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The Ultimate DreamWorks Animated Film Guide: 2010-2014

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The Ultimate DreamWorks Animated Film Guide
1998-2004 | 2005-2009 | 2010-2014

Between 1998 and 2004, DreamWorks Animation had experienced both failure and success, with one of its films being such a box office disaster1 that the studio had been completely separated from its parent, DreamWorks SKG. Since then, the studio had regained its confidence and embarked on a revolutionary strategy.

Their strategy was simple. Financially successful films would have sequels made, which would be released roughly alternating with entirely new films. In 2010 DreamWorks Animation became the first studio to release three computer animated films in a single year. It was part of their plan to make five computer animated films every two years. This raised the question over whether the increase in quantity of films released adversely affected the quality of the films that they were creating.

DreamWorks Classics

Beginning in 2010, DreamWorks Animation began acquiring the film rights to older, established animation series and toys. In 2010 the studio purchased the film rights to Troll Dolls, acquiring the entire intellectual property rights in 2013. In July 2012 DreamWorks Animation bought Classics Media for $155million, acquiring the rights to a vast range of cartoon characters, including those created by Filmation2, Woodland Animation, best known for Postman Pat, UPA3 and the rights to Noddy and characters in The Rocky & Bullwinkle Show, including Mr Peabody and Sherman. Since then they have acquired the rights to Felix the Cat.


Below are listed DreamWorks Animations' films made during this period. Characters and actors in Bold appear in other, related films.

19. How to Train Your Dragon (2010)

The dragon Toothless was inspired by a cross between a salamander and a cat, while the shape of his face was loosely based on the face of Stitch from Lilo & Stitch (2002), a Disney film that had also been directed by Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois.

DirectorsChris Sanders and Dean DeBlois
PlotHiccup is a scrawny lad who lives in a Viking village continuously plagued by dragons. The weakest person in the village, though he is considered a disappointment by his father, fierce chief Stoick, he dreams of killing a dragon, until he shoots one down. After finding and taking pity on it, he learns how little the Vikings really know about the dragons, growing to love them while his father is determined to wipe them out.
Length98 minutes
SettingIsland of Berk, a remote Viking settlement near the Arctic Circle
  • Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III, young, scrawny Viking (Jay Baruchel)
  • Toothless, a Night Fury, a fierce type of dragon that no-one's seen
  • Stoick the Vast, Hiccup's father and Viking chief (Gerard Butler)
  • Gobber, blacksmith and warrior trainer (Craig Ferguson)
  • Astrid Hofferson, strong female warrior classmate who Hiccup fancies (America Ferrera)
  • Fishlegs Ingerman, a dragon-nerd classmate (Christopher Mintz-Plasse)
  • Snotlout Jorgenson one of Hiccup's dragon-training classmates (Jonah Hill)
  • Tuffnut and Ruffnut Thorston, twin classmates (TJ Miller and Kristen Wiig)
  • Spitelout, a Viking (David Tennant)
InspirationThe books by Cressida Cowell
  • Short Films:
    • Legend of the Boneknapper Dragon (2010)
    • Gift of the Night Fury (2011)
    • Book of Dragons (2011)
    • Dawn of the Dragon Racers (2014)
  • DreamWorks Dragons - television series (2012+)
  • 29. How to Train Your Dragon 2 (2014)
LogoA Night Fury's shadow briefly appears.

This was the fifth most successful animated film of a very competitive year, after Pixar's Toy Story 3, Shrek Forever After, Disney's Tangled and Illumination Entertainment's Despicable Me.

20. Shrek Forever After (2010)

After the disappointing Shrek the Third comes a much stronger film, even if it doesn't reach the heights of the first two films in the series.

