At it's height of popularity, Hanna-Barbera was at it's worst. Demand became too high, budgets too low and the work suffered. Corners were cut. And those corners were then cut. As a result we got The Pebbles and Bam Bam Show, Captain Caveman and the Teen Angels and Smurfs. It was slop, even by kid's standards. They capitalized on a sure-thing and tried to repackage it thinking no one would notice.
The same thing is happening with Dreamworks Animation. The days of awe associated with computer animation are done. We need more. Fortunately, Pixar understands this. Films like Ratatouille and Wall-E continue to break-down and build back up what we have come to expect with animation. Films like Shark Tale, Madagascar, Over The Hedge, the continued Shrek franchise and most recently Monsters vs. Aliens have not. They appear original, but they're just retreads voiced by Chris Rock, Reece Witherspoon and Will Smith and backed by a marketing budget that could fund dozens of independent films.
Maybe I was hoping for something more with their latest. Seriously, how can you not have fun with a movie titled Monsters vs. Aliens? Maybe someone in a dark corner of a far off theater did. Of course my children liked it. I just wanted to shake them (quick someone call family services) and tell them they deserved better. That their three dimensional characters should have a little more dimension. That their family fun should be a little more funny. But it didn't seem to matter. The 3D glasses were on, the popcorn was plentiful and the explosions were loud. It was like a Michael Bay film, only animated. And shit, that might just be worse than a Hanna-Barbera label.