Viewpoint: Dreaming of DreamWorks

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We’ve all read the stories–DreamWorks Animation recently restructured its management team, reduced its workforce, and revamped its film slate. Sure, the news is depressing. It’s never fun seeing talented people lose their jobs. Sending promising films back into development could mean that we animation fans may never get to see them at all. Even with all of the bad news, the dream is still alive at DreamWorks Animation and, fingers crossed, the future looks promising.

The slowing down of development (the studio is now only releasing two animated features a year instead of three) will hopefully give the DreamWorks team the time they need to really deliver first-class, high quality, memorable stories. While it seems that the broad, derivative comedies haven’t done as well from the studio as of late, the films with more legitimate heft in the story department (How to Train Your Dragon and its sequel come to mind) have resonated more with audiences. Not to say that all films from the studio should be Dragon-esque, but it sure would be nice to if DreamWorks is able to give more TLC to the stories we see on the big screen from here on out.

While DreamWorks has always employed an outstanding animation staff, it would be, dare I say, dreamy if they could continue their legacy of great animation and even raise the craftsmanship level up a notch. They’ve got the talent, they should be able to put together even more dazzling and beautiful animation for all to admire and enjoy.

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It also would be nice if the studio took advantage of the library which it has been acquiring over the years. How fun would it be to see more Classic Media characters again on the big screen (but without any daft backstories unnecessarily created for these classic and well established characters, please–ahem, Mr. Peabody and Sherman)?

Don’t underestimate DreamWorks Animation’s secret weapon–Jeffrey Katzenberg. Not withstanding his notorious ego and temperament, the guy knows how to make a hit animated movie and has the enviable track record to prove it. Hopefully, Jeffrey will have more time to help the various films in production and the teams will have more time to benefit from his input and insights.

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We wish Jeffrey Katzenberg, co-presidents Bonnie Arnold and Mireille Soria, and the rest of the DreamWorks Animation team the very best as they strive to put DreamWorks Animation back on solid financial and creative footing. And we’ll keep dreaming about the great animated entertainment to come.

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