DirectorsMike Mitchell
PlotShrek, tired of the repetitive responsibility of raising a family, wants to have a day of freedom to himself but is tricked by Rumpelstiltskin into wishing he had never been born. Shrek is transported to an alternate Far Far Away in which he had never existed, so he never rescued Princess Fiona from the tower. This oppressive dystopia is ruled by Rumpelstiltskin and his witch allies. The only way Shrek can restore reality is by finding Fiona, who now leads the resistance army of Ogres. They have to share a true love's kiss before the day is over, or he will cease to exist. In this reality, though, he has never met Fiona and so she does not love him.
Length93 minutes
SettingShrek's swamp, kingdom of Far Far Away and an alternative reality.
  • Shrek, an ogre married to Princess Fiona (Mike Myers)
  • Donkey, a talking donkey (Eddie Murphy)
  • Princess Fiona, an ogress (Cameron Diaz)
  • Puss in Boots, a cat (Antonio Banderas)
  • Rumpelstiltskin (Walt Dohrn)
  • Queen Lillian, Fiona's mother (Julie Andrews)
  • King Harold, Fiona's, Father (John Cleese)
  • Book: William Steig's Shrek! (1990)
  • Film: Frank Capra's It's a Wonderful Life (1946)
  • 'You've Got A Friend' by Carole King
  • 'One Love' by Bob Marley
  • 'Isn't It Strange' by Scott Hoffman and Jason Sellards
  • 'Top of the World' by Richard Carpenter and John Bettis
  • 'Click Click' by Dave Wakeling, Roger Charlery, Everett Morton, David Steele and Andy Cox
  • 'Sure Shot' by Mario Caldato Jr, Michael Diamond, Adam Horovitz, Jeremy Steig and Adam Yauch
  • 'Darling I Do' by Landon Pigg and Lucy Schwartz
  • 'Orinoco Flow' by Enya and Roma Ryan
  • 'Shake Your Groove Thing' by Dino Fekaris and Freddie Perren
  • 'Hello' by Lionel Richie
  • 'I'm a Believer' by Neil Diamond
  • 'For Once in My Life' by Orlando Murden and Ronald Miller
  • 'Right Back Where We Started From' by Vincent Edwards and Pierre Tubbs
Others in the Series
  • 5. Shrek (2001)
  • 8. Shrek 2 (2004)
  • 14. Shrek the Third (2007)
  • 23. Puss in Boots (2011)
  • Shrek in the Swamp Karaoke Dance Party (2001) - musical short film
  • Shrek 4-D (2003) - theme park attraction
  • Far Far Away Idol (2004) - musical short film
  • Shrek the Halls (2007) - Christmas short film
  • Donkey's Carolling Christmas-tacular (2010) - musical short
  • Scared Shrekless (2011) - Halloween anthology
  • Shrek's Thrilling Tales (2011) - Halloween anthology
LogoThis is the first film to use an updated version of the DreamWorks logo, zooming out from the Moon (on which the boy is sitting) instead of showing the boy travel to the Moon by balloon.

This was the second most successful animated film of the year, beaten only by Toy Story 3 which was then the most successful animated film ever. Presumably the Rumpelstiltskin in this film is a different character to the quite different Rumpelstiltskin who briefly appeared in Shrek the Third.

21. Megamind (2010)

A fun film that strongly spoofs Superman and other superhero films, complete with the exploding home planet, Marlon Brando 'space dad' impersonation and a cast of characters with alliterative names to name but three. One of the joys of the film is spotting the in-jokes.

DirectorTom McGrath
PlotAfter inadvertently killing Metro City's superhero Metro Man, evil villain Megamind feels his life lacks purpose. The only thing he enjoys is spending time (while disguised) with Metro Man's girlfriend, reporter Roxie Ritchie, with whom he has fallen in love. He therefore transforms Ritchie's cameraman into a superhero, only to realise he has inadvertently unleashed an unstoppable villain on the city.
Length96 minutes
SettingMetro City
  • Megamind, extra-terrestrial mastermind (Will Ferrell)
  • Roxanne Ritchie, a reporter (Tina Fey)
  • Metro Man, Megamind's superhero nemesis (Brad Pitt)
  • Hal Stewart aka Tighten, hapless cameraman Megamind gives powers to (Jonah Hill)
  • Minion, talking fish with a robotic gorilla body (David Cross)
  • Bernard, curator of the Megamind Museum who Megamind impersonates (Ben Stiller)
InspirationA spoof of Superman
MusicSoundtrack by Hans Zimmer and Lorne Balfe
  • 'Bad To The Bone' by George Thorogood
  • 'A Little Less Conversation' (Junkie XL Remix) written by Scott Davis and Billy Strange, performed by Elvis Presley
  • 'Highway to Hell' by Bon Scott, Angus Young and Malcolm Young, performed by AC/DC
  • 'Lovin' You' by Dick Rudolph and Minnie Riperton
  • 'Alone Again Naturally' by Gilbert O'Sullivan
  • 'Mr Blue Sky' by Jeff Lynne, performed by Electric Light Orchestra
  • 'Back In Black' by Brian Johnson, Angus Young and Malcolm Young, performed by AC/DC
  • 'Bad' by Michael Jackson
  • 'Welcome To The Jungle' by Axl Rose, Steven Adler, Izzy Stradlin, Saul 'Slash' Hudson and Duff McKagan, performed by Guns N' Roses

