Lego Disney Minifigures

An image was leaked the other day of a new set of collectable Lego minifigures. They are all based around Disney characters. It is common knowledge that Disney has had a link with Lego for years. So this new series makes perfect sense. I will go through the characters and discuss some others that I think we will see in future series.

Lego Disney Minifigures

The characters in the first series are:

Mickey Mouse

Minnie Mouse

Donald Duck

Daisy Duck

Peter Pan

Captain Hook

Dash

Syndrome

Aladdin

Genie

Buzz

Alien

Stitch

Ursula

Ariel

Maleficent

Alice

Cheshire Cat

I would say this is a great start to a series. We haven’t got all the famous characters out, so they have something to bring out in future lots. I also find it great to see some Pixar characters. I have not seen a single classic Disney film like Aladdin, Snow White, or The Little Mermaid, but I am a massive fan of everything Pixar. If I were to collect these I would probably try and “feel out” the Pixar characters and probably Mickey and Donald, while leaving all the other characters. I was a fan of some of the old Disney cartoons like Recess and Fillmore, so if they decided to bring out some figures from that I would also be interested. I know Stitch is probably a more popular character than those from Recess and certainly more popular than Fillmore, but you can’t blame a guy for dreaming. Who wouldn’t want a minifigure of TJ, Spinelli, Gretchen, Gus, Vince, or Mikey?

recess lego disney minifigures

Lego-Disney-Series-16-Collectible-Minifigure-Series

This image above has circulated a few sites recently. This is supposedly some of the figures we can expect from the new series. Some of them seem plausible as we have seven of the characters confirmed. The look slightly different in the real pictures, but the representation is pretty spot on. I don’t buy this image though. Six figures representing Kim Possible? I don’t think so. A Barbie and Ken figure? Unless Hasbro has done a licensing deal with Lego this is never going to happen. That is why I question the validity of the picture. You can believe, but unless most of the figures get made I won’t be.

In the confirmed image, the different properties featured are varied. We have the classic Disney characters like Mickey and Donald, the old cartoon characters, as well as the modern 3D characters. With some of the characters you can almost guess some other characters that will appear.

As we have Buzz and the Alien we can only assume we will have Woody too, maybe even Jessie. I can’t see them being the same as they appeared in the sets a few years ago. The alien still looks the same, but Buzz has lost his special moulded head and has a normal head with a decal. This is why I think Woody and Jessie would also have a normal head and probably have normal length legs too.

toy story lego disney minifigures

The inclusion of Dash and Syndrome can only mean Helen, Bob, and Violet are to come? I would like to think so. Why would Lego put in the two characters if they didn’t plan on adding the other three characters? I wouldn’t say Syndrome and Dash are the most popular characters. If they do make a figure of the rest of the family I will find it interesting to see how they make the figures portray their special powers. Will Helen and Violet be taller? Will Bob be a bigger figure?

incredibles lego disney minifigures

With it being the first series, it is obvious why they included the favourites of Donald, Mickey, and Minnie. These three characters are Disney personified and are the faces of the company. Putting these main characters in the first series is a good start and hopefully get people in the series. I am slightly bemused by the inclusion of Daisy though. Unless Daisy is more popular in the US than in the UK, I can’t see she has the same kind of pulling power as the other three, but maybe she is there as the “girlfriend” of Donald, like Mickey and Minnie.  These four main characters are good for a start, and it also leaves room for another lot of characters to be the linchpin of the other series. I would like to see Goofy and Pluto in the next series. Characters like Oswald the Unlucky Rabbit, Chip and Dale, and Scrooge McDuck will be some other well-known Disney characters that could be included.

The rest of the characters hint at some more characters we could be seeing. No Lilo with Stitch? No Tinkerbell with Peter Pan? We should be seeing the rest of the characters from the films represented. We will probably see all the Disney Princess represented in future series. I can see Tinkerbell, Lilo, Mad Hatter, Jasmine, and Snow White being made later on to fit in with the characters already here.

This leaves me to question what characters I think they should do. I think having a couple of Princesses in each series will really draw people in. Lego have already made the princesses in the Friends style. I also think a good spread of Pixar characters will see them right. They will probably continue with characters from old films too, like Dumbo, Pinocchio, and Winnie the Pooh.

Now onto the characters that I want to see.

As I have mentioned I would love to see some Recess characters. If they have done Lilo and Stitch they obviously don’t mind taking characters from Disney Toons.

