Dueling Movies: Animation

Initiators Followers Description Misc Winner?
The Black Cauldron Starchaser: The Legend of Orin Both are films released in 1985 that center around a young man from humble beginnings who goes on a "hero's quest" sort of journey to take down a powerful evil overlord, brings together a ragtag band of allies, and finds a magic sword that he uses along the way. Heck, both even have a floating ball of light as a character.   Neither was a success at the box office (and The Black Cauldron, while not killing Disney Animation outright as most feared, dissolved the careers of Disney CEO Ron Miller and the animators in charge of the project), though both have attained cult followings. However The Legend of Orin got generally negative reviews, while The Black Cauldron managed to achieve a mixed to positive reception from critics.
The Black Cauldron The Care Bears Movie Two 1985 films. Disney's The Black Cauldron centers around a young man from humble beginnings who goes on a "hero's quest" sort of journey to take down a powerful evil overlord, brings together a ragtag band of allies, and finds a magic sword that he uses along the way. The Care Bears Movie had a decidedly simpler and lighter story, revolving around the Care Bears helping two orphans. The Black Cauldron had been in development for nearly a decade by this point, and had gone well overbudget, which helped down CEO Ron Miller and brought Paramount president Michael Eisner into Disney with help from Walt's nephew Roy and investor Sid Bass. The people working under the project manager trio of Ted Berman, Richard Rich, and Joe Hale, were not fond of the experience, and the management shift resulted in Hale meeting Eisner's apprentice, Jeffrey Katzenberg, who had assumed control of the movie studio from Tom Wilhite. Katzenberg wound up editing the film's dark content to avoid it netting a PG-13 or even R rating, and this delayed the film into the summer, when The Care Bears would open. Unfortunately for Disney, The Care Bears Movie won out decisively. The bloated budget and production problems with The Black Cauldron ultimately undermined the film's chances, and it didn't make it halfway back to it's final budget. Ted Berman had already retired by this point, and Rich and Hale were fired from Disney altogether (Rich started his own studio, but wound up a B and then C-list animator, while Hale retired as well.) Disney Animation was almost closed as a result, but were instead moved to a warehouse in Glendale, and they would save themselves with The Great Mouse Detective the next year, the first of a series of steps to The Little Mermaid, which started the Disney Renaissance. The Black Cauldron wouldn't be reissued, but fan protests finally got it on video in 1998 under the Masterpiece Collection, but Disney still views the film as an Old Shame. The Care Bears Movie, on the other hand, was able to get several sequels, but the franchise's Triple G reputation dated their series and ultimately left the Care Bears Deader Than Disco by the end of the century. In the end, both films lost in the long run.
The Great Mouse Detective An American Tail Both animated movies featuring talking mice in the 1800s, released in 1986 within about four months of each other, with The Great Mouse Detective being released first. Not in direct competition, as the films have little in common but the species of their protagonists and the approximate time period. Still, Disney and Don Bluth's animation studio did have their eyes on one another. Before this, no other animation studio had been successful in dethroning Disney in the animated film department, and Spielberg and Bluth were attempting to accomplish just that. Understandably, Disney wasn't too worried... at first. An American Tail became the biggest box office success for an animated film ever for its time, and the first to ever out-perform Disney. Disney re-releasing Lady and the Tramp and Song of the South (!!!) into theaters at the same time in an act of desperation and that did nothing to slow its momentum but The Great Mouse Detective was by no means a box-office bomb; its moderate success helped regain Disney's confidence after a long series of flops. Both movies are just as fondly remembered today, but with The Great Mouse Detective having perhaps a slightly larger fandom.
Oliver & Company All Dogs Go to Heaven Similar to the above, Bluth and Disney faced off again in 1988/1989 with films featuring dogs, little girls, and orphans. Charlie and Dodger look awfully similar, too. All Dogs Go to Heaven, released second, had to compete at the box office (and with the critics) against The Little Mermaid. Both received lukewarm reviews. Oliver & Company vastly outperformed All Dogs Go to Heaven at the box office, but All Dogs Go to Heaven became a hit on VHS and spawned a sequel and a TV series, while Oliver & Company remains one of Disney's least-remembered films.