The film was a minor box office success and received positive reviews from critics in a very competitive year for animation; it was beaten at the box office by Pixar's Toy Story 3, Shrek Forever After, Disney's Tangled, Illumination Entertainment's Despicable Me and How to Train Your Dragon.

Despicable Me was a particular rival as it too dealt with a villain-turning-good plot, aided by Minion(s). After this film's disappointing box office, Jeffrey Katzenberg announced that DreamWorks Animation would not make any more film genre parodies, as Shark Tale, Monsters vs Aliens and Megamind had all had disappointing box offices, particularly in international markets.

22. Kung Fu Panda 2 (2011)

An animated film that actually sensitively portrays Chinese culture and addresses the unanswered question from Kung Fu Panda; why is Po's father a goose? It also is confident that a sequel will be commissioned, having an open ending. As well as enjoyable action the film shows Po's emotional journey, giving all the characters from the first film a role to play.

DirectorJennifer Yuh Nelson
PlotGongmen City is conquered by Lord Shen, who has perverted fireworks to create weapons that can defeat Kung fu, while Po learns that he was adopted as a baby. When accompanying the Furious Five to the rescue, Po is distracted by graphic flashbacks about his separation from his family as a baby. He learns that Shen had heard a prophecy that he would be defeated by a Panda and tried to slaughter them all. Will Po be able to find the Inner Peace required in order to defeat a weapon that can destroy Kung fu?
Length90 minutes
SettingValley of Peace and Gongmen City, ancient China
  • Po, a giant panda and Dragon Warrior (Jack Black)
  • Shifu, a red panda Kung Fu master (Dustin Hoffman)
  • Lord Shen, an evil peacock (Gary Oldman)
  • Mr Ping, Po's goose father (James Hong)
  • The Furious Five:
    1. Tigress (Angelina Jolie)
    2. Monkey (Jackie Chan)
    3. Mantis (Seth Rogen)
    4. Viper (Lucy Liu)
    5. Crane (David Cross)
  • Soothsayer, a goat (Michelle Yeoh)
  • Master Storming Ox (Dennis Haysbert)
  • Master Croc (Jean-Claude Van Damme)
  • Master Thundering Rhino (Victor Garber)
WritersJonathan Aibel & Glenn Berger
MusicSoundtrack album by Hans Zimmer and John Powell
Others in the Series
  • 16. Kung Fu Panda (2008)
  • 24. Kung Fu Panda 3 (2016)
  • Secrets of the Furious Five (2008) – short film
  • Kung Fu Panda Holiday (2010) - Christmas short film
  • Secrets of the Masters (2011) - short film
  • Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness (2011-14) – spin-off television series
LogoLeaves blow to the Moon and transform into Master Oogway

Kung Fu Panda 2 was the first DreamWorks Animation film to be solely directed by a woman and is the most successful animated film directed by a woman to date. On release it was the ninth most successful animated film to date and was the most successful animated film of 2011, beating Cars 2, Puss in Boots, Rio and The Adventures of Tintin.

23. Puss in Boots (2011)

A prequel spin-off of the Shrek series, set in a fairy tale land that resembles Spain and Mexico.

