Always regarded as some sort of second-best in comparison to Walt Disney Pictures, Dreamworks Animation deserves some recognition in their own right. Of course their films don’t compare to Disney and Pixar’s biggest hits, but here’s the thing: Dreamworks Animation has never tried to compare. They’re at their absolute best when they’re diverting from the beaten path, straying from the well-trodden ground that Disney and Pixar have dominated for over two decades.
From children’s book adaptations to fairy tale adaptations to brand-new original stories of their own, Dreamworks Animation exists tangentially to Disney, Pixar, and all the other animation studios in the game. Sometimes they’re clearly trying to do their own spin on what another studio’s doing, but most of the time they’re just trying to make it on their own. These are the absolute greatest examples of that.
Chicken Run (2000)
How to Train Your Dragon (2010)
Kung-Fu Panda (2008)
Rise of the Guardians (2012)
The Prince of Egypt (1998)
The Road to El Dorado (2000)
Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (2005)