10 Underrated Standalone DreamWorks Movies

Since its inception in 1994, DreamWorks has grown into one of the leading figures in the animated film world. her hit of 2001, shrek, was the inaugural winner of the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature and spawned several sequels. Other franchises spawned by DreamWorks include Madagascar, kung fu panda, and How to train your dragon made easy.


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In between these juggernauts, DreamWorks has released many other films. Most of them haven’t received sequels, but are still worth checking out thanks to DreamWorks’ unique blend of humor and emotion.

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“Antz” (1998)

The first movie stars of Dreamworks Woody Allen as a neurotic ant struggling to find her place in a colony of millions. After meeting his colony’s princess in a bar, he is smitten and switches places with his soldier girlfriend to see her again. This unknowingly sets him on a path to save his colony from destruction.

Also See: 10 Best DreamWorks Protagonists Who Are Best For Audiences

app was released within months of Pixar’s life of a beetle, which led to drama about who ripped off whose idea. Even if both films are fun, apphits harder thanks to its stronger themes of conforming versus being an individual. While the ants’ design can be balancing, the characters are fun and voiced by people like them Gene Hackman, Sylvester Stallone, and Sharon stone.

“The Road to El Dorado” (2000)

Miguel and Tulio are two scammers from Spain who come into possession of a map that leads to the golden city of El Dorado. As a stowaway on a ship, they end up in South America and are found by the town’s residents. With the help of a girl named Chel, Miguel and Tulio pose as gods to gain their trust.

See also: Why The Road to El Dorado is a DreamWorks Hidden Gem

Miguel and Tulio’s friendship is the reason to see this film. Kenneth Branagh and Kevin Kline work beautifully together, seamlessly switching between best friends, bitter enemies and an old married couple. The film also has some funny and memorable songs written by Elton-John and Tim Rice, who continued to work The Lion King.

“Over the Hedge” (2006)

A group of foraging animals wake up to find that most of their forest dwelling has been demolished and replaced with houses. As they worry about gathering enough food for the next winter, a raccoon named RJ offers to show them the benefits of stealing human food. Unbeknownst to them, he intends to use the food to repay a bear.

Over the hedge has a fantastic cast including Bruce Willis, Steve Carell, Wanda Sykes and William Shatner. Writing complements her talent well; Each character is memorable and distinctive, and some have their own mini arcs. It doesn’t try to be more than a funny and entertaining animated film, and it succeeds.

‘Washed Away’ (2006)

A rat named Roddy looked forward to having fun when his owners go on vacation just to make a sewer rat the party crash. He tries to flush the rat down the toilet but goes down himself. On his quest for home, Roddy encounters a community of canal mice and a brave riverboat captain running away from a megalomaniac toad.

See also: New Wallace and Gromit movie set to premiere on Netflix in 2024 and here’s the first synopsis

washed away is the last film to be created in collaboration between DreamWorks and Aardman Animations chicken race and Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Hare. It retains the same level of British charm and likable characters, but trades its signature claymation for stylistic CGI. This allows the film to be more creative with its action scenes, especially when it comes to water.

‘Bee Movie’ (2007)

A bee named Barry is ready to join the workforce, but is discouraged when she learns that she will be expected to have a job for the rest of her life. He takes a flight outside of his hive, befriends a woman, and discovers that humans harvest honey for themselves. This leads to Barry attempting to sue humanity for centuries of honey theft.

Also See: 8 People vs. Nature Comedies to Watch Before ‘Man vs. Bee’

bee movie has managed to earn internet meme status thanks to the bizarre jokes and writing choices it contains. One moment it gets creative showing how bees make their honey, the next Barry falls in love with a human woman and dumps her human fiancé – played by Patrick Warburton- and who’s kind of the villain. You really have to see it to believe it.

‘Megamind’ (2010)

Metro City has long been the battlefield of two alien infants who came to Earth as infants: the heroic Metroman and the villainous Megamind. Someday. Megamind accidentally discovers Metroman’s weakness and kills him. He quickly realizes that life is meaningless without his rival, so he hatches a plan to create a new one.

Also see: The 10 Best Villains in DreamWorks Animated Movies

megamind takes the classic tropes of Superman and uses them to explore themes such as societal pressures, nature versus nurture, and the difference between nice and good. Megamind was never given a chance to be good, but even when he chooses to be a villain, he does so more like a wrestling heel. The story is complemented thanks to a wonderful cast and a soundtrack included AC / DC and Guns N’ Roses.

‘The Rise of the Wardens’ (2012)

As Jack Frost emerges from a frozen lake by moonlight, he has no memory of his past and finds that humans cannot see or hear him. He lives a carefree life spreading ice and cold until one day he is brought before Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the Sandman and the Tooth Fairy. The Man in the Moon has chosen Jack to join them and stop the Bogeyman’s return before he plunges the world into a second Dark Age.

Rise of the Guardians is one of DreamWorks’ most visually stunning films. The pacing jumps around too much, but the trade-off is that the audience gets to see so many visually different worlds surrounding the holidays. Chris Pines Voice is distracting but he does a good job showing the struggle to uncover his past.

‘Turbos’ (2013)

Turbo is a garden snail who sneaks into the local garage every night to watch racing videos. While training alongside his heroes for a day race, he eventually grows estranged from his fellow snails and older brother. After a freak accident, he develops car-like abilities and is found by a human who wants to win him for the Indy 500.

While the plot can be a little silly, turbo offers a fun, brave underdog story and a look at sibling dynamics. It would have been easy to describe Turbo’s brother and the older brother of Tito – his human friend – as antagonists who want to destroy their dreams. Luckily, the film shows things well from their perspective: they want to support their brothers but worry about their future stability.

‘Hideous’ (2019)

After her father’s death, Yi works hard to save up enough money to travel around China, but in the process becomes estranged from her friends and family. One day she finds a missing yeti on her roof trying to return to Mt. Everest. Two of Yi’s friends eventually get hooked as well, and together they try to bring the yeti home while avoiding the naturalist who captured him.

While abominable doesn’t have as strong a story as other DreamWorks products, but it more than makes up for it in animation. The film is beautiful, and whenever the young Yeti works his magic, it gives the animators a chance to show off their talents with color and design. It also has a good story that touches on themes of grief, the importance of family and friends, and human responsibility towards the natural world.

‘The Bad Guys’ (2022)

Wolf, Snake, Shark, Pirana and Tarantula are a gang of criminals called Bad Guys who specialize in robberies. When Wolf experiences a spark of kindness at her biggest job yet, it leads to her capture. However, they get a second chance from Professor Marmalade, who wants to prove that everyone can be good.

The Bad Boys combines heist tropes with witty writing and a beautiful art style that encapsulates how far DreamWorks has come since its inception. The characters are definitely the highlight: the camaraderie between The Bad Guys feels like a real-life group of friends who would get on each other’s nerves but would definitely stick together. The supporting cast is also very good, especially the red fox governor played by Zazie Beetz.

Next: 6 Stunning And Underrated Movies That Represent The Best In Animation

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Sarah Ridley

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