DISCLAIMER: This blog is not for profit. All images used below are property of their respective companies unless stated otherwise. I do not claim ownership of this material. There is an audio version of this review HERE.
Around two years ago I read an interview with the head of Dreamworks, Jeffrey Katzenburg, where he outlined the studio’s plans for the next ten years or so. It was essentially this:
Two more Madagascar films. (the first of these has since come out)
Two more (at least) How to Train Your Dragons.
Five more Kung Fu Panda Movies.
The movie industry is, to put it mildly, in a state of panic. Its market share is shrinking in the face of competition from digital entertainment and television and it’s increasingly looking like it doesn’t really know what people want anymore. Adding to their problems, the only genres of movie that consistently generate buffo box office, (animated movies, superhero films, sci-fi/fantasy) are also damn expensive to make. Which is why, when one of those movies does well at the box office, it gets a sequel almost without exception.
Movie people are not bad people. They just want what we want: certainty. They just want to be sure that if they invest millions of dollars into a movie that they’re not going to be living out of a cardboard box by the time the box office receipts are tallied up. In the movie business, a willingness to take risks and be original, to gamble several fortunes of investors’ money on something that you have no way of knowing will be a success, to risk your reputation and your finances for a dream requires nothing less than balls of steel.