Vídeo Brinquedo was a Brazilian animation studio, located in São Paulo, that produced direct-to-video animated films widely viewed as mockbusters of comparable films from Walt Disney Pictures, Pixar Animation Studios, Paramount Pictures, DreamWorks Animation, 20th Century Studios, Blue Sky Studios, Hasbro Studios, Sony Pictures Animation and Astley Baker Davies. The company was founded in 1986 to distribute animation with the intention of distribution in its home market of Brazil, as well as to other global markets. They went to bankruptcy in 2012, although their YouTube channel stills being active.
For the first nine years, Vídeo Brinquedo distributed home video releases of shows such as Sonic X and The Little Lulu Show in the Brazilian market.
One of the studio's early distributions was an obscure religious-themed cartoon called United Submarine. This title sold only a few copies until the release of the 2003 Pixar film Finding Nemo. United Submarine and Finding Nemo had several similarities, such as the presence of a clownfish and a story centered on parent-child relationship. From the huge number of sales the company had on the cartoon, Brinquedo wanted to start not only distributing cartoons but also create their own.
Brinquedo's first animations were traditional, 2D-styled, based on fairy tales and classics such as Pinocchio and the Three Little Pigs, but with scripts that modernized the characters.They later expanded to 3D animation, their first title being The Little Cars (Portuguese: Os Carrinhos),loosely based on the 2006 Pixar animated film Cars. Originally aimed at children between two and three years old, over 3,000 copies were sold in more than 12 countries.
The original idea of the company was to jump on trends raised by the major studios and start production of animation with two to three years in advance. With the company borrowing ideas established in Hollywood, company director Mauricio Milani stated: "We tried to imagine what it will be in evidence".
Originally released with a Brazilian Portuguese soundtrack, many of Vídeo Brinquedo's titles were co-produced with Rexmore Company do Brasil,and distributed in North America by Branscome International,and MorningStar Entertainment with English and Spanish soundtracks.
The films are often only just over 40 minutes in length, the minimum required to qualify as a feature film and awards qualification.
- The Little Cars: The Great Race (2006) (Close resemblance to Pixar's Cars)
- The Little Cars 2: Rodopolis Adventures (2007) (Close resemblance to Pixar's Cars)
- Ratatoing (2007) (Close resemblance to Pixar's Ratatouille)
- Gladiformers (2007) (Close resemblance to the 2007 Transformers movie)
- The Little Cars 3: Fast and Curious (2007) (Close resemblance to Pixar's Cars)
- The Little Panda Fighter (2008) (Close resemblance to DreamWorks' Kung Fu Panda)
- Tiny Robots (2008) (Close resemblance to Blue Sky's Robots and Pixar's WALL-E)
- Little Princess School (2008) (Close resemblance to Disney Princess)
- The Little Cars 4: New Genie Adventures (2008) (Close resemblance to Pixar's Cars)
- Little Bee (2009) (Close resemblance to DreamWorks' Bee Movie)
- Little Bee 2: Beehive Party (Probably 2009) (Close resemblance to DreamWorks' Bee Movie)
- Gladiformers 2 (2009) (Close resemblance to Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen)
- Little & Big Monsters (2009) (Close resemblance to DreamWorks' Monsters vs. Aliens)
- What's Up: Balloon to the Rescue! (2009) (Close resemblance to Pixar's Up and DreamWorks' Monsters vs. Aliens)
- The Frog Prince (2009) (Close resemblance to Walt Disney's The Princess and the Frog)
- The Little Cars 5: Big Adventures (2008 or 2009) (Close resemblance to Pixar's Cars)
- The Little Cars 6: Fast Lane Fury (2009 or 2010) (Close resemblance to Pixar's Cars)
- The Little Cars 7: Revved Up and Ready to Go (2010 or 2011) (Close resemblance to Pixar's Cars)
- The Little Cars 8: Making a Mess (2011) (Close resemblance to Pixar's Cars)
Vídeo Brinquedo's films have been heavily criticised for their very poor animation, voice acting, and questionable writing alongside scenes which merely exist to fill the running time so the film in question can qualify as 'feature length'. Erik Henriksen, a reporter from The Portland Mercury, criticized Vídeo Brinquedo as being "the laziest/cheapest movie studio of all time," due to similarities between its releases and the films of other animation studios, such as Pixar.
In his review of Ratatoing, a reviewer on ToonZone said: "If you ate a copy of the worst cartoon you could think of, you'd still probably crap something better than Ratatoing", and went on to bemoan the animation quality, calling the movie as a whole "a senseless waste of raw materials" and "a waste of time, energy and effort for all parties concerned".
Marco Aurélio Canônico of Folha de S. Paulo, who criticized the Little Cars series as a copy of the Pixar film Cars, and likewise Ratatoing and Ratatouille, discussed whether lawsuits from Pixar would appear. The Brazilian Ministry of Culture posted Marco Aurélio Canônico's article on its website. Virgin Media also stated, "Even by the ocean-floor-scraping standards of Vídeo Brinquedo, it's a shameless knock-off".
Disney's legal department was contacted by a reporter through a spokesperson about a potential lawsuit, but Milani did not comment.
In other mediaEdit
Two of Vídeo Brinquedo's productions were parodied in an episode of The Amazing World of Gumball called "The Treasure", in which Gumball picks up a mockbuster DVD called How to Ratatwang Your Panda. The film is a cross between The Little Panda Fighter and Ratatoing.
- Note: The blog it's in Portuguese and it's inactive since 2017.