Oliver & Company The Land Before Time Another Disney vs. Bluth faceoff (and the second encounter with Steven Spielberg, who also executive produced Who Framed Roger Rabbit earlier that year,) this pitted Disney's dog story against the tale of a troop of lost baby dinosaurs trying to find their way through a dangerous world to the "Great Valley". The Land Before Time was considerably darker than Oliver & Company, as it was an adventure film that included George Lucas as a maker, while Oliver & Company was a contemporary musical with Billy Joel and Bette Midler. Hard to say. While Disney stated they beat out The Land Before Time, Bluth, Spielberg, and Lucas still fared extremely well, and supposedly came out on top in the end, as their film eventually led to a lengthy series or Direct-to-Video sequels that ran from 1994 to 2007 (none of these films involved Bluth; Spielberg's Amblin was the copyright holder) and a TV series after that, though Bluth's partnership with Spielberg ended after The Land Before Time (he returned to MGM for his next film, All Dogs Go To Heaven). Oliver & Company did break records, and was one of the last steps to The Little Mermaid, which completely revitalized Disney Animation the next year, but got weak reviews (it's got a Rotten rating on Rotten Tomatoes) and faded into the background in Mermaid's wake. It was the last film to go into the Disney Vault after it's theatrical run (Mermaid was released on video under the Walt Disney Classics label before heading into the vault), and got reissued in 1995 before IT came to video, and it's not remembered much anymore.
Aladdin The Thief and the Cobbler Arabian knight stories that share similar story elements of an evil vizier with a pet bird, a young hero from humble beginnings who falls in love with a princess, said princess who longs for more that she feels her like as a royal is retraining her from getting. This is a weird case because of the elongated production history of The Thief and the Cobbler. It started production in the 1960's, but didn't come out until the 90's a few years after Aladdin had already been released. Many believe that the makers of Aladdin were directly taking influence from The Thief and the Cobbler and ironically that film would ultimately try channeling Aladdin once control over the film was handed to the completion bond company. Aladdin definitely won this. It was a box office hit, got critical praise, and still remains a family film staple. Not to mention all the spin-off material its received and been a part of. Thief and the Cobbler, released under the title of The Princess and the Cobbler on its theatrical run, was panned and flopped. However the film has been gaining cult following and greater appreciation ever since a group of animators started doing fan-edits titled The Recobbled Cut that attempt to bring the film closer to the original vision of its creator Richard Williams.
Thumbelina The Swan Princess 1994 animated musical films based on fairy tales with female protagonists. The Swan Princess goes between playing the story straight and being a parody. Neither of these films managed to break even, but Thumbelina raked in more money. However, since The Swan Princess ended up having Direct-to-Video sequels, it's safe to say that the latter wins, especially since Thumbelina was part of a series of bombs that downed Don Bluth's studio.
Fatal Fury: The Motion Picture Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie Feature-length anime films based on popular fighting game franchises. Both films premiered in Japan in the summer of 1994. While Street Fighter II as a video game predated the original Fatal Fury, Fatal Fury had two made-for-TV anime specials that preceded The Motion Picture. Both films also feature a shower scene involving their respective heroine (Chun-Li and Mai Shiranui). However, Street Fighter II focused almost exclusively on the game's characters, while Fatal Fury had the heroes facing off against an original group of villains. Both movies were critically acclaimed by their respective fanbase, leaving their lasting appeal to the actual games' longevity. Aside from a brief hiatus in the mid 2000's, Street Fighter is still one of Capcom's cash cow franchises. Fatal Fury, on the other hand, was discontinued after the fighting game boom died out so that SNK could focus almost exclusively on their more popular King of Fighters series, since the company could no longer finance multiple fighting game franchises at the same time.