I love the Pixar films so including a few main characters from every film would be great. I don’t think they will try to do any Cars or Finding Nemo characters, but I think they could mould some heads for Bugs Life, Monsters Inc, and Ratatouille characters.  If they could pull off some great likenesses of these characters I will be more than happy.

Now I like Pixar, but I also like some of the original Disney 3D films. Some figures representing this side of Disney would also be cool. I would love to see some Chicken Little, Wreck It Ralph, and Big Hero Six characters.

big hero six lego disney minifigures
What they could look like.

I love Phineas and Ferb too. So some figures of them would be nice. I do know Lego planned to use the two in a Lego game before so you never know!

lego phineas and ferb disney minifigures
Lego Phineas and Ferb Board Game

This has also got me thinking. Will Disney be taking any characters from Live action properties? Will we be seeing High School Musical, Suite Life, or National Treasure characters? I doubt it. What about Muppets?

muppets lego disney minifigures

I am excited about this development, and will certainly be buying some of the bags. I hope they include some great characters and both sides, Lego and Disney, do well enough from it that they carry it on until almost every Disney character has been done!

 

 

 

tintin feature

Before Herge died, he gave the rights of a Tintin film to Steven Spielberg. Although the film deviated from the book plot, I think Steven did the young reporter justice. According to some sources, Steven first became aware of Tintin after someone told him he was similar to Indiana Jones. I really enjoyed the film. I also really enjoyed the little nods Steven put into the film as a fan. These nods are what I have included in this post.

As you can imagine all the Easter Eggs point towards the different Tintin books.

In Tintin’s room we can see the statue from the Broken Ear.

Broken Ear Easter Eggs in Tintin Movie

broken ear Tintin

In the palace and the docks we can see two golden crabs. This is the logo found on the crab tins full of opium in The Crab with the Golden Claws book.

Crab with the golden claws Easter Eggs in Tintin Movie

Golden Grab Easter Eggs in Tintin Movie

The Crab with the Golden Claws Tintin Easter Eggs

I love this little addition. In Red Rackham’s Treaure, Captain Haddock bumps into a news poster advertising the Daily Reporter with the same tagline; the News Which Hits You.

Daily reporter Easter Eggs in Tintin Movie

A running joke throughout the last few Tintin books plays on the fact that people keep calling up Captain Haddock at Marlinspike, when they really wanted E. Cutts the Butchers.

E.Cutts Easter Eggs in Tintin Movie

This one is an interesting nod towards one of Spielberg’s films. On the typewriter in the opening scene we see E T being typed.

ET Easter Eggs in Tintin Movie

This next one should be obvious. Its Herge!

Herge Easter Eggs in Tintin Movie

During the opening scenes we see a lot of different elements of the many books. This wallpaper is actually the end papers of the Tintin books.

inside pages Easter Eggs in Tintin Movie

tintin endpapers

Surely that isn’t Mr T?

Mr T Easter Eggs in Tintin Movie

Also during the opening sequence we we a list of destinations. All of the destinations are ones that Tintin has visited in his books.Place names Easter Eggs in Tintin Movie

This shooting star must be a homage to the Shooting Star book!

shooting star Easter Eggs in Tintin Movie

Last but not least is also from the title sequence. The logo above the pub is the bird from the Syldavian flag.

Syldavian Flag Easter Eggs in Tintin Movie

Syldavian Flag

It was nice to watch the film though again. I know I missed some, but I found a great site that has gone through the film with a fine tooth comb. You can see this site here.

tintin week feature

As I am sure you have gathered this week is Tintin week! Every post this week will be dedicated to the young reporter and his many adventures. As always I have written out a schedule. Bare in mind I probably won’t stick to it, but one can dream.

Tuesday: A nice page from the Phoenix Comic in honour of Tintin.

Wednesday: Easter Eggs in The Tintin Books

Thursday: Easter Eggs in The Tintin Film

Friday: Snowy, Milou, and Herge’s young love.

Saturday: My day off as always.

Sunday: Review of Herge’s Adventures of Tintin Cartoon DVD Box Set.

This week’s Culture Clash is between two old friends. It is…

Captain Haddock vs Tintin

Who is your favourite character?

tintin vs captain haddock culture clash tintin week
Click the picture to cast your vote!
pixarpediafeature

Welcome to the first in a new format of Sunday Suggestions, where instead of suggesting alternatives to products, I will be reviewing them. As it is Pixar week I have decided to review one of my favourite books when I was younger, Pixarpedia.

