I want to root for a film called Monsters vs. Aliens  because I’m all for distilling a concept so far into high concept that it ceases to be high concept and becomes just a fun concept. Then again, I also think it’s unfair to many other cooler ideas to have stuff like Monsters vs. Aliens or Cowboys vs. Aliens or Ecks vs. Sever spoiling it for the rest of them.

Score another victory for the dumbing down of Earth.

The trailer for the star-studded 3-D animated Dreamworks feature has hit the web and it is generic as generic gets, having a lot less in common with stuff like Iron Giant (respect towards the pulp that influences it) and The Incredibles (big laughs, smart mainstream story) than I’d hoped. It also has an art style that seems to want to be Ice Age or Monsters, Inc. when the possibilities are limitless.

Imagine if the art went a little more towards Basil Gogos or Bernie Wrightson or Jack Kirby or Paul Garner or even my current fave Darwyn Cooke’s style?

It also reads like a who’s who list of solid talent facing overexposure:

Seth Rogen, Will Arnett, Stephen Colbert, Hugh Laurie, Kiefer Sutherland, Rainn Wilson. All talented (well, I’m not a Rainn Wilson fan but you get the point) folks but not really any fun curveballs.

And Reese Witherspoon. Whatever she is classified as.

It feels very familiar to me. There’s apparently a template out there these days as to what an animated crowd pleaser needs to be in order to deliver the return on investment needed to justify the effort. Maybe I’m just too cynical but each year it seems that these become more and more transparent in their lowest common denominator aims.

Then again, I’m a fan of Atlantis so judge me lightly..

The trailer awaits below for your own pleasure or ire. To see it bigger, go here. Otherwise…