Time Out London loves me! Oh, wait.
A well-meaning friend of mine saw today that Antz, a movie I co-wrote a long, long time ago, was recently named the 27th-best animated movie of all time by Time Out London! Yippee! That means I beat The Secret of NIMH! Take that, Porco Rosso! Better luck next time, Persepolis!
Let’s see what this prestigious arbiter of cultural taste has to say about this 27th-best animated movie of all time, a movie into which I, yay verily, poured into which my heart and soul! Hmm…
"…a drab and hamfisted Marxist allegory rammed down your throat…‘Antz’ may boast a great array of vocal talent, but it spends too much time pitching gags over the kiddies’ heads and flogging its adult credentials to ever get down to basics and actually entertain. Cartoons, of course, aren’t just for children, but ‘Antz’, in falling back on kid-friendlyby-the-numbers cartoon plotting, plunges between the stools of satire and slapstick." ALD
Ah. So, it’s not very good at all then. "Dreary Whining" is ALD’s final decree. Geez, I never felt sorry for The Secret of NIMH before, but to think that it’s somehow worse than "dreary whining," that must be quite a sad movie indeed.
"ALD"’s point, of course, is that Antz sucks in comparison to A Bug’s Life, which, well, if that’s his or her opinion, I’ve read harsher. If one hates Antz, why put it on the list at all? Or, if you feel a special need to vent spleen upon a movie that blows it, run a special side-column about animated movies you hate.
But the reason I bring your attention to this folly is the idea that Jeffrey Katzenberg, the producer of Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin, a man who was once described as "Satan" by a friend of mine because of his extreme capitalistic views, would make the first CGI-animated movie from Dreamworks a "hamfisted Marxist allegory." Mr. Katzenberg, let me assure the reader, can be described in many terms, but "Marxist" is not one of them. Not once in any of our story meetings was Mr. Katzenberg ever moved to utter the following: "No, no, no, no, no! Don’t you get it?! It’s a Marxist Allegory, and we’ve got to ram it down the audience’s throat!! After all, we’re a major Hollywood studio!!"