Pixarpedia Review Blog Blowfish

Details:

The Pixarpedia is a book dedicated to everything Pixar created by DK. DK like to produce books like this centered around different films, shows, and games. This book was written in 2009 and features all the films and shorts from before that date. They did do an updated version where they included Toy Story 3 and Cars 2. The book has 352 pages with 3 main divisions. These divisions are:

Forward – A  forward by Andrew Stanton, an introduction into the history of Pixar, a timeline, and how they make the films.

Movies.. – Dedicated to every Pixar film, character, and setting. Each character gets a write up with information about them, while each setting is explored and described.

…and Beyond – A few pages for each film including easter eggs, hidden details, fascinating facts, and staff interviews. It also includes an index of all terms mentioned throughout the book.

Content:

As a huge Pixar fan having a book full of every character you can think of, including non talking characters, is great. Each character has a description of them; with the more well-known characters having more written about them. I find the sheer breadth of characters astounding. The fact that the authors found time to write up descriptions on obscure characters is brilliant. Throughout the book there are various text boxes containing little snippets of info separated from the overall content. All the pictures and image have been taken straight from the films. In the Movies section all the characters are seen as the characters they were in the film, so for example, Hamm from Toy Story has info about his role in the film, a fact file containing his full name, occupation, and talents, as well as some plot points he was involved in. It is in the Behind the Scenes pages where they list the credits. Each film has it’s own style with different fonts, colours, and decals. The Behind the Scenes pages are very nice with some great facts and hidden details. They show where each A 113, hidden Mickey, and Pizza Planet truck appears in the films. The staff interviews are good too.

pixarpedia pages review Blog Blowfish
Example pages from Pixarpedia

Final Thoughts:

Pros:

A great book for any Pixar fan.

A good way to learn the different characters and their roles in the films.

The superb behind the scenes pages.

The insane amount of supporting characters.

Cons:

Maybe the main font could be nicer. (All I could think of)

I would recommend this book to anyone who likes Pixar, character design, and animated films in general. It is a great reference book, which you will find you dip in and out of. I would give this fascinating book…

4.5/5

If you would like to buy this book it is available on Amazon UK.

 

 

Cars Pixar -ify Vehicle Pixar Style

Even though Cars isn’t the most popular Pixar film, the characters are some of the most recognisable. I am sure we have all seen the films and know the premise of it. The world is made of cars; cars with eyes and mouths. So today I will show you how you can make your vehicle, whether a car, truck, bike, or even plane, look like it belongs to the Pixar universe.

Cars Pixar -ify Vehicle Pixar Style

First open up a picture of a car you want to turn into a Pixar character.

Cars Pixar -ify Vehicle Pixar Style

Make sure the image is on a separate layer, and the background layer is transparent.

Cars Pixar -ify Vehicle Pixar Style

Next select the area of the windscreen using the Quick Selection Tool (W). I find this tool the easiest to select a particular space. You must click and drag the tool over the windscreen to add to the selection. If you have included too much in the selection, just hold down alt to deselect a particular part.

Cars Pixar -ify Vehicle Pixar Style

Now delete the windscreen selection. No go to the gradient editor and create a gradient similar to the one pictured. Grey to White then back to Grey will work. Try to slant the gradient to the windscreen’s curve.

Cars Pixar -ify Vehicle Pixar Style

We now need to create a new layer on top of the other two. You can do this by going to Layer>New>Layer.

Cars Pixar -ify Vehicle Pixar Style

Using the Polygonal Lasso Tool (L) create an outline for the eyebrows. I got the curves by creating the points of the lasso close together. Try to give the eyebrows expression.

Cars Pixar -ify Vehicle Pixar Style

With the eyebrows selected, we can go again to the gradient editor. If you click one of the colours in the gradient you should bring up an eye dropper. With the eye dropper select the lightest and darkest colours from the shine on the vehicle. Don’t worry if the colours don’t match exactly. All we need to do is make them look similar. Again, try to slant the gradient relative to the bend in the windscreen.

Cars Pixar -ify Vehicle Pixar Style

While still on the eyebrow layer, go to Layer>Layer Style>Drop Shadow.

