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DreamWorks Feature Animation
DreamWorks Feature Animation Print Logo
Formerly DreamWorks Animation LLC (1994-2025)
DreamWorks Animation SKG, Inc. (NYSE trade name, 2004-2016)
Type Subsidiary
Industry Animated films
Predecessor Amblimation
Founded October 12, 1994; 30 years ago (as part of DreamWorks Pictures)

October 27, 2004; 20 years ago (as a separate company)

Founders Steven Spielberg
Jeffrey Katzenberg
David Geffen
Headquarters 1000 Flower Street, Glendale, California, U.S.
Number of locations 3 facilities
Area served Worldwide
Key people Chris DeFaria (president of DreamWorks New Media)
Bonnie Arnold (president of Feature Animation and producer)
Jeffrey Katzenberg (head of animation and producer)
John Lasseter (senior advisor and executive producer)
Margie Cohn (president of TV Animation)
Products Theatrical animated short films
Theatrical animated feature films
Number of employees 2,700 (2014)
Parent The Walt Disney Studios
Divisions DreamWorks Animation Television
DreamWorks Classics
DreamWorks Press
DreamWorks Live Theatrical Productions
DreamWorks Channel
DreamWorks New Media
Labels Disney-DreamWorks Studios
PDI/DreamWorks Animation Studios
Website dreamworks.com

DreamWorks Feature Animation, LLC. (also known as DreamWorks Feature Animation, DreamWorks Animation or simply DreamWorks) is an American animation studio that is a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Studios, a division of The Walt Disney Company. It is based in Glendale, California, and produces animated feature films, television programs, and online virtual games. The studio has currently released a total of 45 feature films, notably including ones from the Shrek, Madagascar, Kung Fu Panda, How to Train Your Dragon, The Croods, Trolls, and The Boss Baby franchises.

Films produced by DreamWorks Feature Animation were formerly distributed worldwide by DreamWorks Pictures from 1998 to 2005, Paramount Pictures from 2006 to 2012, 20th Century Fox from 2013 to 2017, and Universal Pictures from 2019 to 2023. Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures will distribute subsequent DreamWorks Feature Animation films under the Walt Disney Pictures banner, starting in June 27, 2025, with the release of "Madagascar 4: Asian Getaway".

History

DreamWorks SKG era (1994-2006)

On October 12, 1994, a trio of entertainment players, film director and producer Steven Spielberg, former Disney executive Jeffrey Katzenberg, and music executive David Geffen, founded DreamWorks SKG (named based on the surnames of the a forewritten). To build the talent base, Spielberg brought over artists from his London-based studio, Amblimation, while Katzenberg recruited some of the top animation staff from Disney. Some of Amblimation's artists came to DreamWorks in 1995, when the studio's last feature was completed, with the rest doing so following the studio's closure in 1997.

In 1995, DreamWorks signed a co-production deal with Pacific Data Images to form subsidiary PDI, LLC (PDI owned 60% of PDI, LLC, while DreamWorks SKG owned 40%). This new unit would produce computer-generated feature films, beginning with Antz in 1998. In the same year, DreamWorks SKG produced The Prince of Egypt, which used both CGI technology and traditional animation techniques.

Three years later, DreamWorks SKG created DreamWorks Animation, a new business division that would regularly produce both types of animated feature films. The same year DW acquired majority interest (90%) in PDI, and reformed it into PDI/DreamWorks, the Northern California branch of its new business division. In 2001, Shrek was released and went on to win the first Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Film. Due to the success of CGI animated films, DWA decided the same year to exit hand-drawn animation business after the next two of total four hand-drawn films. Beginning with Shrek 2 (2004), all released films, other than some co-produced with Aardman, were expected to be produced with CGI. The releases of Shrek 2 and Shark Tale also made DWA the first studio to produce two CGI animated features in a single year.

