I'm assuming the third will be the last.

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21 minutes ago, nintega137 said:

I still think that's a stupid, stupid idea. I haven't gotten to see KFP3 yet, but what the fuck more could they do with the concept? I love the series, and I don't want to see it go the Shrek route. I can only hope their plans for that change at some point.

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