Cars Pixar -ify Vehicle Pixar Style

Add a drop shadow to the eyebrows. The settings with the best effects are Angle 90, Distance 20 px, Spread 0%, and Size 5 px. This should give a convincing shadow under the eyebrows.

Cars Pixar -ify Vehicle Pixar Style

Next, select the entire windscreen from the image layer and copy it onto a new layer above all the other layers.

Cars Pixar -ify Vehicle Pixar Style

Once this is done, use the eraser tool to rub away the area with the eyebrows. I find this gives a better finish as it looks like the eyebrows fit within the windscreen.

Cars Pixar -ify Vehicle Pixar Style

Copy and paste this image of an average Pixar style eye into your image twice. I added the extra white circle. You can do this too, by using the ellipse tool (U) and the colour white.

Cars Pixar -ify Vehicle Pixar Style

Move the eyes to the windscreen.

Cars Pixar -ify Vehicle Pixar Style

I decided to sink the yes lower into the bonnet. At the moment, the eye is overlapping the edge. Using the Polygonal Lasso Tool (W) highlight the overlapping area and delete it on both eyes.

Cars Pixar -ify Vehicle Pixar Style

On a new layer, again using the Polygonal Lasso Tool (W), select a space on the front of the vehicle in the shape of a mouth. Then add a grey to white gradient to the selected area.

Cars Pixar -ify Vehicle Pixar Style

With the same tool, cut out a shape from the mouth and delete it.

Cars Pixar -ify Vehicle Pixar Style

Lastly, select the licence plate in the image layer and copy it to another layer. Make sure this new layer is ontop of all the others.

Cars Pixar -ify Vehicle Pixar Style

You should end up with something similar to this. I hope you like this tutorial and find a way to use this.Maybe you could customise a friends car for them. If you do end up trying this out feel free to share it in the comments.

brave and frozen feature inspired?

In 2012, Pixar’s Brave flashed on the big screen for the first time. A year-and-a-half later, Disney unveiled Frozen to audiences all around the world. Brave takes place in medieval Scotland while Frozen seems to take place in mid-1800s Norway. The stories happen in two completely dissimilar locations. However, looking beyond these differences reveals two remarkably similar fairy tales–which begs the question:

Did Brave Inspire Frozen?

Notice the similarities between the two films:

Each tale begins with the main characters as children.

  • Merida is gifted her first bow and arrow as a child and practices archery for the first time. The scene shows little Merida laughing and playing with her mother (the queen), indicating that they had a close relationship at this time.
  • Elsa, casting ice and snow from her hands, turns the inside of the castle into a winter wonderland for her and her sister, Anna to play. Together, they built a snowman and turned the place into an ice skating rink.  This would be one of the last times Elsa was allowed to play with Anna.
frozen brave children Merida Elsa as Children
Merida and Elsa as Children

Both films events begin with a family dispute, caused by a main character’s special ability.

  • Brave’s redheaded protagonist, Merida avoided betrothal by handily beating her suitors in her favorite sport: archery. Merida’s actions strained–and nearly broke–her relationship with her mother (the queen). Her mother did not believe that a princess like Merida should be practicing archery. Archery, after all, is un-ladylike.
  • In Frozen, princess Elsa possesses the ability to cast ice and snow out of thin air. She accidentally used this ability on her sister, Anna. Her parents (the king and the queen) reacted by splitting her off from the family and confining her to her room. Elsa spent the rest of her childhood separated from Anna.
frozen brave powers Merida archery Elsa ice Queen
The Two Protagonists Practicing their Respective Powers

One of the main characters is affected by a spell.

  • Merida got more than she bargained for when she asked for a spell to “change” her mom. The spell changed her mom into a bear, which Merida did not expect.
  • The spell that Elsa accidentally cast slowly froze Anna from the inside out.
frozen and brave effects of powers Merida and Elsa
The Sad Effects of their Powers

In an attempt to cure the spell, the main characters journey into the woods:

  • Merida visits the same house where she initially bought the spell. She finds that the witch who sold it to her is on vacation. The witch left a holographic message (powered by a spell in a simmering cauldron) revealing that the clock is ticking on the spell. Merida has until the “second sunrise” to cure it. Otherwise, her mother will be a bear forever.
  • Kristoff, Olaf, Anna and Sven journey into the snowy woods until they find the trolls that raised Kristoff (and cured Anna the first time) The gang consults with the elder troll, who reveals that if the spell isn’t cured soon, Anna will freeze forever.
brave and frozen woods and forests
The Woods and Forests

Both spells are cured by an act of true love–which mends a tattered relationship.

