On February 5th, 2013, DreamWorks Animation announced that it will layoff 20-25% of all employees. Since the company employs over 2,000 people, hundreds of people will probably be laid off. This means that many people will be let go from working on DreamWorks movies such as Me and My Shadow and Mr. Peabody and Sherman. Employees finishing the movie Turbo will also have trouble finding work in other DreamWorks productions.
Me and My Shadow is being pushed back into development, and Mr. Peabody and Sherman will now be released in 2014 rather than 2013.
This year, DreamWorks will release The Croods and Turbo. 2014 will potentially be releasing Mr. Peabody and Sherman, How to Train Your Dragon 2, and Happy Smekday! if nothing else is pushed back.
According to Fox News, the layoffs could be because of the company’s growing developments in China. Rather than producing Kung Fu Panda 3 in the US, DreamWorks will instead be creating it in China in a new joint venture with Shanghai Oriental DreamWorks Film and Televions Technology Co. The movie is slated to be released in 2016. DreamWorks will own 45% of the company, and it’s China partners will own 55%. If they had produced the movie in America, DreamWorks could have employed somewhere between 300 and 600 artists. This could hinder more jobs in the future if DreamWorks chooses to produce movies in China rather than in America. It should be noted that Disney Studios are also branching out into China.
Rise of the Guardians, which was not the expected blockbuster hit, could also be partly responsible for these layoffs.
What does this mean for animation? Will the quality of the movies that we love be affected?
Best of luck to everyone at DreamWorks.