The animation division was spun off into a publicly traded company named DreamWorks Animation SKG, Inc. (doing business as DreamWorks Animation LLC) on October 27, 2004, and traded via the New York Stock Exchange. Katzenberg headed the new division, while Spielberg and Geffen remained on board as investors and consultants. DWA also inherited interests in PDI/DreamWorks. They made an agreement with their former parent to distribute all of their films until they deliver twelve new films, or December 12, 2010, whichever came last.

Paramount Pictures era (2006-2012)

On January 31, 2006, DWA entered into a distribution agreement with Paramount Pictures, which recently acquired DWA's former parent and distribution partner, DreamWorks SKG. The agreement granted Paramount the worldwide rights to distribute all animated films, including previously released films, until the delivery of 13 new animated feature films or December 31, 2012, whichever came last.

20th Century Fox era (2012-2017)

On August 2012, DreamWorks Animation signed a five-year distribution deal with 20th Century Fox for all territories. However, the deal did not include the distribution rights of previously released films, which DWA acquired from Paramount later in 2014. Rise of the Guardians (2012) was the last DreamWorks Animation film to be distributed by Paramount Pictures, and The Croods (2013) became the first DreamWorks Animation film to be distributed by 20th Century Fox until its last film was Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie (2017).

Comcast era (2016-2024)

On April 2016, Comcast officially announced that its NBCUniversal division intended on acquiring DreamWorks Animation for $3.8 billion, valuing the company at $41 per share. Jeffrey Katzenberg was to remain involved in the company as head of DreamWorks New Media, but was to cede control of the studio to Illumination's CEO Chris Meledandri, who would oversee both. The sale was approved by board members, but subject to regulatory approval.

On January 21, 2024, Comcast ended NBCUniversal's acquisition deal with DreamWorks Animation before they could sell the company to Disney for $10.8 billion on February 14, who decided that their projects with Universal Pictures did not fit in with DreamWorks' upcoming releases.

Disney era (2024-present)

On February 14, 2024, Comcast agreed that its NBCUniversal division would sell DreamWorks Animation to Disney for $10.8 billion after ending its acquisition deal. The deal would also include Fox' distribution rights to the 2013-2017 DreamWorks films, such as The Croods, Turbo, Mr. Peabody and Sherman and other DreamWorks animated films which were distributed by 20th Century Fox.

On May 25, 2024, Bonnie Arnold will step down as a producer, with Jeffrey Katzenberg as Head of Animation and producer of DreamWorks Animation, and former Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios CCO and Skydance Head of Animation John Lasseter as Senior Advisor and executive producer, replacing Chris Meledandri to oversee both DreamWorks and Skydance Animation, while Meledandri would focus on making Illumination films.

The deal was completed on September 22, 2024, DreamWorks Animation will operate as a division of The Walt Disney Company.

On March 2025, Disney would take over distribution rights on all of DreamWorks Animation's film library under the Walt Disney Pictures banner from 1998 to 2023, with the help of 20th Century Studios to reissue the Fox/DreamWorks films, starting with The Croods and ending with Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie.

On November 2025, Disney will rename the studio as DreamWorks Feature Animation, and reposition the studio as an animation house that produces both traditional and computer-animated projects. In order to keep costs down on hand-drawn productions, animation, design, and layout were done in-house at Disney-DreamWorks Studios while clean-up animation and digital ink-and-paint were farmed out to vendors and freelancers.

Franchises

Titles Movies Release years
The Prince of Egypt 2 1998–2000
The Road to El Dorado 1 2000–present
Shrek 5 2001–present
Spirit 1 2002–present
Madagascar 4 2005–present
Bee Movie 1 2007–present
Kung Fu Panda 3 2008–present
How to Train Your Dragon 3 2010–present
The Croods 1 2013–present
Trolls 2 2016–present
The Boss Baby 1 2017–present

Filmography

List of DreamWorks Feature Animation films

List of DreamWorks Feature Animation short films

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