Titan A.E. Treasure Planet Final Bluth vs. Disney face-off. Fatherless boy tries to solve his daddy issues by going on a space voyage in search of a long-lost treasure, hidden on a Big Dumb Object, with a less-than-stellar crew of galactic Petting Zoo People, one of whom is a Parental Substitute, but proves to be The Mole, using a starmap only he can read. The villain redeems himself in a Take My Hand moment while trying to activate/deactivate the Forgotten Doomsday Device. More specific, you say? OK... Both films were heavily and deliberately marketed to single-parent Gen-X kids. Used Future, Schizo Tech and uplifting Grunge music pops up on occasion. Oh, and one is about Pirates in a Steam Punk Alternate Universe, based on a classic novel. The other is about Space Pirates After the End, based on Star Wars and Battlestar Galactica. Both got an Earth-Shattering Kaboom. Neither. The two films destroyed each other, with Treasure Planet being unfairly compared to the (poorly-marketed) Titan, nearly killing the entire genre of traditional animation in one of the worst case of Dueling Films ever. Fortunately, both were later Vindicated by Cable and have since become cult classics (Though Treasure Planet was far more popular among critics). Bluth was the biggest victim of this nuclear duel, as Titan A.E was his final film. Fox shut down his animation department and laid him off, and he retired from filmmaking altogether.
Mulan Quest for Camelot Two films released in 1998 about a young woman who feels held down by her society's sexist traditions. She goes out on an adventure to prove herself where she has to contend with a powerful barbarian warlord and his horde. Along the way she makes a group of allies. Including the likes of dragons, and a future love interest who starts out underestimating her but as times goes on comes to respect her. The climax has the lead villain infiltrate her land's castle where he manages to confront the king and taunts him. Before killing him however, the heroes intervene, leading to a final confrontation where the villain is killed in a large explosion. In the end the lead is honored as a hero by both the king and the people. Though Quest for Camelot was released first, Mulan went into production first. Ironically enough both films originally started out as something far different than what they ultimately became. Mulan originally began as a short, straight-to-video film titled "China Doll" about an oppressed and miserable Chinese girl who is whisked away by a British Prince Charming to happiness in the West. Then Disney consultant and children's book author Robert D. San Souci suggested making a movie of the Chinese poem "The Song of Fa Mu Lan", and Disney combined the two separate projects. What ultimately became Quest for Camelot was originally entitled The Quest for the Grail, though not much else has been revealed concerning the story. When they started making the film based off of Vera Chapman's The King's Damosel it was originally intended to be darker along the lines of the source material. Quest for Camelot is not without its fans, but Mulan was definitely the winner. Mulan made far more at the box office and got strong reviews from critics. Quest for Camelot on the other hand was a box office bomb and got mixed-to-negative reviews from critics, is divisive with audiences, became an Old Shame to some of the people involved, and was the first of a series of animated bombs for Time Warner that ultimately killed their animation department until The LEGO Movie.
The Road to El Dorado The Emperor's New Groove Both are animated buddy-comedy adventure films set in the Meso-America of Old, and both were released in the year 2000. Interestingly enough one was made by Disney and the other DreamWorks, so perhaps it could be considered a part of the over-arching rivalry between DreamWorks and the union of Disney and its affiliate Pixar. The Emperor's New Groove won with a sound victory. Though The Road to El Dorado has developed a sizable cult following New Groove got noticeably better reviews from critics in contrast to the more mixed reception El Dorado recieved was a box office hit that made more than double what El Dorado did at the Box Office, the latter not managing to recoup its budget. The level of success New Groove attained also managed to garner a direct-to-video spin-off film and television series. Follow-ups were originally planned for El Dorado but the box office returns were not enough to facilitate it.
Recess: School's Out Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius 2001 movies where a group of elementary school kids save the world. Recess: School's Out was based on the Disney TV show and focused on the main six trying to stop a madman from getting rid of summer vacation, while Jimmy Neutron served as a pilot to its Nickelodeon TV series and focused on Jimmy and the rest of the kids in town to save their parents from being killed by aliens. Also, Neutron was in CGI, while Recess had traditional animation. And while Recess didn't have much competition, Neutron was competing with Monsters, Inc. Both movies were loved by critics and did well in the box office, though Neutron had a somewhat larger gross and was nominated for an Oscar (as it wasn't based on a TV show). Neutron followed with a TV series, while Recess followed with its show being Un-Canceled (as the movie was going to serve as the finale) and gaining two sequels (released Direct-to-Video).