  • Merida mends her mother’s tapestry (she sliced it with a sword in the beginning). After this didn’t cure the spell by itself, Merida broke down, cried and began hugging the giant bear her mom turned into. Through tears of pain, she confessed that she loved her, she wished she’d listened to her and that she needed her back. This breaks the spell, reuniting the duo. Weathering the struggles of the spell strengthened Merida’s relationship with her mother and brought them closer together than ever before.
  • Anna–seconds away from freezing to death–sees Hans (evil guy) with his sword raised into the air with Elsa on the ground. Just as he plunges his sword downward, Anna jumps in front to take the blow. Just before the sword hits her hand, she freezes solid. The sword shatters as it smashes into her hand. Elsa is ecstatic to see her sister, but is soon realizes that she’s solid as ice. Devastated, she clings onto her frozen sister, sobbing. Unexpectedly, Anna begins to thaw–until the color returns to her face and she’s back to normal. The spell is cured! The pain of losing Anna followed by the joy of getting her back strengthened Elsa’s relationship with her sister and brought them closer together than ever before.
frozen brave kiss acts of true love Merida and her Mom Anna and Elsa
The Acts of True Love

Observing these similarities and noting that Brave was released a full year-and-a-half before Frozen, do you believe that Brave inspired Frozen? Or are all these similarities merely convenient coincidences?

—–

This post was written by Andy Carr. You can contact Andy via his email andy@restructuring.me. Thanks Andy.

history of Pixar

Thirty years ago today, Feb 4, 1986, one of the greatest animation studios was founded. Known for brilliant storytelling, jaw-dropping scenery, and relateable characters this studio is of course Pixar! The history of Pixar is full of intrigue with each staff having their own story. In my opinion the founding of Pixar is down to 4 men, men who were each good in their own fields…

Ed Catmull (Technical Whizz)

Way back in 1974, Ed completed his doctorate in computer science to then be employed by a gentleman named Alexander Schure to help him with the new Computer Graphics Lab at the New York Institute of Technology. Ed had already been recognised as a leader in the industry by discovering and inventing various subtleties and techniques in computer graphics. His first bit of animation, which he made of his left hand, appeared in the film Futureword, making it the first computer generated graphics in a feature film. It was while at NYIT, that Ed created different bits of software to help people create computer animations. His most notable was simple named “Paint”; this eventually became the computer animation system CAPS that Disney would use for their 2D animation work. With his obvious expertise, Hollywood beckoned. And who could be more Hollywood than George Lucas? George hired Ed to work on a new computer graphics department of Lucasfilm in 1979, named Industrial Lights & Magic.In that same year he was made Vice President of the department. In 1986 Steve Jobs invested in ILM and turned it into Pixar. Ed then created Pixar’s landmark 3D animation software, Renderman. The same software they have made every film from since.

Ed Catmull Pixar History of Pixar

George Lucas (Visionary)

As a man who made money from creating live action films, it makes you wonder why George Lucas was so keen on computer animation. Before he set the Pixar ball rolling, he had already created Star Wars. Remember that the first Star Wars used old-school effects like stop motion and compositing. To Lucas, the initial outlay for computer graphics could make a lot more money in the long run. This is why in 1979, he hired Ed Catmull and John Lasseter to help him create 3D effects for films under the Industrial Lights & Magic department. Lucas could see the potential of 3D graphics and really wanted to make a full feature film, but as he was losing money from his divorce and the drop-off in Star Wars merchandise sales he had to sell up to Steve Jobs.

George Lucas Pixar History of Pixar

John Lasseter (Artist and Animator)

John had had a hard run while working for Disney as an animator. He was fed up with doing 2D animations and wanted to try out 3D. Him and some colleagues tried out a 3D short with a 2D animation over the top based on the book Where the Wild Thing Are. Pleased with the results, John wanted to create a full 3D feature film. He pitched idea of the Brave Little Toaster as a 3D film. Disney did not like the idea as they felt it would be too expensive, and sacked John from their animation department. This meant John was a free agent, and a perfect target for Ed Catmull. Industrial Lights & Magic needed an animator and John fit the bill. They couldn’t call him an animator as Ed was told he wasn’t to hire any. John worked freelance with Lucasfilm where he created the first ever fully 3D animated short, The Adventures of Andre and Wally B. After finding the funding for Brave Little Toaster was gone, he was offered a job by Ed and went to work full-time at ILM. This partnership between Ed and John eventually led to the creation of Toy Story.

