game show board games feature

I like board game and I like game shows. But it is often very hard to put the pair together. Often these game show board games are seen as cash ins on the popular show. For this reason most aren’t very good. Yet, a few do get through and  surprise us.

The Good:

QI Board Game

I have never really watched QI, but I do know the format. The board game stays true to the format. You must answer a question from a booklet, and try to answer it correctly and not falling into the trap of the obvious but wrong answer. You then get points for your answers; if you were right you move forward, but if you were wrong and gave the obvious answer and are called out you go back so many spaces. The winner is the person to get to end of the board.

The thing I like about the game is the sheer amount of questions. There is just over 2500 question contained in 4 booklets. The thing I really like is the way the questions are picked. Rather than just picking out the card and reading the question, the play whose round it is rolls the dice. The colour booklet corresponds with the place you are on the board, while the dice tell you the number of the question from 1-666. I like the way this works as you feel the questions are incredibly random, and not just what the question master picks out of the card stack.

The board game certainly resonates with the programme, so I think any QI fan would enjoy it, once they figure out all the complicated rules.

qi board game game show board games Q I

Countdown Board Game

It is a very simple format, but Countdown has longevity. The show consists of 3 different rounds each designed to test your spelling, maths, and logic. I am sure you know the format by now. You start with a letters round where different letters are put up on a board and the player must make the longest word out of the those letters. The next kind of round involves numbers. The player must make a 3 digit number by adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing the 5 numbers they are give. The closest player to the total wins. The last round is the Countdown conundrum, where a nine letter anagram and a clue are given to the players. The first one to correctly guess the anagram wins.

The game is very similar to the show. It gives so much playability that you could play it forever, provided you leave out the conundrums. This is because all the letters and numbers are on separate cards and can be shuffled to give randomness.  The number who have to make in the maths round are chosen by a 8 sided dice. A fan of the show will undoubtedly enjoy it, and should get years of fun out of it.

countdown board game game show

The Bad:

Pointless Board Game

The point of Pointless is to get the most pointless answer. Got it? Good. Each player has to try and guess the answer which no one else has given. The show has different rounds with different styles of question. Some rounds just ask a straight out question, others give you ones to choose, and the head-to-head ones gives you fewer options. These different rounds are represented in the cards with the questions in the game.

As much as I like the programme, the game just doesn’t live up to it. As soon as you have used up the cards it seems like you can’t play again as most people would know the good answers. It also kicks out the players who lose the round, until the final round to have a stab at winning. It is a good game to play, but won’t be fun forever.

pointless board game game show

The Chase Board Game

The Chase board game has similar problems to the Pointless board game. The format is good fun, yet you still have the same problem with the cards. You only have so many questions until you know the answers to them all. I have heard someone say that they have only played a few times and already got through 25% of the questions. If you are beaten by the Chaser you have to sit out again too.

Not many people would like the fact they if they lose to their “chaser” they are out of the game, especially if they were the first contestant. The Chase is a fun concept, and being able to play against your smartest family member is also good fun.

the chase board game game show

The Ugly:

The Crystal Maze Board Game

It must have seemed like a good idea to make a Crystal Maze board game, but in reality it wasn’t. The show is based around four different zones each with varying mini games. The board game aims to provide the same kind of fun mini games as seen in the programme. Unfortunately, the components are so hard to use, and the game so fiddly, it is very hard to actually play the game. I once had a copy and struggled to play it and thus never played it again. It may well have been better than I remember, but I remember a very clunky and poorly made board game.

crystal maze board game game show

British vs American Game Shows

It is no secret that many British game show formats make it across the pond to be revved up by the Americans. But then again us Brits get some American shows come over here. In this post I hope to provide a some details about the differences as the shows moved across the Atlantic.

The Chase

British vs American Game Shows

A game show where contestants must go up against some of the best quizzers in the country and avoid being caught. The British version started in 2009 and has since had some of the best ratings for daytime TV. It even won an National Television Award recently for daytime programmes. The American Chase first aired in 2013. The Uk version is hosted by Bradley Walsh with 5 different chasers, while the US version is hosted by Brooke Burns with only one chaser, who is Mark Labbett from the UK show.

In my opinion Bradley Walsh is a far superior host, mainly because he is absolutely hilarious. Brooke is good and her chat with Mark is often interesting. The fact that the Uk version has 5 different chasers the variety makes it more appealing. The US show has a lot more drama. Everything is built up with tense music. The format is also slightly different with each question in the cash builder worth $5000, and there are only three contestants instead of 4.