A Bugs Life Antz The first example of Pixar and DreamWorks really dueling. Featuring ants as their main protagonists, the ant worker hero, who wants to stand out among the millions of other ants, falls for the ant princess, who seems an almost unattainable love interest. The ant hero goes on a long journey to a bug city, which is actually a pile of human garbage. And then he returns and gets the girl. Apart from the ants being protagonists, almost nothing else about the films was the same. A Bugs Life had a very cartoonish design, while Antz had a more realistic design of the insects. Antz had dark humor, dialogue and themes all around, while A Bugs Life was aimed at children. Just the same, thanks to the ants, they were both considered to be ripping each other off. (Fact is, Jeffery Katzenberg, though responsible for getting Toy Story greenlit, had just been booted from Disney, was furious at them, and knew about the next Pixar project; the competition was intentional.) Both films were a success with both audiences and critics, as well as financially, but A Bugs Life won by bringing in $200,000,000 more than Antz thanks to appealing more to kids and better promotion.
Finding Nemo Shark Tale Another Pixar vs. Dreamworks duel, this time with films about underwater creatures. That's about the only similarity. Except that in a reversion of the two above, Dreamworks had the cartoonish and childish approach, while Pixar went for realistic graphics and a "darker" story (no matter how kid-friendly, it dealt with the Adult Fear of a father losing his son). Finding Nemo by a longshot, thanks to it being a critical darling as well as a box office smash. On the other hand, Shark Tale was hit with mixed-to-negative reviews labeling it as a mess of the negative cliches associated with DreamWorks, but was still able to do decently at the box office.
Madagascar The Wild Both involve zoo animals escaping and going to Africa, one of whom is a lion character who doesn't really want to leave. Both also include a heaping amount of cartoon slapstick and Toilet Humour. It's worth noting that The Wild started production several years before Madagascar, so this might be an example of the above feud, carried on by Pixar's parent company. Madagascar was a huge hit (which spawned its own franchise — two sequels and a TV series), and The Wild not so much.
Ratatouille The Tale of Despereaux An incident involving a rat, some soup, and interactions with humans has wild repercussions. Ratatouille is all about a rodent in the kitchen while Desperaux's soup-loving rat isn't the protagonist. Despereaux was based on a bestselling children's book and had the flashier voice cast, but Ratatouille won the day and the Best Animated Feature Oscar.
Despicable Me Megamind Animated movies released in the same year about an Evil Genius Villain Protagonist. Despicable Me has also been called Penguin: The Movie due to the main character's visual similarities. Megamind has been referred to as Gallaxhar: The Movie, again, for similar looks. Despicable Me got both better reviews and almost twice the box office with $543 million in total on around half the budget ($69 million vs $130 million for Megamind), and received an only slightly less well-received sequel, while Megamind bought $321 million and got good-but-not-great reviews (but it has become a Cult Classic and is considered one of Dreamworks' better films).
Open Season Over the Hedge All-Star Cast CGI films about wild vs. tame/cosmopolitan animals. Season deals with a tame bear being introduced to the wild while Hedge deals with wild animals being introduced to the suburbs. Interestingly, both films have bears as the catalyst for their respective plots. Though both films were profitable and Open Season had a sequel in production (though that went straight to DVD), Hedge made more money and was much better critically received.
The Legend of the Titanic Titanic: The Legend Goes On Two So Bad, It's Good animated movies very loosely based on the Titanic disaster, and the movie. The fact that they both seem to consider the tragedy of the Titanic to be a "Legend" is very telling. Both of them include talking animals and happy endings. The Legend Of The Titanic attempts more on the storyline part while Titanic: The Legend Goes On attempts to have more characters and subplots. Neither of them got a critical success. Commercial success outside Italy at least was very limited for both of them too. However, The Legend of the Titanic managed to get a sequel, but was bemoaned by The Nostalgia Critic for being about as far from historically accurate as possible (everyone survives this version) to a disgusting degree (the other one wasn't safe from his wrath either.).