John Lasseter Pixar History of Pixar
John Lasseter Pixar History of Pixar

Steve Jobs (Money and Direction)

In 1986 Pixar were a company mainly focused at selling computers and software while animating in their spare time. George Lucas didn’t want to run a computer business, and added to his personal finances, he decided to find investors. In walks Steve Jobs. After recently being fired from Apple, Steve needed something to work on. So in 1986 he bought the Pixar technology and Pixar company for $5 million each. The $5 million for the company was used as an investment in the company, while the other $5 mil was for the rights for the software. Steve knew the company needed money, and selling the computers was not going to pay the bills. Steve suggested doing animated adverts while they worked on the feature films.

Steve Jobs Pixar History of Pixar

These four men created one of the best animation studios that created some the most highly acclaimed films ever. Each man had a part to play, and had a piece to pplace in the Pixar jigsaw. They each had a skill they brought to the table. If you were to take out one of these men Pixar would not be the company it is today; financially or creatively. They are part of the history of Pixar. I can’t believe its been 30 years Pixar, here’s to another 30!

 

 

bug's life vs antz dreamworks vs pixar pixar week

It is no secret that Pixar and Dreamworks are against each other and always will be. They are the two powerhouses for 3D, CGI films, so it is obvious they will be at war. Standing from the sidelines the battle looks fairly mundane with both studios releasing films for the public to enjoy, each trying to create great films. The battle between Pixar and Dreamworks is way more than this; Pixar and Dreamworks have history…

It all starts with a man named Jeffery Katzenberg. Jeffery was brought into Disney by  CEO Michael Eisner in 1984. Eisner wanted him to look into the motion picture division of Disney. At this time Disney was one of the worst performing studios in regards to film making. Katzenberg was able to turn this around by creating some more adult orientated live action movies, as well as some of Disney’s best animated films. These animated films included Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, and the Lion King. It was also Katzenberg who agreed the partnership deal between Disney and Pixar.

Jeffery Katzenberg at Disney Bug's Life vs Antz
Jeffery Katzenberg while at Disney

When Eisner’s second in command died in a helicopter crash, Katzenberg was not promoted to the free position of president. Katzenberg fell out with Eisner, and left Disney in 1994. He also even attempted to sue his old company for money he felt he was owed. This breakup inspired Katzenberg to seek revenge, eventually leading him to create Disney Pixar’s mortal enemy, Dreamworks.

Thus commences the biggest movie studio rivalry known in the business, and a fairly shady movie battle too…

Bug’s Life vs Antz

Backstory

Hyped up by the success of Toy Story, Pixar started work on its next film, A Bug’s Life. Remember that Katzenberg knew John Lasseter and Steve Jobs after Toy Story and Pixar’s collaboration with Disney. To be honest, Katzenberg hindered the process of Toy Story by wanting it edgier and appeal more to adults. It wasn’t until he left Pixar to it, when they were able to create the film they wanted. Katzenberg had already had a run in with the Pixar staff, so when Katzenberg invited John Lasseter and Andrew Stanton for a meeting after his founding of Dreamworks, they should have smelt a rat. Katzenberg was asking them a lot of questions about their “bug” film, and pointing out how close the release date was to Dreamwork’s Prince of Egypt. This meeting was in 1995.  John and the Pixar team started getting word that Dreamworks were also making a CGi film based around insects; this film became Antz. John phoned up Katzenberg who initially said it was a rumour, but later admitted it was true. Jeffrey told John that the Antz pitch had been given to him years before any news of A Bug’s Life. John obviously found this hard to believe and felt he was the cannon fodder between Disney and disgruntled Katzenberg. Katzenberg then phoned up Steve Jobs, and told them he could stop the production of Antz if Disney and Pixar moved the release date of Bug’s Life to avoid it colliding with Prince of Egypt’s date.  Jobs told him it was extortion and refused to move the date. Disney would not have let him anyway. Katzenberg then made the decision of moving Antz’s release date from Spring 1999 to October 1998, just to get an edge on Pixar’s Bug’s Life. The sad thing is that most of the Pixar crew knew and were friends with the PDI crew (PDI being the computer animation group Dreamworks bought and used), and would have supported their new film, had it not been in direct competition with theirs. John Lasseter has even said that he would have closed the studio for the day just to go and see PDI and Dreamwork’s first film. PDI and Pixar were on good terms after the whole debacle, but the competition between Dreamworks and Disney still whirred on.