DirectorChris Miller
PlotSeven years after being framed for bank robbery by Humpty Dumpty, outlaw Puss in Boots encounters him again. Dumpty claims he wishes to make amends, planning to use magic beans to climb a beanstalk to the Giant's Castle and steal the goose that lays golden eggs in order to pay the money back, but is he really a rotten egg?
Length90 minutes
SettingFairytale world with similarities to Central America.
  • Puss in Boots (Antonio Banderas)
  • Humpty Alexander Dumpty (Zack Galifiakakis)
  • Kitty Softpaws (Salma Hayek)
  • Jack (Billy Bob Thornton)
  • Jill (Amy Sedaris)
  • Mama Imelda (Constance Marie)
  • San Ricardo Comandante (Guillermo del Toro)
InspirationTraditional Fairytale Character combined with Zorro
MusicComposed by Henry Jackman
Others in the Series
  • 43. Puss In Boots: The Last Wish (2022)
  • 5. Shrek (2001)
  • 8. Shrek 2 (2004)
  • 14. Shrek the Third (2007)
  • 20. Shrek Forever After (2010)
  • Shrek in the Swamp Karaoke Dance Party (2001) - musical short film
  • Shrek 4-D (2003) - theme park attraction
  • Far Far Away Idol (2004) - musical short film
  • Shrek the Halls (2007) - Christmas short film
  • Donkey's Carolling Christmas-tacular (2010) - musical short
  • Scared Shrekless (2011) - Halloween anthology
  • Shrek's Thrilling Tales (2011) - Halloween anthology
  • Puss in Boots: The Three Diablos (2012) – short film
  • The Adventures of Puss in Boots (2015+) – television series
LogoThe boy in the Moon cracks his fishing rod like a whip.

Although less of an ensemble than the Shrek films, this is still highly enjoyable, and was the third most successful animated film of the year after Kung Fu Panda 2 and Cars 2.

24. Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted (2012)

None of this film is actually set in Madagascar. In the second film in the series, Alex was reunited with his father Zuba. However, as Bernie Mac died before the Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa was released, the plot of the second film is ignored.

DirectorsEric Darnell, Conrad Vernon & Tom McGrath
PlotAlex, Marty, Gloria and Melman travel to Monte Carlo to persuade the penguins and chimpanzees to fly them back to New York City, but there they attract the attentions of sinister animal control officer Chantel DuBois, who has always wanted to hunt a lion. To escape her they join a circus, claiming to be circus animals. Although their acts are terrible, they know that if they can impress a backer they will be able to go on an American tour and return to New York.
Length93 minutes
SettingAfrica (briefly), Monte Carlo, the Colosseum, London and New York's Central Park Zoo
  • Alex, a lion (Ben Stiller)
  • Marty, a zebra (Chris Rock)
  • Melman, a giraffe (David Schwimmer)
  • Gloria, a hippopotamus (Jada Pinkett Smith)
  • King Julien, a ring-tailed lemur (Sacha Baron Cohen)
  • Maurice, an aye-aye (Cedric the Entertainer)
  • Skipper, a penguin (Tom McGrath)
  • Kowalski, a penguin (Chris Miller)
  • Rico, a penguin (John DiMaggio)
  • Private, a penguin (Christopher Knights)
  • Captain Chantel DuBois, animal control officer (Frances McDormand)
  • Gia, a jaguar (Jessica Chastain)
  • Vitaly, a Siberian tiger (Bryan Cranston)
  • Stefano, a sea lion (Martin Short)
  • Sonya, a bear (Frank Welker)
  • Mort, a mouse lemur (Andy Richter)
MusicScore by Hans Zimmer
  • 'Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)' by Robert Clivilles and Freedom Williams
  • 'Wannabe' by Victoria Beckham, Melanie Brown, Emma Bunton, Melanie Chisholm, Geri Halliwell, Matthew Rowbottom and Richard Stannard
  • 'What's New Pussycat?' by Burt Bacharach and Hal David
  • 'Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien' by Charles Dumont and Michel Vaucaire
  • 'Hot in Herre' by Cornell 'Nelly' Haynes, Pharrell Williams and Charles 'Chuck' Brown
  • 'We No Speak Americano' by Renato Carosone, Matthew Handley, Duncan MacLennan, Nicola Salerno and Andrew Stanley
  • 'Afro Circus' written by Chris Rock based on 'Entrance of the Gladiators' by Julius Fucik
  • 'Pomp and Circumstance' by Sir Edward Elgar
  • 'Born Free' by John Barry
  • 'Firework' by Katy Perry, Esther Dean, Mikkel Eriksen, Tor Hermansen and Sandy Wilhelm
  • 'Love Always Comes As a Surprise' by Peter Asher and Dave Stewart
  • 'Afro Circus / I Like to Move It' by Chris Rock, Erick Morillo and Mark 'Stuntman The Mad' Quashie
Others in the Series
  • 10. Madagascar (2005)
  • 17. Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa (2008)
  • 30. Penguins of Madagascar (2014)
  • The Penguins of Madagascar (2008-12) – spin-off television series
  • The Madagascar Penguins in a Christmas Caper (2009) - short film
  • Merry Madagascar (2009) - Christmas short film
  • Madly Madagascar (2013) – Valentine's Day short film
  • All Hail King Julien (2014+) – spin-off television series

One of DreamWorks Animation's most successful films, this was the second most successful animated film of the year, beaten only by Ice Age: Continental Drift.