Alpha and Omega Rio

Newt
All three films involve two animals of the same species, opposite genders, and (at least confirmed in the cases of Newt and Alpha) opposite personalities being put together for the purposes of repopulating their species. Alpha and Omega came out in Fall 2010 (and was the final film for its late star, Dennis Hopper), Rio in 2011, and Newt would have come out in 2012. Pixar canceled Newt so that they could avoid this problem, though considering Pixar leaked details on Newt shortly before Blue Sky announced Rio, it's completely possible that the whole project was just intended to induce the other studios into copying it so they wouldn't have to worry about them copying the other movie they were working on. Alpha and Omega (from Lionsgate) is about two wolves (Kate and Humphrey) who are captured and released far from home to increase the wolf population in the area. They work together to get home. Rio (from Blue Sky Studios) is about two birds (Blu and Jewel). Blu thinks he is the Last of His Kind and travels to find Jewel. Newt was about two newts (Newt and Brooke) — he's extremely sheltered, she's tough and street, er, wilderness-smart and they don't like each other — and their need to save their species. Unfortunately, Pixar decided to drop out. Rio is definitely the winner — it brought in five times as much as Alpha and Omega, and had much better reception, while Alpha and Omega fared poorly with critics, although it has a small following and a string of Direct-to-Video sequels.
Monsters, Inc. Ice Age Two kid-friendly animated comedy/adventure movies, released within 5 months of each other in 2001-2002. In each, a team of odd-looking but lovable-when-you-get-to-know-them creatures endure many hazards as they strive to deliver a cute toddler to safety. Monsters is set in an imaginatively detailed alternate world (Pixar showing its strengths), populated by fanciful "monsters". Ice Age stars actual (if now-extinct) species, residing in prehistoric Earth. Monsters, Inc. won greater critical acclaim (a 95% rating at Rotten Tomatoes and nomination for Best Animated Picture), had a higher box-office take, and had spawned a prequel. But Ice Age is not a distant second; it did respectably in both departments (78% RT rating and also a nomination for Best Animated Feature film as well), and spawned three sequels.
Prep and Landing (TV special) Arthur Christmas Stories sharing a similar concept of Santa Claus and his elves using advanced technology and secret agent techniques to deliver all those toys though soon, one child's Christmas has to be saved. The original special and Arthur Christmas were put in development close to the same time, though as a film, Arthur Christmas took longer. While Prep and Landing focused primarily on the elves and hid the faces of the Clauses, the story of Arthur Christmas focuses on the Claus family relationships. Prep and Landing was successful enough on ABC to receive a follow-up short and a sequel. Arthur Christmas, on the other hand, had trouble at the box-office when faced with The Muppets and Breaking Dawn; however, it was blessed with rave reviews.
ParaNorman Hotel Transylvania, Frankenweenie Battle of the animated horror movies 2012! Norman sees dead people (and zombies), is in color, and produced by the makers of Coraline while Victor brought his dog back to life, is Deliberately Monochrome, is a remake of director Tim Burton's live-action Short Film, and includes lots of nauseating and gruesome scenes. Transylvania is CGI, set in a hotel for famous monsters, stars Adam Sandler and Selena Gomez (as well as much of Sandler's Production Posse), and is the film debut of Genndy Tartakovsky. Hotel Transylvania garnered the worst reviews of the three but did the best at the box office, while both ParaNorman and Frankenweenie received good-to-great reviews but were seen as disappointments commerciallynote . Frankenweenie had a substantially smaller budget than ParaNorman, though, so it takes silver. And meanwhile, Frankenweenie holds the highest out of the three for the Rotten Tomatoes aggregate.
The Adventures of Tintin The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientistsnote 

Ice Age: Continental Drift
Animated movies where piracy and sea navigation are important plot points. Tintin and Ice Age are CGI, while Pirates is a stop-motion film by Aardman Animations. In terms of box office, it's Ice Age in first, Tintin in second, and Pirates in last. In terms of critical acclaim, however, the order is flipped — it's Pirates in first, followed by Tintin in a close second, followed by Ice Age in a distant third.
Happy Feet Surf's Up All-CGI Cartoon about penguins doing rather human group activities. Happy Feet, released in late 2006, tells a tale about singing penguins, and one who prefers to dance instead. Surf's Up came in mid 2007 and features penguins surfing. The latter even had some ad posters proclaiming "Our penguins don't sing. They don't dance. They SURF." Happy Feet made more than triple the box office and spawned a (poorly performing) sequel. And while Happy Feet and Surf's Up were about equally successful with critics, Happy Feet won the Best Animated Feature Oscar, while Surf's Up squeaked by with a nomination the next year, but lost to the aforementioned Ratatouille.
