Hello everyone. Since it has become a trend to talk about random DreamWorks news, I am here to discuss two pieces of news today. Despite the fact that they have relatively nothing to do with one another, they do hit a common theme which is either a solution, or a problem to many.
The first story is that Trolls 2 has not only been greenlit, but given a release date of April 10th, 2020. I find it interesting that this was given a release date because there are many other films in production, like Shrek 5, Madagascar 4, and a bunch of other films. What this means is that Trolls 2 is given higher priority than the others, maybe because the others are in development hell.
Another big question mark is…….. why did this film get greenlit? Trolls did not make much money, and the critical reception is nothing to brag about. It was released in early November, and was quickly overshadowed by Moana and Sing. What some people claim as a response to this is that the merchandise is the reason, but……. have any of you seen a lot of merchandise? I have not seen ANY merchandise at all for this film at all. The only other plausible reason that others could come up with was the soundtrack. We are all well aware of the single Justin Timberlake released, and how successful it was, but an entire sequel is greenlit because of a single? I looked up the soundtrack success, and it made platinum. It is roughly around as successful as the first 2 Shrek franchises. That’s good for Timberlake, but a company making a movie just for soundtrack success? Does that money even go directly into the animation studio? It’s just really odd. I guess because they bought the rights to Trolls, they feel like more has to be done with it.
Another story is that the highly anticipated film Larrikins (which was to be released next year) has been cancelled, and now there is no film that is scheduled to be released from then next year. Apparently it was cancelled by the new studio execs (many are claiming that it is formerly Warner Animation Group’s DeFaria), and I would not be shocked by this. If you look at Illumination’s work, all of their films are extremely light-hearted, and this could make DreamWorks even more lighthearted than anticipated. The film was set to take place in Australia and music was a main part of the plot. Many people were looking forward to this out of the films that were in the lineup, and with The Croods 2 being cancelled in the fall, many people are worrying about the fate of the studio. There is also A LOT of films that are in “so called development”, but nothing has happened with it for years. The film and The Croods 2 could always be picked back up to start production, but the chances of that are mixed at best.
This has me thinking that they are probably trying to remove any of the more serious themes that DreamWorks has in their films, for it to be a complete copy of Illumination. And Larrikins was supposed to be the first film under Universal’s control, so if the first film that they had control over got canned, what does it mean for all the others that are in “so called development”? Once you take into consideration that Trolls got a sequel, it really does seem that they are trying to replicate the formula of Illumination to the fullest. While DreamWorks has always wanted franchises, most of their films did not come from a franchise, and it seems like Universal wants that to happen with their more juvenile works.
Another interesting note is that the only other year where DreamWorks did not have a film released in it was 1999, and that was for two reasons. One was because they rushed Antz from Spring 1999 to Fall 1998 to beat out A Bug’s Life in release, and because The Road to El Dorado (initially released in the fall of 1999) was suffering from production issues, so it needed to be pushed back to Spring of 2000. Just by looking at the animated features of 2018, it looks like it will be an interesting year, and it’ll be sad to see that DreamWorks will be missing out next year.