Pixar vs Dreamworks

I have been a die hard fan of Pixar, and no matter how silly the premise is, I am willing to give them a chance because they have never let me down. Even this most recent effort “UP!” made me think it was a dumb idea, but it’s Pixar so I have a lot of faith.

Dreamworks however does some great stuff and a few films I really like. But they don’t have the same street cred with me, and they really have to sell me with the trailer to make me want to see their movies.

So when I saw this strip over at /Film I just had to share

What is the difference between two computer animation studios? Gagnon II produced this visual diagram showing the difference between the Pixar and DreamWorks Animation creative process.


Just brilliant.

78 thoughts on “Pixar vs Dreamworks

  1. DreamWorks has made me crack up over ther years.
    pixar is pretty good to!
    but i like DreamWorks just a little better.
    sorry pixar your good and all but you’ve been BEAT(JK)!!!

  2. Pixar is WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY better than Dreamworks. While Dreamworks’s movies all follow the same pattern, Pixar takes on new ideas for ever single movie – no two Pixar movies follow the same formula. Also, of course, Pixar’s movies are much more touching and memorable. The only great Dreamworks movies are Shrek, Kung Fu Panda, and How to Train Your Dragon. The rest of their movies are either good but not great or just okay. On the other hand, every Pixar movie ever made is a masterpiece. So yeah, there’s really nothing to compare – Dreamworks has got NOTHING on Pixar!

  3. Although I am a bias Pixar fan, I still understand that opinions vary. With that said, i will agree that some of my favorite movies are not necessarily the best or even good movies. But, the only Dreamworks film that is worthy of mention in a debate agains’t Pixar is “How to Train Your Dragon,” which was awesome! The rest are minor leagues when compared to almost all the Pixar films. (Not a fan of Ratatouille. Although i LOVE Cars, i can see where critics are coming from).

  4. YA right now pixar trumps dreamworks, but i do love both studios kung fu panda will always been in my heart for the great motivational theme it brings and lets not forget the lovely 2d opening! samurai jack style!!( i lvoe my 2d in the 3d world)

  5. PIXAR IS THE BEST, DREAMWORKS ONLY MAKE MOVIES FOR MONEY, WHILST PIXAR MAKE THEM WITH HEART AND CLASS, NO DREAMWORKS MOVIE (MAYBE SHREK) HAS ANY EMOTION TO IT, WHILST ALL OF PIXAR MOVIES MAKE YOU CRY, LAUGH, AND YOU GET THE FEELING INSIDE YOU THAT THE MOVIE IS UNQUIE AND DIFFERENT, DREAMWORKS MOVIES ARE ALL ABOUT CHEAP JOKES, WHILST PIXARS JOKES ARE FUNNY. DREAMWORKS ONLY SELLS MOVIES BY GETTING FAMOUS PEOPLE (WILL SMITH, JACK BLACK, EDDIE M, MIKE M, ANGLEIA G ETC ETC) TO DO THE VOICES, THEN THE COMPANY PUTS THEIR NAMES ON THE MOVIES POSTERS, VERY CHEAPPPP AND WITH NO DIGNITY AT ALLLLL.

    PIXAR WILL ALWAYS BETTER THEN DREAMWORKS TO INFINTY AND BEYOND……

    1. Every studio makes movies for Money. EVERY ONE OF THEM.

      Even Pixar.

      Pixar has a better track record with their films, but to imply that Dreamworks will NEVER put anything out that could be better than Pixar is just short thinking.

  6. Pixar hands down, those movies have a SOUL!

    loved all of them but Bugs Life and Cars are the black sheeps of that family IMO but even with those 2, there lightyears ahead of anything Dreamworks-sorry.

    No Comparison

    it’s like comparing Chicken salad to Chicken shit

  7. What are you talking about the 3 BEST Pixar movies are Toy Story, Toy Story 2 and Finding Nemo. The 3 WORST are The Incredibles, Cars, and Ratatouille but I still love those movies as well. Im sorry DreamWorks your only good movie to this day is Shrek (the original).

