Sony Pictures Animation wasn’t always this bad

By now you’ve probably read the news that Sony Pictures Animation’s recent film, The Emoji Movie has landed on many worst films ever made lists. (Only 3 out of 40 critics gave it a Fresh score on Rotten Tomatoes, and that’s taking into account that many opted out of even seeing it in the first place – Pixar’s Inside Out had critics busting down the doors to be the first to see it at a whopping 323 head count!)

But who’s the studio responsible for this sad excuse of a film? Who are the people responsible for cluttering up the beloved animated warehouse with this garbage?

Believe it or not, Sony Pictures Animation has delivered a couple of gold nuggets in the past, and all eyes are going to be back on them again in about a year when they come closer to releasing one of 2018’s most anticipated movies. But more on that later.

According to their roster, Sony has put out some fairly terrible theatrical duds such as Open Season (followed by direct-to-video sequels), a Veggie-Tales-like pirates movieand the well-intentioned Hotel Transylvania. 

And then some fairly good movies: Arthur Christmas, which has its flaws, but is much loved in our house every December; Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, which I don’t remember much, but I don’t remember hating, either; and one of my personal favorites, Surf’s Up, a clever and stylized mokumentary about surfing penguins. As silly as that one sounds, I actually consider it to be on par with some of Pixar’s lineup.

They also had something to do with some Smurfs movies, but I don’t follow that franchise at all.

All in all, it’s a company that hasn’t quite found its footing in the animation world. A creator from the Emoji Movie bragged that the Emoji Movie holds the record for the shortest length of time for an animated film to be in production. I mean, isn’t that like like bragging about not studying for the final exam and you failed because of it? There’s a reason Pixar spends between 4 and 7 years in production for each film.

While Pixar is all in to create critical and monetary successes, Sony doesn’t seem to know who they want to be. And with this recent bust, it seems they would prefer to take the Dreamworks route and just create cash grabs – nothing lasting, nothing satisfying – just something to get by to make a quick buck.

But it gets worse, and this terrible executive decision could very well affect die-hard fans of a favorite super hero a year from now.

I mentioned earlier that all eyes would be on Sony Pictures Animation. That’s because they’re the ones who are working on the much-rumored untitled animated Spider-Man movie slated to debut next year.


So the question is, will these terrible reviews force the company to fix up their act, or will they just be happy moving production along as quickly as possible to get Spider-Man on the ropes just to fulfill a deadline? Personally, I’d be glad if they postponed the release date so they can put on the brakes and re-evaluate everything, just like Pixar did after the failure of Cars 2. 

All companies are allowed to fail. The question is, which ones are taking drastic measure to change?

Andrew Toy

Andrew Toy

Writer at Electric Beach
Andrew is an author, publisher, and movie connoisseur. He loves anything that involves good storytelling and has entertainment value. He lives in Kentucky with his wife, two adopted kids, and foster child.
Andrew Toy