25. Rise of the Guardians (2012)

Rise of the Guardians is a highly imaginative film that takes traditional mythological characters and turns them on their head, so that the Easter Bunny is Australian. While the Guardians all have tasks that keep them busy, Jack Frost is carefree and able to point out that the Guardians are so busy bringing joy to children, they don't actually make time for children. Though Father Christmas is not normally portrayed as a sword-wielding, tattooed Russian whose toys are made by Yetis, this actually works really well.

DirectorPeter Ramsey
PlotIn a world where mythical characters exist, for 300 years Jack Frost has not known who he is or had anyone believe in him. Yet when Pitch Black the Bogeyman turns children's dreams into nightmares, he is chosen by the Man in the Moon to join Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy, Sandman and North, also called Father Christmas and Santa Claus, to be a Guardian and protect the children of the world. Yet Jack does not know who he is and, with only one child left still believing in magic, will the Earth be ruled by fear?
Length97 minutes
SettingAcross Earth around Easter in the 21st Century, including the North Pole
  • Jack Frost (Chris Pine)
  • Pitch Black, the Bogeyman (Jude Law)
  • North, aka Father Christmas & Santa Claus (Alec Baldwin)
  • Easter Bunny (Hugh Jackman)
  • Tooth Fairy (Isla Fisher)
  • Sandman
  • Jamie Bennett (Dakota Goyo)
  • Sophie Bennett (Georgie Grieve)
InspirationThe Guardians of Childhood series (2011+) by William Joyce
MusicComposed by Alexandre Desplat
  • 'Still Dream' lyrics by David Lindsay-Abaire
LogoJack Frost is the boy in the Moon.

Sadly, the film flopped. It was beaten at the box office by Blue Sky's Ice Age: Continental Drift, Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted, Pixar's Brave, Disney's Wreck-It Ralph, Sony Pictures Animation's Hotel Tranyslvania and Illumination Entertainment's Dr Seuss' The Lorax. It was the company's first failure since Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas (2003). As a result of this, DreamWorks Animation underwent a restructure in early 2013 and over 300 people lost their jobs.

26. The Croods (2013)

Following the flop of Rise of the Guardians, DreamWorks Animation were in financial trouble and needed to release a success. This film had originally been proposed as a co-production with Aardman Animation back in 2005 as part of their partnership agreement with DreamWorks SKG, written by John Cleese who had been inspired by Roald Dahl's The Twits, but after DreamWorks Animation and Aardman parted company, the film rights were retained by DreamWorks.

DirectorsKirk DeMicco & Chris Sanders
PlotSurrounded by dangers, Stone-age family the Croods are kept safe by the strength and fearful nature of father Grug who keeps them enclosed in a cave. After his teenage daughter Eep meets Guy, an earthquake destroys their cave and they are forced to travel to escape what they consider to be the end of the world, encountering new experiences. As Guy guides them to safety, Grug feels his role threatened by Guy, who contradicts his safety-first teachings.
Length98 minutes
SettingPrehistoric times
  • Grug Crood, overprotective patriarchal caveman (Nicolas Cage)
  • Eep Crood, Grug's curious and frustrated daughter (Emma Stone)
  • Guy, an inventive, dream-filled cave boy who knows how to make fire (Ryan Reynolds)
  • Ugga Crood, Grug's wife and the mother of the family (Catherine Keener)
  • Thunk Crood, Grug and Ugga's son (Clark Duke)
  • Gran Crood, Ugga's elderly mother (Cloris Leachman)
  • Sandy Crood, Grug and Ugga's baby daughter (Randy Thom)
  • Belt, Guy's intelligent pet sloth (Chris Sanders)
InspirationBased on a script entitled Crood Awakening by John Cleese
MusicComposed by Alan Silvestri
  • 'Shine Your Way' by Alan Silvestri, Glen Ballard, Kirk De Micco, and Chris Sanders
Others in the Series
  • Dawn of the Croods (2015) – spin-off cel-animated television series
LogoThe DreamWorks Logo is painted on a cave wall

On release this was DreamWorks Animation's second most successful film after Kung Fu Panda, but as 2013 was a particularly competitive year for animation it was the fourth most successful animated film of the year, after Frozen, Despicable Me 2 and Monsters University. A sequel is expected with a provisional release date of 2017.