  8. WALL-E is not over-rated. It’s one of the best movies ever (as are all of Pixar’s movies)! All of Pixar’s movies are BEYOND amazing! :D

  9. I agree with Alfie that Wall-E is way over rated. The first half like Alfie said was interesting but the second half did suck (very boring). Wall-E used to be highly rated in the movie polls but now it’s been slipping. I believe 20 years or so from now Cars will be remembered more than Wall-E.

  10. For me Ratatouille is my least favorite Pixar film because it’s one big ass cliché from start to finish and didn’t grab me on a emotional level like most of their films do.
    Cars was very much a safe bet for them because of kids and adults fascination with cars and Nascar. But they did manage to make the characters somewhat likable considering they are cars which I think is really hard to do well.

    1. A cliche is is a saying, expression, or idea which has been overused to the point of losing its original meaning.

      Explain how Ratatouille is cliche??

      Or cars for that matter.

      I think this is not meaning what you think it means.

    1. Not that I’ve actually seen it, but what I’ve heard of it positively screams New Age propaganda, and that kinda turned me off. I may be wrong, though.

  11. Pixar:

    Toy Story-Good
    Bug’s Life- Average
    Cars-My alltime favourite animation
    Monster’s Inc.-Awesome & my 2nd favourite
    Ratatouille- Fantastic & tied for my 2nd favourite
    Wall-E- Great
    The Incredibles- OK

    Dreamworks:
    I simply loved KungFu Panda…it was AWESOME.
    Surf’s Up was also good.

    1. Yep, Surf’s Up was Sony, but was still damn good. And why does Finding Nemo keep getting left off people’s lists? It’s got some of the best comical dialog of all the Pixar movies, not to mention their recreation of an underwater world is practically breath taking.

    2. Finding Nemo is probably Pixar’s most emotionally mature masterpiece. I agree that it does kind of get lost in the shuffle.

  12. also think about it!!
    one of the thing s i hate about dreamworks is thatin their movies there are no great soundtracks!
    otherwise pixar leaves you with a song for every movie in ur mind

  13. I think that Pixar starts the filmmaking process by saying “Let’s create a story with animation” and Dreamworks just says “Let’s create an animated movie”. Pixar puts heart and emotion into their films, Dreamworks films are usually shallow and empty.

  14. I think the biggest difference is that Pixar’s movies are timeless. Twenty years from now, any of their films will be just as enjoyable and entertaining as they are today. Most of Dreamworks’ films are filled with topical gags that cease being relevant before they make it to DVD.

  15. well, if you have 3 year old or 4 year old boy, Cars is just totally awesome. Seriously, the opening scene is just fabulous. I have watched it too many times, and agree that is not the best pixar has made, but it is definitely above average.

  16. and the stick figure thing at the top would be funnier if all the dreamworks faces were actually pulling the same face. but they’re not.
    i am pretty sure yopu could pull a pic of every pixar character pulling the same face.

    i just find the pixar worship too much to take.
    ratatouille? average
    cars?average
    monsters inc>?? average
    wall e? incredibly average

    they have made 4 absolute gems which are some of the greatest animated films of all time but this adulation that gets heaped upon them over and over i find is un warranted

    1. Wall-E and Ratatouille average? By what standard? The concept that all animated features are average is bogus, because some films are always better than others. Pixar’s films express much more depth and soul than Dreamworks’ do, and that was the point of the blog post above. If you find that so inconceivable maybe you should try writing a movie yourself sometime and see what aspects of storytelling are the ones that really take hard work.

      Besides, if both Dreamworks and Pixar are at the same level, how come Dreamworks has so often come out with Pixar knockoffs? Pixar announces A Bug’s Life, and Dreamworks gets to work on Antz, managing to release it within a month of Pixar’s release. What’s up with that? Then Pixar comes out with a very imaginative Finding Nemo and Dreamworks brings us the mediocre Shark Tale.

