Katzenberg: No Toon Glut Looming

Reuters reports that DreamWorks Animation topper Jeffrey Katzenberg addressed analysts and investors at a media conference in New York yesterday, suggesting that Pixar is his studio’s only major competition. The former Disney chief made statements that dismissed the notion that a glut of upcoming CG toons could pose a threat to future DreamWorks releases like Madagascar, which arrives in theaters on May 27.

Katzenberg reportedly said that diversity is the key to success in a crowded toon marketplace, noting, "It’s not like they’re all James Bond movies. They couldn’t be more different."

However, with two CG penguin movies on the horizon–Fox animation’s Surf’s Up! and Warner Bros.’ Happy Feet– we may see another Antz/A Bug’s Life rivalry. And perhaps DreamWorks’ own Shark Tale would have been an even bigger hit if it hadn’t followed on the heels of fellow fish flick Finding Nemo. Then there’s DreamWorks’ forthcoming Over the Hedge and Sony’s Open Season, both dealing with woodland critters who clash with the human world.

Though the superhero genre is an often-played tune, Pixar managed to break away from the pack with The Incredibles, a more human story devoid of talking animals and other standard toon feature fare. Katzenberg recognizes that Pixar is the studio to beat, calling it "the gold standard, which we are envious of." He reportedly went on to dismiss new players entering the market, saying that DreamWorks and Pixar are two of the few companies with the capital and other resources to produce quality product.