27. Turbo (2013)

This film was made with a lot of input from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in order to make it seem as authentic as possible.

DirectorDavid Soren
PlotTheo is a suburban snail who dreams of being a racing car driver, much to the dismay of his sensible older brother Chet. Mocked by the other snails, Theo is accidentally sucked into a drag racer's supercharger and bombarded with nitrous oxide, which gives him the ability to move superfast, as well as other car-like powers such as headlights and radio. Theo and Chet are exiled from their home but adopted by the snail-racing inhabitants of a neglected retail park called Starlight Plaza, especially Tito, who runs a Taco business with his older brother Angelo. Tito believes that Theo, now named Turbo, will make their business a success and with his savings and those of the others who work at Starlight Plaza, enter him into prestigious race, the Indy 5004.
Length96 minutes
SettingLos Angeles and Indianapolis, America
  • Theo aka Turbo, a snail who dreams of being a racer (Ryan Reynolds)
  • Chet, his older brother (Paul Giamatti)
  • Whiplash, leader of the Starlight Plaza racing snails (Samuel L Jackson):
  • Smoove Move (Snoop Dogg)
  • Burn (Maya Rudolph)
  • Skidmark (Ben Schwartz)
  • White Shadow (Michael Patrick Bell)
  • Tito Lopez, who dreams of more than selling Tacos (Michael Peña)
  • Angelo Lopez, Tito's brother who wants to run his Dos Bros Tacos business (Luis Guzm´n)
  • Paz, Starlight Plaza's mechanic (Michelle Rodriguez)
  • Guy Gagné, the greatest Indy 500 driver ever (Bill Hader)
  • Bobby, Starlight Plaza's hobby and model shopkeeper (Richard Jenkins)
  • Kim-Ly, Starlight Plaza's nail salon owner (Ken Jeong)
  • 'It's Tricky' by Darryl McDaniels, Jason Mizell, Rick Rubin and Joseph Simmons
  • 'Krazy' by Armando Perez, Jonathan Smith and Federico Franchi
  • 'Goin' Back to Indiana' by Berry Gordy, Deke Richards, Freddie Perren and Alphonso Mizell
  • 'The Snail Is Fast' by Ali Theodore, Jordan Yaeger, Sergio Cabral, Yusef Jackson and Alana Da Fonseca
  • 'Eye of the Tiger' by Jim Peterik and Frankie Sullivan
  • 'What's New Pussycat?' written by Hal David and Burt Bacharach
  • 'Drop It Like It's Hot' by Snoop Dogg, Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo
  • 'Jump Around' by Erik Schrody and Larry Muggerud
  • 'Speedin'' by Ali Theodore, Nick Loizides, Sergio Cabral, Michael Klein, John McCurry, Yusef Jackson and Julian Davis
  • 'Here We Come' by Ali Theodore, Nick Loizides, Sergio Cabral, Bryan Spitzer, John McCurry and Joseph Smart
  • 'Saturday Night' by William Abers, Ulises Bella, Raul Pacheco, Justin Poree, Asdrubal Sierra, Jiro Yamaguchi and Jabulani Smith-Freeman
  • 'Let the Bass Go' by Snoop Dogg
Spin Off
  • Turbo FAST (2013+ animated series)

Conceived as 'Fast & Furious with Snails', the film was released at the same time as Despicable Me 2. It completely flopped in America, although it did reasonably in the rest of the world. Overall, the film lost approximately $15 million and was beaten at the box office by Frozen, Despicable Me 2, Monsters University and The Croods.

28. Mr Peabody & Sherman (2014)

This was the first film adaptation made as part of the DreamWorks Classics media library. Though an enjoyable romp through time and space that sadly underperformed at the box office, possibly because the characters of Mr Peabody & Sherman were unfamiliar to modern audiences. Mr Peabody had been created for a cartoon series from the late 1950s, appearing as a supporting part of The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show - watched by the intended audience's grandparents.