      And how is it Pixar seems to be the only animation studio that realizes that at the end of their movie they DON’T have to make all the main characters sing a song together? It was mildly cute in the first Shrek, but things are getting seriously out of hand.

    2. Exactly! Pixar’s films don’t rely heavily on the conventions of the genre and that’s what makes them special.
      Dreamworks overloads the pop culture references to try and be “relevant”. People are really only laughing because they referenced something.
      I love all of Pixar’s films (give or take Cars) and most of their films are surefire classics. The only real classic I can think of from Dreamworks is Shrek which quickly ran itself into the ground.

    3. all three shrek films are fucking dreadful for the record. and where did I say that dreamworks are equal to to pixar??? oh thats right…i didn’t

      and fuck the whole “you couldn’t do it” argument.

      I can still have an opinion. if you can only have an opinion if you have made your own film or written something then 995 of the internet should shut down right now so fuck that. I hate that shit.

      I think pixar are over praised. thats all.

      by what standard?? my standard obviously as its my fucking opinion. yours is different ….wow.

      I guess it would be better if we all just blindly agreed with each other yeah? that would make life so much more interesting.

      ratatouille is incredibly average. when remy is on screen its great but when the doofus boring lead guy takes over the film loses all steam.

      wall-e starts out great. if they had stuck with their initial plan of making a silent film perhaps it could have been wonderful but really what takes place in the last half that makes it so amazing? that hasn’t been done in about a dozen other films. it becomes a run of the mill animated film by the end.

      and as for over analysing everything. sorry but a visual joke has to make sense to work. sorry but the one above is a good idea for a joke but failed in execution. kind of like the premise to monsters inc.

    4. I abhor the “you couldn’t do it” argument. The majority of the cases in which it is used it is sick, and stupid. But I didn’t use it. You missed my point entirely, and that is that Pixar succeeds where it counts, while Dreamworks goes the easier route in comparison.

      I understand you have an opinion, but statements only become opinions when people fail to communicate. I don’t know about you, but the majority of the people here are saying that right now Pixar is the best in animation. Their movies are usually better than other’s at this point in time. Not always, but usually. So when you said that they are actually average, I thought it made perfect sense for me to ask you what you meant by that. If Shrek is dreadful, and Wall-E is average, then by your standards, what animated movie is superb?

      Wall-E isn’t perfect. There are hundreds of ways it could have been better, more original. But thus far, Wall-E is still one of the most well crafted animated movies around, right up there with those of the glory days of Disney, though just barely.

      And Monster’s Inc. didn’t “fail”. It wasn’t the best, but it worked, and that is something you can’t say for alot of movies in general.

  17. while i completely agree that pixar are the greatest i do have to add that wall e has to be one of the most over rated movies of all time.

    I think everyone was so hypnotised by the amazingly wonderful first half that they seem to miss the fact that the second half completely SUCKS. It goes from being a could have been masterpiece to a wake me when its done bore.

    kung fu panda was the best action film of last year though…..the set pieces were fucking outstanding

    1. alfie…you’re the only person I’ve heard give that opinion. So, for what it’s worth, I’ve seen the film three times and analyzed it very carefully, originally thinking it wasn’t that great. But the fact is that Wall-E’s plot structure is just about perfect. Okay, maybe not perfect, but it’s flaws are extremely few.

      If any popular animated movie, I’d say your description well befits Disney’s Robin Hood. Great charm, but there’s just so much baggage. Wall-E had charm, AND it’s scenes were to the point.

    2. I loved Disney’s Robin Hood all the way through from beginning to end. Your talking about the one where Robin Hood is a fox, right? ; ;

    3. I loved it too, but it still contained too much fluff. Not to mention the anticlimactic ending, and an all around pretty limp protagonist. Other than that, the film’s gold.

