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Digital Media FX News Archives

Saturday - March 31, 2001
- Katzenberg Versus Disney Back in the News
- Sega and Microsoft Form X-Box Alliance
- New dFX Newsletter Tomorrow
- News Link of the Day - A Tale of Two Studios


Katzenberg Versus Disney Back in the News
Shrek(by digitalmediafx.com) The rivalry between Disney's former animation chief, Jeffrey Katzenberg, and Walt Disney is back in the news. This time the dispute is over DreamWorks newest animated film, Shrek, which pokes fun at many classic Disney animated characters. Katzenberg, who left Disney in 1994, is one of DreamWorks three founders and is heavily involved in DreamWorks animation division.

According to The Washington Post, Shrek "includes a lot of elements that seem suspiciously like barbs pointed at rival Walt Disney Co. and its chief, Michael Eisner -- the mentor-turned-nemesis of DreamWorks principal Jeffrey Katzenberg. The movie opens with soldiers of the evil Lord Farquaad (voiced by John Lithgow) selling off beloved fairy-tale heroes (best known to the world as Disney characters): Pinocchio, Tinker Bell and Snow White and her seven dwarfs."

The movie also appears to poke fun at other Disney businesses, like Disneyland.

The rift between Katzenberg and Eisner runs deep after Katzenberg was overlooked for a promotion in the mid 1990s. Soon after, Katzenberg left Disney to help form a rival studio with Steven Spielberg and David Geffen. DreamWorks has put out some of the top Academy Award winning films in recent years including Gladiator.

Even if Katzenberg purposely targeted Disney throughout Shrek, the move will only serve to increase publicity about the film and ultimately bring in a larger audience. Katzenberg is confident about Shrek's success.

Daily Radar recently asked Katzenberg, in an interview, if he feared Shrek might perform poorly like The Iron Giant and Titan A.E. His response was, "Each of those movies had things that were great or were done really, really well, and there were things that weren't done well about them. I'm a fan of those movies, so I never really want to talk about anything other than being really supportive of them, but whatever the issues were surrounding why these movies didn't live up to their potentials, I don't think it applies to Shrek."

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Sega and Microsoft Form X-Box Alliance
(by digitalmediafx.com) Sega couldn't win the console wars so now the company is teaming up with Microsoft to take on competitor giants Sony Playstation and Nintendo. Sega announced that it will have 11 titles ready for the X-Box launch, including Jet Grind Radio Future. The new game, a sequel to the popular Jet Grind Radio game, is described as a next-generation street action game that delivers fast-paced action, new awesome tunes and a different artistic look.

"We believe that Microsoft will be very successful with Xbox, which is why we have such a close, strategic relationship with them," said Peter Moore, president and COO, Sega of America.

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New dFX Newsletter Tomorrow
(by digitalmediafx.com) Tomorrow a new edition of the dFX Animation and Special Effects newsletter will go out to email subscribers. The newsletter is delivered the 1st and 15th of every month with original news, content, and a sneak peek at new dFX articles.

To sign up for the email newsletter, click here.

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News Link of the Day - A Tale of Two Studios

According to The Washington Post:

"DreamWorks has a fantasy movie coming out in May, the only question is -- whose fantasy is it?

Shrek, a big-budget, computer-animated tale, is based on the children's book by William Steig about a fire-breathing ogre on a quest to free a princess.

But the parallels with the book end there. Shrek the movie includes a lot of elements that seem suspiciously like barbs pointed at rival Walt Disney Co. and its chief, Michael Eisner..."

Click here for the full story.

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