Jamie Neish: No place like Home for DreamWorks

Home. Pic: PA
Home. Pic: PA
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It’s no secret that DreamWorks Animation have been struggling of late. The studio who brought us Shrek, Kung Fu Panda and more recently How to Train Your Dragon currently finds itself at a loss after a string of misfires.

The trouble started in 2012 with the release of Rise of the Guardians. The film, based on William Joyce’s book series, was a financial disappointment despite positive reviews, resulting in a $83m markdown for the studio.

The studio breathed a sigh of relief when their next film The Croods, raked in a more respectable sum at the worldwide box office, but has since tumbled again and again, with another brief respite last year with the sky-high success of How to Train Your Dragon 2.

This weekend, as the company is restructuring itself in an attempt to be profitable once more, Home finds its way into UK cinemas. Featuring the voice talents of Jim Parsons from The Big Bang Theory and chart-topping singer Rhianna, it has much riding on it.

If it’s a success, then DreamWorks Animation can go some distance to recouping some of the money they’ve been steadily losing over the past few years. If it’s a failure, however, then who knows what’s in store for the studio whose upcoming feature film slate has already shrunk massively?

It’s a sad development. Pixar has, in many ways, always been the market leader when it comes to animation features, but DreamWorks Animation showed how successful franchises could be made out of animated films.

There is, however, a noticeable lack to their recent output. Penguins of Madagascar was run-of-the-mill and Mr Peabody and Sherman and Turbo were nothing like Megamind or Monsters vs. Alien.

It’s my hope that DreamWorks Animation will find their groove once more. But it’s not going to be an easy ride.