  18. I could never put it into words as to why I enjoyed Pixar movies so much more than the one’s brought to us by Dreamworks until I saw this strip from IFilm. This strip says it all and it is brilliant.

    Just looking at Dragonslayer’s breakdown, you can clearly see a number of classics from Pixar and maybe one classic so far from Dreamworks (Shrek?).

  19. Pixar is the best, period. But Dreamworks impressed me with Shrek (only the first one, the other two suck) and Kung Fu Panda.

    I couldn’t pick a favorite Pixar movie I love Toy Story 2, Finding Nemo, Monsters Inc, The Incredibles, WALL-E… basically ALL of them! (maybe except Bug’s Life and Cars, they’re just okay).

  20. I’ll line this up

    Pixar:

    Toy Story-Great
    Bug’s Life-Great
    Cars-great
    Monster’s Inc.-beautiful and great
    Ratatouille-fantastic
    Wall-E-need I say more?

    Dreamworks:

    Shrek-Great
    Shrek 2-Good
    Shrek 3-Shit
    Bee Movie-terrible
    Kung Fu Panda-completely overrated
    Over the Hedge-uh…decent
    Shark Tale-I’ve taked enough about this shit pile.

    Winner: Pixar

  21. Pixar movies have a track record of WRECKING me. Jessie’s song in Toy Story 2, the end of Monsters Inc, Nemo, Wall-E…they know how to get you emotionally invested in their characters.

    Dreamworks has lot sof pop culture references, but no soul whatsoever.

    1. Jessie’s song, it’s so beautiful….
      indeed, Pixar.. aside for being groundbreaking in idea and storytelling (not to mention in 3d animation itself – watch a docu on history of pixar in wall-e dvd) is also knows how to put a soul and meaning in their movie….

    2. I can speak at length and at great detail about Pixar flicks, but I honestly can’t remember anything from the Dreamworks flicks save for Shrek 1. Dreamworks spits out Big Macs, filling at the time but leaving you queasy once you’ve consumed it. Pixar cranks out a five-star masterpiece just about every time. Even the two Pixar movies that I just don’t like (Cars and Ratatouille) have more going for them than any DW movie.

  22. I like both of them, but I like Pixar a little more because they don’t make unnecessary sequels (they should make another incredibles movie cause that movie rocked). If you think about it the only memorable Dreamworks movie was Shrek, but the sequels have dragged the series into the abyss. Almost all of the Pixar movies are memorable.

  23. I’m a mix bucket between the two. I like just about everything that comes from both. Was not a big fan of Shark Tale on the side of Dreamworks, but I was also not a big fan of Toy Story 1 & 2 on Pixar’s side. Just about everything else has been awesome, though. However, one of my favorites is Surf’s Up from Sony, so I wonder what they would like if they were in that comparison as well. The way the decided to shoot Surf’s Up like a documentary was genius, and the way they shot using a real camera mocapped while showing the 3D word through the cameras eye piece was pure ingenuity.

    1. Toy Story is freakin’ CLASSIC! Ok, to me anyway. Toy Story 2 is a different story but the original is an undisputed animation landmark.

    2. Haha, I didn’t say it was bad, I said I did not enjoy it. I know it is a classic and landmark piece of work, I just could not get into the story and the characters. I, myself, dabble in 3D modeling and animation, and the Toy Story movies are works of art and I do respect them. I just did not enjoy them. Kinda like Citizen Kane, arguable the greatest movie ever made as it pushed cinema forward in huge strides; however, I did not enjoy it. I respect it and know it’s impact on cinema, but in the end I just could not get into it.

  24. Most of Dreamworks’ animated films are typical, safe fare loaded with pop culture references. Pixar is the one who really pushes the envelope and takes animation to new heights.
    Dreamworks has some good films but they’re nowhere near the same playing field as Pixar which the cartoon cleverly demonstrates.