DirectorRob Minkoff
PlotGenius dog Mr Peabody has adopted Sherman as his son, but when Sherman gets in trouble at school for biting bullying girl Penny Peterson, Mrs Grunion threatens to take Sherman away. Mr Peabody hopes to resolve the problem by inviting Penny and her parents to dinner, but after Sherman shows Penny Mr Peabody's time-machine called the WABAC, they set off on an adventure that threatens the very space-time continuum.
Length92 minutes
Setting21st Century America, with trips to France 1789, Egypt 1332 BC, Italy 1508 and Troy 1184 BC
  • Mr Peabody, a genius talking dog (Ty Burrell)
  • Sherman, Mr Peabody's adopted 7-year-old son (Max Charles)
  • Penny Peterson, Sherman's bullying classmate (Ariel Winter)
  • Paul Peterson, Penny's father (Stephen Colbert)
  • Patty Peterson, Penny's mother (Leslie Mann)
  • Edwina Grunion, evil Child Services person (Allison Janney)
  • Principal Purdy, Sherman's headmaster (Stephen Tobolowsky)
  • Leonardo da Vinci (Stanley Tucci)
  • Agamemnon (Patrick Warburton)
  • Tutankhamun (Zach Callison)
  • Albert Einstein (Mel Brooks)
InspirationPeabody's Improbable History, part of the The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show (1959-60)
  • 'Pause' by Armando Perez, Urales Vargas, Ari Kalimi, Abdelouahid Ben and Adrian Santalla
  • 'Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy)' by John Lennon
  • 'Rhapsody In Blue' by George Gershwin
  • 'Aquarela do Brasil' by Ary Barroso
  • 'Way Back When' by Adam M Roth, Fredrik Eriksson and Sebastian Fritze, performed by Grizfolk
  • 'Kid' by Peter Andre
Spin Off
  • The Mr Peabody & Sherman Show (2015+ animated series)
LogoSherman is the boy on the Moon

The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle, produced by Universal Pictures, had previously flopped in 2000. Mr Peabody & Sherman was beaten at the box office by Disney's Big Hero 6, How to Train Your Dragon 2, Blue Sky's Rio 2, Warner Brothers' The LEGO Movie and Penguins of Madagascar.

29. How to Train Your Dragon 2 (2014)

Very much intended to be the dark, middle chapter of a trilogy, unlike other sequels this has emotional impact and the characters have visibly aged.

DirectorDean DeBlois
PlotFive years after dragons and Vikings united to live together on Berk, 20-year-old Hiccup is still arguing with his father Stoick, who wants him to become the next chief, while he wishes to retain his freedom and explore the world. He and Astrid encounter a dragon-trapper called Eret and learn that an insane warlord called Drago Bludvist is creating an army of dragons, but a mysterious dragon-rider is trying to stop him. While Stoick prepares for war, Hiccup is determined to try to negotiate a peace with Drago, unaware that Drago's dragon is a giant Alpha who can hypnotise and control other dragons. On his journey he discovers that the mysterious dragon-rider is, in fact, the mother he never knew.
Length102 minutes
SettingViking island of Berk, five years later
  • Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III, scrawny dragon master Viking (Jay Baruchel)
    • Dragon: Toothless, a Night Fury
  • Valka, Hiccup's long-lost mother and Stoick's wife, a dragon master (Cate Blanchett)
    • Dragon: Cloudjumper, a Stormcutter
  • Stoick the Vast, Hiccup's father and Viking chief (Gerard Butler)
    • Dragon: Skullcrusher, a Rumblehorn
  • Gobber, Viking blacksmith and warrior (Craig Ferguson)
    • Dragon: Grump, a Hotburple
  • Astrid Hofferson, strong female warrior and Hiccup's partner (America Ferrera)
    • Dragon: Stormfly, a Deadly Nadder
  • Fishlegs Ingerman, a dragon-nerd (Christopher Mintz-Plasse)
    • Dragon: Meatlug, a Gronckle
  • Snotlout Jorgenson (Jonah Hill)
    • Dragon: Hookfang, a Monstrous Nightmare
  • Tuffnut and Ruffnut Thorston, twin Vikings (TJ Miller and and Kristen Wiig)
    • Dragon: Barf and Belch, a two-headed Hideous Zippleback
  • Drago Bludvist, insane warlord who wishes to use dragons to conquer the world (Djimon Hounsou)
    • Dragon: a Bewilderbeast, Alpha dragon
  • Eret son of Eret, a dragon-trapper (Kit Harrington)
InspirationThe books by Cressida Cowell
Others in the Series
  • 19. How to Train Your Dragon (2010)
  • Short Films:
    • Legend of the Boneknapper Dragon (2010)
    • Gift of the Night Fury (2011)
    • Book of Dragons (2011)
    • Dawn of the Dragon Racers (2014)
  • DreamWorks Dragons - television series (2012+)

The second most successful animated film of the year behind Disney's Big Hero 6. It was also the first DreamWorks Animation film to benefit from more advanced animation tools.

