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File:DreamWorks Animation SKG logo.jpg

The animation company that was orginally a subsidiary of DreamWorks, created by Jeff Katzenberg's portion of the company (the "K" in "SKG") merging with animation studio and partner PDI. The company currently owns the rights to the DreamWorks trademarks, used under license by Paramount and Steven Spielberg's new Indian-backed DreamWorks operation. After Spielberg's previous animation studio Amblimation shut it's doors, most of its animators moved to DreamWorks too.

Katzenberg came roaring out of the gate with his new animation studio with the film, The Prince of Egypt, an animated Biblical epic meant to compete directly with Disney. Oddly, what was meant to be Dreamworks's signature animated film looks like it was made by a completely different studio entirely to people who are only familiar with the more recent Dreamworks animated films. (A fine article about the environment in which Prince was made can be read here.). Unfortunately, the lavishly budgeted, but artistically timid film (with all the religious communities it strove to appease) proved a bitter disappointment.

While this success influenced DA's tendency to be derivative, the company soon found a more creative success in partnership with Aardman Animations with Nick Park creating hailed cinema like Chicken Run and Wallace and Gromit Curse Of The Were-Rabbit. Meanwhile, while DA's in-house cel animation films like Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron and Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas proved a hopeless box office cause, in part because of the typcial North American All Animation Is Disney prejudice,

Computer Animation was another story entirely. While the blatant Follow the Leader variant of Pixar's A Bugs Life, Antz, proved a surprisingly big hit in 1998, DA really came alive on its own with the smash success of Shrek in 2001. Using DA's penchant for rampant celebrity casting and for modeling the characters from their movies after the actors voicing them to the max, this film finally put DA on the map as a real competitor in the feature film market, permanently opening the door Disney largely held shut for decades.

Post-Shrek, they became known for sticking various pop culture references and crude bathroom humor into their films as well with films like Shark Tale and Madagascar, hitting its nadir in 2007 with Shrek the Third and Bee Movie all disappointing at least critically and Aardman breaking away from DA. Beginning in 2008 however, the studio grew its beard with a new crop of films arising with an greater focus on story, characters, and quality. So far, this new direction has been paying off handsomely in the box office worldwide.

Originally rivals with Disney; currently rivals with Pixar. Disney alum Jeffrey Katzenberg has, of now, produced more films in his animation studio alone than Walt Disney did when he was alive! While the quality of the films have been more inconsistent than Disney, the best of the bunch manage to reach for Disney and Pixar quality (with How to Train Your Dragon sharing a director team with Lilo and Stitch). In fact, in 2011, DWA exceeded them in critical reception with Kung Fu Panda 2 (RT 81%) and Puss in Boots (RT 82%) considered far and away superior films to Pixar's Cars 2 (RT 38%) and both were nominated for the Best Animated Feature Oscar while the Pixar film was shut out. Furthermore, KFP 2 outgrossed Cars 2 as well in the box office worldwide. In short, a Katzenberg dream come true that year.

However, the lower-than-expected box office performances and lowering company value in the recent years has influenced Katzenberg to back off on his previous announcement about a slew of sequels in the next decade, and may make him have second guesses about his goal of establishing another Disney Company. As it is, the company's current distribution contract with Paramount is not going to be renewed as that company's getting back into animation itself after the success of Rango while DWA will be looking for a new home while also considering the option of distributing its films itself.

Dreamworks' filmography


Live Action work (Through PDI; either prior or after merging)


Tropes for Dreamworks Animation

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