After throughly enjoying Kung Fu Panda and Madagascar 2, I expected Dreamworks Animation to be on the road to at least something of El Dorado standards again. Something, charming and fun, not relying on references and pop culture, but on relationships of characters and the adventures on which they journey. Then Monsters vs. Aliens came out, and I quickly realized that I was wrong.
Monsters vs. Aliens has very dry voice acting, dry animation, very unattractive character designs, and one of the most obnoxiously cliché stories I have seen in years. Not to mention - every 5 minutes had totally unrelated gags thrown in left and right to attempt 'humor'- but the humor is SO irrelevant its ridiculous. Locked doors opened by dance combo's, the president rocking out with an electronic keyboard atop a 500 foot high wooden staircase, the ugliest butterfly ever seen, and don't even get me started with the deus ex machina at the end, or the supposed character arcs of the main roles.
Also, the 3D was a horrible gimmick that was annoying and often dizzying at times. In a world where Coraline, Meet the Robinsons, Deep Sea 3D, and Bolt make b-e-a-utiful use of the depth added to the screen, Monsters vs. Aliens 3D feels like a mid 90's theme park gimmick. I STRONGLY advise you do not see this in 3D. Save your 2$.
Not surprisingly though, Seth Rogen's character is the best one in the bunch. He is charming, his voice work is by far the best, as is the character animation, and you can't help but smile at everything B.O.B. does. Too bad he was not the main character, and too bad he didn't have a character arc at all.
They say Monsters vs. Aliens was made in 2 1/2 years. Animated movies tend to take 4 years minimum to make. Let this be a lesson to you Dreamworks, I would rather see a good movie from you guys every 2 years, than see a huge build-up-turned-let-down rushed out every spring. I know you guys have what it takes to make amazing films, now come on and show us what you got.