katzenberg and lasseter together pixar vs dreamworks Bug's Life vs Antz
Katzenberg and Lasseter together at the Producers Guild Awards

Film’s Similarities and Differences

Similarities

  • Based on insects
  • Main character is a male worker ant that wants to get out of the colony
  • The worker ant falls in love with a princess
  • They both save the colony

Differences

  • In a Bug’s Life the colony is the safe place, while the big city is dangerous. In Antz the colony is bad and the place they try and find is good
  • Antz is not afraid with death with many characters dying, while Bug’s life shows little violence and no deaths
  • Bug’s life is family friendly, whereas Antz tried to be edgy, using satirical and rude humour and violence
  • Antz is the dark side of theme, while Bug’s Life is the light. Antz used darker colours, humour, and plot. Bug’s Life is colourful, juvenile, and much brighter.

Ratings

On Rotten Tomatoes:

a bug's life rotten tomatoes rating a bug's life vs antz Antz rotten tomatoes rating a bug's life vs antz

Metacritic:

A bug's life metacritic Rating dreamworks a bug's life vs antz

Antz metacritic Rating dreamworks a bug's life vs antz

and IMDB:

A bug's life IMDB Rating dreamworks a bug's life vs antz pixar

Antz IMDB Rating dreamworks a bug's life vs antz

As you can see from the ratings both films are highly acclaimed. They each win out in different areas on different websites. The reason Antz beats A Bug’s Life on some websites is due to the harder hitting story and better voice cast, while Bug’s Life wins for memorable characters and child friendly plot.

Even if their critical reception was similar, Katzenberg’s gamble with Antz beating Bug’s Life didn’t pay off at the box office.

Bug’s Life cleaned up with $363,398,565 in box office sales to Antz’s $171,757,863 worldwide sales. The fact that Antz lost out to Bug’s Life even though it came out earlier speaks kindly to the marketing Pixar did for the film, and the lack thereof from Dreamwork. It also shows that the fact Antz was rushed out into cinemas just to beat Pixar’s efforts was a stupid idea, and thus lacked any real traction in the theatres. Judging by the reviews Antz could have easily been stiff competition for Bug’s Life if it had been marketed better.

antz movie poster Bug's Life vs Antz
Antz Movie Poster
bugs life movie poster Bug's Life vs Antz
A Bug’s Life’s Movie Poster

Summary

In all credit to Katzenberg and Dreamworks, they did bring out a good film with good reviews. So you can only feel the cheap tactics and fired shots between the two studios only really harmed Antz. Had Katzenberg waited for Bug’s Life to come and really finish off the film, it may have beat Bug’s Life in the box office. After Jeffery had laid down the gauntlet there was no real going back; Dreamworks and Pixar were to be long time enemies. From similarities between Shark Tale and Finding Nemo, Ratatouille and Flush Away, and even Disney’s Emperor’s New Groove and The Road to Eldorado only strengthened the animosity between the two even if they were just “coincidences.” After Bug’s Life vs Antz, animation fans actually had two great films to watch and enjoy. So I suppose it wasn’t all bad.

 

 

Pixar Week Blog Blowfish

Well it has been a long time coming (a month to be exact), but I have finally got everything up and running for the new weekly format. This Pixar week will include some interesting posts all about Pixar!

 

Tuesday will have a post about Bug’s Life and Antz and the problems between the two films.

Wednesday will be a post documenting the early history of Pixar.

Thursday will be a guest post about how Frozen and Brave are very similar films.

Friday ‘s post will be a tutorial on how to make your vehicle look like a Cars character in Photoshop.

and Sunday will be a review of the book Pixarpedia!

We have a new feature named Culture Clash too! Culture Clash will put two things against each other to find how which is the most popular. This weeks is:

Buzz vs Woody!

Pixar Week Buzz vs woody blog blowfish

This picture will be in the sidebar all week as a easy link to the Culture Clash site.

I hope you will like this new format. I am certainly enjoying doing it. You can find the schedule on the schedule page. If you can help with any future week’s themes please drop me a line at jude@blogblowfish.com.