Thursday, June 5, 2014
The Morale Of The Story Is... - Dreamworks Edition
The morale of a story is one of the most basic fundamentals of storytelling. By the end of your story, the characters must change, usually by learning something about life that they did not know before. Like not following strangers or not going off into the woods alone.
So I feel it is important to establish what the morale of every story is. Because that is the final impression that the story wants to leave on you. Something that the audience should walk away knowing more than anything else. Which is why I've returned with another installment of "The Morale Of The Story Is..."
This time around, I'll be looking at the library of Dreamworks animated movies, including their 2D and 3D works. Like the last one, these are fairly simple morals that even most children can figure out. Hopefully you were able to spot them as well.
Let's get started with...
The perfect compliment to the narcassitic Woody Allen is Slyvester Stallone. If this had been a buddy cop film about those two, this would easily overtaken "A Bug's Life." It could be called "Whine and Brash."
"The Prince Of Egypt" (1998)
When all else fails in your reimagining of the story of Moses, you can always rely on Steve Martin and Martin Short to liven things up.
"Chicken Run" (2000)
Chickens will rise up to conquer us all some day. This world shall not become the planet of the apes, but the planet of the fouls. All hail our feathered overlords, for they shall conquer the skies and rain delicious pies on us!
Smash Mouth is the true star of the movie. Because only shooting stars break the mold.
"Spirit: Stallion Of The Cimarron" (2002)
That horse needed a cough drop or something, because his voice was raspy.
"Shrek 2" (2004)
"Prey for mercy from Puss In Boots!" just doesn't have the same effect when you try to sound threatening in the real world. Trust me on this.
"Shark Tale" (2004)
Will Smith-fish is one of the scariest things I've ever seen in my life. It still haunts my dreams.
Even zoo animals understand references to popular Charlton Heston movies. That's how ingrained they are, not just into our own society, but all flocks of life.
"Wallace & Gromit: The Curse Of The Were-Rabbit" (2005)
We are one bad lab accident away from destroying ourselves. Whether through gene splicing, chemical explosions, bacteria exposure, or switching your brain with a rabbit. All are just as likely to happen, but mostly the rabbit one.
"Shrek the Third" (2007)
Justin Timberlake is the answer to every problem ever. Want world peace? Just throw JT at it and he'll have it all sorted out. Crappy fantasy movie? Just make him King Arthur and something will work out.
"The Bee Movie" (2007)
An entire movie about bees? What's the deal with that?!?
Okay, the true morale is that a Jerry Seinfeld impression doesn't work as well through text.
"Kung Fu Panda" (2008)
Don't judge a movie by its title.
I'm serious on this one. What? I can't throw in an honest one? Work with me, people!
"Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa" (2008)
When your escape plan relies on a group of secret agents who are also penguins, it is about time for you to rethink your life. Either that, or find better drugs.
"How To Train Your Dragon" (2010)
All dragons are actually working for one gigantic bully dragon, so don't pick on the little dragons because they get enough of that already from the pudgy one in the corner.
"Shrek Forever After" (2010)
Shrek backwards is Kerhs. The more you know.
"Kung Fu Panda 2" (2011)
Don't release your awesome animated movie on the same weekend as a crappy remake to a comedy. Because then everyone will overlook your movie and no one will talk about how great it is.
Sorry, I'm still upset about that.
"Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted" (2012)
All you need to be in the circus is an afro and bright colors and then sing about having a circus afro. Thanks Chris Rock. Truly you are the wisest of us all.
"Rise Of The Guardians" (2013)
Santa is Russian, loves to fight, has giant tattoos of the naughty and nice list on his names and sounds a lot like Alec Baldwin. The more you know.
"Mr. Peabody & Sherman" (2014)
Dogs are naturally smarter and better than humans. Give them a week and they will invent zumba and auto-tune.
So really, the morale of all Dreamworks films is that animals are superior to humans in every way. From the chickens in "Chicken Run," to Gromit, to Donkey and Puss in Boots, to the endless hordes of dragons and even Mr. Peabody. These animals will lead the charge against the humans who will never see them coming. No longer will they be subjegated to our every whim but be free to live their beasty lives to their hearts content. The creatures of the world shall unite one day, so prepare for the worst.
With that being said, those are the morales to the many Dreamworks movies out there. If you don't see these morales, then I don't know what else to say. It's not that I'm reading too deep into the film, because these are simple lessons. I'm surprised everyone doesn't get these lessons out of the movies.
But I'm an open kind of guy. So if you have a morale to a film that you'd like to share with me, send it my way and I just might use it in the next edition of "The Morale Of The Story is..." Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to prepare myself of the animal apocalpyse, which will surely be led by its front of pandas that know kung fu.