UK

US

 

The Weakest Link

British vs American Game Shows

The Weakest Link is a very simple show in premise. The contestant must answer questions correctly to accumulate cash in the bank, and then vote out who they feel is the worst player. The added spice of the host makes it much harder. Anne Robinson was the host of the UK version as well as the American version. The formats were exactly the same, apart from the last round where in the US version they would not do a cash builder with the final two contestants, and rather go straight to the head-to-head. Anne was the best presenter, so when the the US version changed hosts from Anne to George Gray only after a year, the show wasn’t quite the same. Even though both shows had a live studio audience, the US audience always seemed to find things funnier and cheer much more than the reserved British guests.

There is no denying Anne made the show. Her quick quips and insults became a regular feature of the show with people tuning in just to see her slam into a poor, unwitting contestant.

UK

US

 

The Price is Right

British vs American Game Shows

In 1956, the original Price is Right game show appeared on US television. It was a show based all around the price of items. The show had various “mini games” each with the price of items at the forefront. The US version is still around today with new episodes still being aired. The British version, however, started much later. 1984 was the year for the Brits. The formats were very similar from across the pond. The American version had Bob Barker at the helm until he was replaced in 2007, while the Brits have had 4 different hosts. The most memorable being Bruce Forsythe. The Bruce era and thereafter is the most reminiscent of the US show. The UK Price is Right did try and stage a comeback, but failed to get the viewers, and ended in 2007.

Bruce played to the audience and was a real crowd favourite. He was a seasoned presenter and knew exactly how to get the best out of contestants. Bob is very similar in the US version. The Us version also contains a lot more advertising.

UK

US

What shows do you prefer? The funny and humourous British ones, or the dramatic and tense American ones?

 

 

 

 

feature bradley walsh game show fails

In my lifetime I have seen a fair few funny answers on quiz show. Even though some are said just for fun, the best ones are one which people genuinely think are right. This list is of the top 10 British game show answers that had us all asking “What are they doing?” or “Surely they can’t be that stupid!”

5. Leaning Tower of Pisa (Wheel of Fortune)

Before Bradley Walsh was the nutty guy from the Chase. He used to host Wheel of Fortune. When the topic “landmark” came up the contestant managed to solve the phrase with just one letter. She got it right, and thus commenced Bradley giving us a clue to how bonkers he really was.

4. Fastest Finger Fail (Who Wants to be a Millionaire?)

The gameshow to give away the most money, Who wants to be a Millionaire?, find its contestants by doing a question known as fastest finger first. The question was to put the traffic lights colours in order. No one got it right. Oops.

3. JR or JFK? (Pointless)

The object of Pointless is to get the lowest score. The most obvious answers get you the most points. Therefore on the round about Assassinations, the obvious answer to the clue shot by Lee Harvey Oswald in Dallas would have been JFK. Not what the contestant thought.

2. German Skier (The Chase)

Bradley Walsh is known for his juvenile sense of humour. He is not very professional either. So this is a great combination when the questions writers bring up a question about a female German skier. Bradley absolutely loses it. I am pretty sure the Chase question masters deliberately bring up these sorts of question just to throw him.

1. Turkey? (Family Fortunes)

We all know how stressful it is to answer questions under pressure. So imagine standing on the podium of Family Fortunes on the Big Money round with all your family counting on you to perform and get them the jackpot. If you don’t know, the aim of Family Fortunes is to get the most popular answer. On the final round, up steps Bob Johnson and hilarity ensues. He has said since, while in the supposedly sound proof booth, he heard his partner say chicken. But even so…

game show week Blog Blowfish

As you have probably gathered this is Game Show week. I am your host Blog Blowfish. This week’s rules are as follows:

Tuesday: Post will be a compilation of some of the funniest gameshow moments.

Wednesday: An interesting history behind money prizes and game show jackpots.

Thursday: Post about the differences between American and British game shows.

Friday: An article about some of the best game show hosts.

Saturday: As always is my day off!

Sunday: I will be reviewing some good and bad game show based board games.

We will also be having another Culture Clash this week is:

game show week culture clash the chase vs eggheads

Who is smarter?

 

Now that you know the rules lets get on with the show!

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.