Turbo Planes Unlikely, hugely ambitious novice enters a big race. Turbo is about a snail competing against race cars and human drivers; Planes is a spinoff of Cars and features a crop-duster who wants to fly with the pros. Turbo got mixed reviews from critics and failed to make a big profit at the box office, plus it got DWA CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg sued by his stockholders when he stated it would still be profitable. Planes was vice versa; it was thrashed by critics, but was a huge success at the box office, and got a sequel, Planes: Fire & Rescue, the next year.
Puella Magi Madoka Magica the Movie: Rebellion DokiDoki! Precure the Movie: Mana's Getting Married!!? The Dress of Hope Tied to the Future Theatrical releases of Magical Girl films based on popular TV series that were themselves Dueling Shows, released on October 26. Rebellion is The Movie and acts as a sequel to the original, Precure is strictly a Non-Serial Movie. Precure is Shoujo, while Rebellion is distinctly Seinen, leading to a pronounced difference in tone. Both movies also include a Lotus-Eater Machine. Rebellion took this home easily, grossing nearly double Precure's total, netting a foreign release, and being artistically praised by fans but sparking a few thousand flamewars. Precure was hardly a failure, but it didn't make nearly as big a splash, even in its own fandom.
Monsters University Pokémon: Genesect and the Legend Awakened Family-friendly animated movies about monsters, based on decades-old franchises. Note that this "duel" mostly applied to the Japanese market; Genesect only got a very limited theatrical release in the West. Monsters University, is, well, Pixar. As such, it's a CGI movie directed towards family audiences: children, their parents, and fans who grew up with its prequel, Monsters, Inc., revisiting and building on the characters from said movie. Genesect, on the other hand, is traditionally animated, is the 16th movie in its long-running franchise, and was strictly marketed to children. It revisited its past by featuring Mewtwo, an iconic character from the early movies, but said Mewtwo turned out to be another member of the species rather than the original character. While both were nominal successes, MU won the box office and critics' approval. Genesect ended up becoming the second lowest-grossing Pokémon movie in the series, but is more notable for the Hype Backlash surrounding the Mewtwo character, causing the movie to become quite unpopular with anyone over the age of 9.
The Nut Job The Nut House Heist movie with squirrels who are trying to get nuts. The Nut Job was first announced in January 2011, based on a 2005 short film called Surly Squirrel and fronted by Toonbox, who had never done an animated movie before. Vanguard Animation, creators of Space Chimps and Happily Never After, announced The Nut House nine months later. Vanguard closed in 2012 with Nut House and several other projects still in the pipeline. The Nut Job was released in 2014 and was successful at the box office, but poorly-received by critics.
The Boxtrolls The Book of Life Battle of the animated horror movies 2014! The Box Trolls was a commercial success and while it was also a critical success, it did not receive the amount of acclaim that Lakia's previous film's did. The Book of Life became a critical darling and has since become one of Fox's most beloved animated films (With an 82% on Rotten Tomatoes). Neither. While The Box Trolls was more successful commercially, The Book of Life did slightly better among critics.
Pixar Day of the Dead film ('cause it was announced first) The Book of Life Day Of The Dead-themed CGI movies   
Penguins of Madagascar Minions Spin-offs of popular tent-pole animation franchises centering on beloved minor characters who had previously been centerpieces of the advertising campaigns of the franchises' main films. In both cases, the characters become wrapped up in larger organizations with plans for world domination. Penguins is a spin-off of the Madagascar franchise, and is DreamWorks Animation's second spin-off (after Puss in Boots). Minions is a spin-off of Despicable Me. While Penguins follows the events of Madagascar 3, Minions is a prequel to Despicable Me. Though it had a decent critical reception, Penguins became a massive box-office bomb, performing worse domestically than Turbo and continuing the downward spiral for Dreamworks. Minions, on the other hand, opened to a massive $115 million, the second-biggest opening weekend for an animated film in history, and earned more in two days than Penguins did in its entire run. It's worth noting that Minions also had a significantly smaller budget than Penguins. Despite its cooler critical reception, it's safe to say that Minions has won this duel.

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