Despite Pixar Making The Better Films, Dreamworks Are Winning On One Front...

Despite what looks to me like a sound thrashing by Pixar in the cinematic arena – no matter if you measure that commercially or artistically – Dreamworks Animation seem to be scoring a few winners on the home front. The NY Times tell us that Dreamworks have some high profile TV projects lined up, as well as achieving a large measure of success with their Monsters vs. Aliens 3D Superbowl spot.

Firstly, let's look at this advertising success. According to this report, after the Superbowl was all done the big buzz was for the Doritos and CareerBuilder commercials but, as far as movies were concerned, the most remembered ads were for that Transformers 2 mess (83% recall), Star Trek (79% recall) and Monsters vs. Aliens (78%). Pixar's Up ranked far lower with only a 48% recall rate.

Now, let's be honest – that means almost half of all polled viewers recalled the Up spot. Why half of them forgot it, I don't know... perhaps it wasn't filled with enough destruction and calamity, those seemingly being the linking factor between the three hot spots.

So, well done Dreamworks. You can make people remember your ads. Making viewers either put novelty glasses on or get a headache probably helped a lot.

The last time Dreamworks tried a series of animated TV shows, they churned out the lamentable Father of the Pride; on the other hand, their last special was the moderately popular Shrek the Halls. Very wise then that they seem to be preparing "a flotilla of low-risk television specials. (Think Madagascar Santa)". Less wise, perhaps, that they are also teaming with Nickelodeon on Kung Fu Panda and Madagascar spin-off series, including the Penguins of Madagascar show that kicks off in earnest next month.

There's no indication if the Kung Fu Panda show will opt for the "2D" aesthetic of the DVD bonus film Secrets of the Furious Five but I'd expect so. That plants it rather close to Skunk Fu, for which I feel pretty bad for Skunk's creators.

Dreamworks' special weapon is Phil McNally, aka Captain 3D. He's the maestro behind their conversion to stereo vision and has a wealth of experience and insight into filmmaking in three dimensions. For the while, as filmmakers struggle to find their way in stereo-optics, he gives Dreamworks a sharper edge.

Having said that, I'm yet to see what Pixar have prepared for my second eye. Knowing them, they're already coming up on the inside and are about to take the lead.