30. Penguins of Madagascar (2014)

This film was full of joking references to famous names presumably aimed at an adult audience, however most of the film had a very slapstick, child-orientated plot. The character of Dr Brine, played by John Malkovich, is introduced with a sequence in which he walks on his hands; this was inspired by a similar sequence when Malkovich played Humma Kavula in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (2005). Danny Jacobs replaces Sacha Baron Cohen as King Julien and Rico has again been recast.

DirectorsEric Darnell & Simon J Smith
PlotPenguins Skipper, Kowalski and Rico always look down on their youngest brother Private, considering him to be merely cute. Meanwhile an insane octopus named Dave, who disguises himself as a human called Dr Octavius, resents that when he was in a zoo the penguins were considered cute and cuddly while he was unloved. Swearing revenge, he begins kidnapping all the penguins in the world while being tracked by an elite interspecies taskforce called the North Wind. What is Dave's fiendish plan and will the penguins and North Wind do anything other than get in each other's way?
Length86 minutes
SettingAntarctica, Fort Knox, Venice, Shanghai
  • Skipper, the penguin leader (Tom McGrath)
  • Kowalski, the clever penguin (Chris Miller)
  • Private, the young, cute penguin (Christopher Knights)
  • Rico, the unpredictable, mute penguin (Conrad Vernon)
The North Wind
  • 'Classified', a wolf and North Wind leader (Benedict Cumberbatch)
  • Short Fuse, a harp seal and explosives expert (Ken Jeong)
  • Eva, a snowy owl intelligence analyst (Annet Mahendru)
  • Corporal, a polar bear (Peter Stormare)
Other Characters
  • Dave aka Dr Octavius Brine, a villainous octopus (John Malkovich)
  • Wildlife Filmmaker (Werner Herzog)
  • King Julien, a ring-tailed lemur (Danny Jacobs)
  • Mort, a mouse lemur (Andy Richter)
MusicComposed by Lorne Balfe
Others in the Series
  • 10. Madagascar (2005)
  • 17. Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa (2008)
  • 24. Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted (2012)
  • The Penguins of Madagascar (2008-12) – spin-off television series
  • The Madagascar Penguins in a Christmas Caper (2009) - short film
  • Merry Madagascar (2009) - Christmas short film
  • Madly Madagascar (2013) – Valentine's Day short film
  • All Hail King Julien (2014+) – spin-off television series
LogoTwo: DreamWorks 20 Years logo, and on a glacier in Antarctica a snowfall replaced the boy on the Moon with the penguins

Sadly the film was a big box office disappointment which meant that the studio lost over $50 million during 2014.


The financial situation at the end of 2014 led to DreamWorks Animations' original PDI studio closing as part of over 500 job losses. PDI, originally Pacifica Data Images, had been co-owned by DreamWorks in 1996 and bought outright by DreamWorks Animation in 2000. Although all films produced would be made under the DreamWorks Animation banner, the Redwood City-based facility continued to operate while DreamWorks Animation developed their main studio in Glendale. Known as PDI/DreamWorks, the studio not only contributed to projects based at Glendale, they also continued to make their own films. The last two films that the PDI studio had made were Mr Peabody & Sherman and Penguins of Madagascar, neither of which had been successful.

There were also constant rumours of DreamWorks Animation being taken over. DreamWorks Animation would remain an independent public company until early 2016. In April 2016 DreamWorks Animation was purchased by NBC Universal for $3.8 billion.

The Ultimate DreamWorks Animated Film Guide
1998-2004 | 2005-2009 | 2010-2014
1Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas (2003) failed at the box office and lost approximately $125million.2The animation company behind Star Trek: The Animated Series, The New Adventures of Flash Gordon and He-Man and the Masters of the Universe etc.3United Productions of America, most famous for Mr Magoo and Gerald McBoing Boing.4The American equivalent of Formula 1, only the simple course is a circle.

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