Dreamworks dreams and Disney magic- comparing the two may prove to be difficult considering their contrasting foundations.


Jordyn Larsen and Aliya Bolton

   There appear to be two animation companies that flood everyone’s childhood, allowing them to relive great moments through film again and again. While they are rivals, and people tend to favor one over the other, Disney and Dreamworks animation studios have established their own lines of what makes each of them superior in their own right. We debate on who dominates the other, but in this case, how can you compare apples to oranges?

   The Disney Company was founded in 1923, and was founded by the man himself, Walt Disney. He loved writing stories with deep meaning and lessons, and thus, created popular movies such as The Lion King, Aladdin, Finding Nemo, and even Beauty and the Beast.

Disney touches hearts, and opened eyes to the magic of imagination and dreams. Every movie is  meant to highlight the importance of following your dreams and always doing what is right. Since the first iconic character was created in 1928, “The House of Mouse” as the company has been nicknamed has focused their productions on a younger audience. In all of their creations in the recent decade, they have expanded their horizons to computer-animated films, and even the rights to Marvel Studios.

   A majority of their films include characters singing as if their life is a musical; it’s the core of their long-lived reputation. However, each song was written to follow up the storyline, to substitute a scene of lifeless conversation or to emphasize the deeper emotion for the characters in that moment. The memo to “let go” of everything holding you back, to venture out of the tower holding you your whole life, or to simply “have courage and be kind” furnishes the heart and soul of Walt Disney’s masterpiece.

   For those whom music speaks directly to the soul, musicals are their life. For those who prefer run-on action and real emotion without the muse of singing, musicals are not. Diamond Wallace, Pahrump Valley High School senior, said “I like the musical numbers in Disney movies because they fit the storyline and make the movie more entertaining to watch.” Wallace adds that without the musical numbers featured in the films, it wouldn’t have the same “Disney effect.”

   The parks owned by the company were created to provide a face-to-face Disney experience. When Disneyland was finally built, Disney had already passed away and didn’t get the chance to see it. But, what better way to uphold his memory than to keep his good work alive and thriving for the next 100 years.

   Along with the parks, a there is also Disney Channel, that featured old and very nostalgia-prone television series: That’s So Raven, Suite Life of Zack and Cody, Good Luck Charlie, as well as Wizards of Waverly Place. They’re still there in our memories and now, we are treated with new show: Andie Mac, Bizaardvark, and Girl Meets World.

Dreamworks Animation Studios is known for producing animated feature films, online virtual games and television programs, such as the much beloved, and their follow up How to Train Your Dragon trilogy and their follow-up series featured on Netflix. While they have not been around as long as the likes of Walt Disney Animations, they stand alongside many other companies in the filming industry. They were founded on October 12, 1994 and still expand their variety of films today. In the next 24 years, they have produced iconic stories and memorable characters in both styles of live-action and CGI (Computer Generated Imagery).

  Dreamworks Studios has a motif of unique and refreshing storylines, and are not afraid to deny the audience an ending tied up in a nice little bow, where everyone one is alive and happy. Of course, a majority of their movies are family-friendly so they lack the visual effects of many other live-action productions (e.g., excessive displays of blood, foul language).

  Many of the company’s films are categorized as “adventure” and “comedy,” such as How to Train Your Dragon and Kung Fu Panda possessing elements that take the audience on a wild, refreshing ride with a new set of characters for each upcoming movie. Most of their characters are completely unique, whereas Disney is home to princesses with the common gist of true love and self empowerment.   

  Dreamworks creates complex and intriguing plot lines instead of classic musicals, even though a small percent of their films do feature the talented voices of musically trained actors and actresses. The very first iconic sequel produced by the animation company Shrek was cast with Cameron Diaz and Trolls with renowned actress and singer Anna Kendrick as well as modern artists Justin Timberlake and Gwen Stefani.

  Although Dreamworks is not as profitable as Disney, it has created sensational movies and popular characters that have been featured in places other than just the movie industry: Fan Fiction and Wattpad. They do lack the same popularity as their rival, perhaps due to the founding of Disney several years before. Likewise, they have inspired fans with less similar and repetitive plotlines and characters, therefore enriching the entire franchise in refreshing elements and individuality.

  Disney and Dreamworks Animation Studios are successful companies displaying their strengths and weaknesses in everything they do. They have developed different ideas and themes throughout the years, striving to bring happiness to those who watch their movies. But in the end, there is no debate on who dominates the other; all rivalry aside, they build off of each other in a “little less than friendly” competition. This is and always will be the way success works.