    1. This may or may not be true, but you got to admit that the scene in Over the Hedge where the squirrel drinks the soda and time stands still was pure awesomeness!

    2. Over the Hedge is one of my favorite Dreamworks films. Mostly because of the flood of talking animal films that came around the same time it seemed like a breath of fresh air with it’s over the topnesss to distinguish itself. And, yes, that moment was absolutely hilarious.

  25. That’s hillarious! For some reason, Pixar really has to sell me their movies big-time too. Every time I see a Pixar trailer I think “how could this possibly be any good?”. Then I actually watch the movie and it blows me away, I’m left wondering how I could ever doubt Pixar. I’ve loved all of their films except Cars (painfully average) and UP! looks intersting as well.

    1. It’s all opinion. I didn’t like it but others may have, does that make anyone wrong, no. Film taste is subjective but that’s what makes it great.
      Hopefully Cars 2 can change my mind.

    2. I agree with you Matt K. It took me years before I finally saw Cars, thinking it was a horrible idea for an animation. Finally after those years of rejection and refusal, I watched it a few months ago and thought it was completely and utterly great. I was shocked at how much I actually liked it. Specifically two scenes come to mind, the flash back to the past and the drive through the waterfall area, simply amazing.

    3. Cars is definetely in the lower end of Pixar’s work. It was just too safe and trying to hard to take the Dreamworks approach of pop culture overload.
      Cars 2??? Make The Incredibles 2!!! That movie totally left itself open for a sequel.

    4. I could not disagree more with the comment that cars was “trying to hard to take the Dreamworks approach of pop culture overload”. Pixar tried to touch on many emotional levels with cars, as they do in all their animations. Not to mention it was one of the originally planned stories that was thought up around the time Pixar was formed. Like Finding Nemo, Toy Story (though I am not a fan), and Wall-E, Cars was very well thought out.

      Not saying that Dreamworks does not think theirs out either, but they don’t play on the same emotional levels as Pixar does, including Cars.

      This is what makes people different, though. We all walk away from the same thing with different feelings. It’s all good. :D

    5. Cars was my second least favorite of Pixar only after Ratatouille. I never knew why it was until that comment about it taking the same approach as DreamWorks. That is exactly what the problem was.

      I think the best Pixar movie is the Incredibles. Unfortunately I was not able to see it in theaters but when I saw the DVD I liked it so much I watch straight through the commentary the next day.

    6. I agree with Slashbeast. Cars was horribly average! Compared with their body of work! Pixars will always rule though! They surprised me all those years ago with Toy Story and I’ve been continually entertained with their movies ever since! With the exception of Cars of course!

    7. I must say that I have to agree with SlashBeast and a few others here about Cars.
      In my opinion, Pixar has never made a bad film. Even though Cars was their worst, it was still just average, not bad. It was disappointing that Pixar took the easy route with the film. Pixar is the innovator, the groundbreaker, their movies should never just be average, they should continually push the envelope for animated films to the point where they can hold their own against the best live-action films. Cars didn’t do that and decided to stay in a safe comfort-zone.

      1. Actually, it was innovative in a technical standpoint (which is maybe why the rest of the film was pretty average). It was a breakthrough into Raytrace technology in rendering, allowing the complicated reflections you see in the film.

    8. And amidst all this mediocrity you claim Cars to be, Disney has picked it out of all the other Pixar animations to dedicate an entire Land too at Disneyland. I got to see some concept work for it, and it is going to be a pretty cool addition to the theme park. I personally did not find it average. I really like how well they touched on nostalgia and the importance to holding onto the past. Also touching on the subjects of youth, aging, and being something more all take part in making Cars above average. I think Pixar touched on a lot of humanity when creating those talking automobiles and accomplished what they set out to do. It may not be their most favored work by the audiences, but it was definitely far from average.

    9. They picked Cars for Disneyland because the kids love it. It’s a major money maker for them, toyswise.

      Has nothing to do with quality.

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