DreamWorks, Studios

Introducing the DreamWorks Animation Countdown!

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It was only a matter of time before Rotoscopers began their DreamWorks countdown. They have previously reviewed all of the feature films of Walt Disney Animation Studios and Studio Ghibli, and now, every Monday and Friday, they plan to do the same for DreamWorks Animation.

There are a total of 35 films for them to review and, unlike the movies of Disney and Ghibli, the quality of each DreamWorks film tends to be unpredictable, which should make this countdown interesting.

The studio wasn’t exactly founded for artistic purposes. In 1994, film director Steven Spielberg, music executive David Geffen, and film executive Jeffrey Katzenberg started the company following his own resignation from Disney. Traditional animators from Spielberg’s Amblimation (Fieval Goes West, We’re Back! A Dinosaur’s Story, Balto) migrated to DreamWorks but Katzenberg went out of his way to hire away Disney animators. He even courted controversy when he green-lit Antz the same year as Disney/Pixar’s A Bug’s Life in the hopes of taking down his former employer.

You may notice the early DreamWorks films had more diverse animation styles. In the nineties, they partnered with computer animation company Pacific Data Images (Antz, Shrek, Madagascar) and British stop-motion animation company Aardman Animations (Wallace and Gromit, Chicken Run), but when Shrek came out in 2001 and made more money than their 2D films (and won an Oscar), and Aardman left DreamWorks in 2006 due to creative differences, the company focused primarily on CGI.

DreamWorks continued along into the new millennium with award-worthy films like Kung Fu Panda, How To Train Your Dragon and The Croods. Unfortunately, success at the box office became fewer and farther between, to the point where in 2015, Pacific Data Images went defunct and DreamWorks struggled to find a distributor.

After trying to make ends meet by teaming up with companies like Netflix and YouTube for more revenue sources, DreamWorks Animation finally has a stable distribution deal with Universal, the distributors of Illumination (Despicable Me). Maybe those minions can teach the studio a thing or two about creating beloved family films again?

That’s the company’s history, but there is plenty more to be said about their films. We look forward to showcasing the artistry and fun films of DreamWorks throughout the Fall and hope you participate in the discussions and share your opinions in the comments.

Let the countdown begin!

Full list of DreamWorks Animation Countdown articles:

  1. Antz
  2. The Prince of Egypt
  3. The Road to El Dorado
  4. Chicken Run
  5. Shrek
  6. Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron
  7. Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas
  8. Shrek 2
  9. Shark Tale
  10. Madagascar
  11. Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit
  12. Over the Hedge
  13. Flushed Away
  14. Shrek the Third
  15. Bee Movie
  16. Kung Fu Panda
  17. Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa
  18. Monsters vs. Aliens
  19. How to Train Your Dragon
  20. Shrek Forever After
  21. Megamind
  22. Kung Fu Panda 2
  23. Puss in Boots
  24. Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted
  25. Rise of the Guardians
  26. The Croods
  27. Turbo
  28. Mr. Peabody and Sherman
  29. How to Train Your Dragon 2
  30. Penguins of Madagascar
  31. Home
  32. Kung Fu Panda 3
  33. Trolls
  34. The Boss Baby
  35. Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie

What is your favorite DreamWorks animated film? What do you appreciate most about the studio’s style? Share with us in the comments below!

Edited by: Morgan Stradling

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  • Sebastian

    Oh this will be exciting just like the Disney Pixar countdowns. I can say for sure that I really appreciate how the character designs and style changes with each film they’re working on. And the detail that’s showcased on their face and hands. My favourite art style from them is probably that from HTTYD, Kung Fu Panda, Shrek & Peabody & Sherman.

  • My fave DreamWorks Animation film is Rise of the Guardians!

  • Ahhhh yeah!! So excited!! :DDDD

  • Jesse Jacobson

    I think it’s important to note that Dreamworks didn’t just get a distribution deal with Universal, but that Universal (NBC Comcast) now OWNS Dreamworks Animation and they are no longer independent. It should be interesting to see how this changes things!

    • Manuel Orozco

      Well How to Train Your Dragon 3 should be the big test of this new deal.

    • Rachel Wagner

      That definitely will be interesting to watch how it plays out

      • Manuel Orozco

        Well actually I’m not totally surprised Universal would want to purchase DreamWorks Animation. Mainly because of Shrek 4D

  • Firecat

    My favorite Dreamworks films are the Kung Fu Panda trilogy!

  • Manuel Orozco

    I had faith Rotoscopers would do this countdown eventually. My favorite DreamWorks movies are Sinbad, Shrek 2, the Kung Fu Panda trilogy, Puss in Boots, The Croods and Turbo. What I like most about their style is how they changed with the beginning of the 2010’s and relied less on pop culture references or spoofs.

  • Phoenix Wright

    Overall I’m just not a huge fan of DreamWorks. I really like some of there earlier movies like Prince of Egypt, Chicken Run, and the first 2 Shrek films. But other than those, there aren’t too many that I’m that fond of. Granted, there are quite a few of them that I haven’t seen at all. So I’m looking forward to reading about all of them and seeing what your opinions are

    • Manuel Orozco

      Don’t blame you. The worst movie I saw was Bee Movie. I sat through most of Monsters Vs. Aliens didn’t care

  • HiccStridForever92

    My favorite DreaWorks Animation films are How to Train Your Dragon and How to Train Your Dragon 2. HTTYD was great, and the second film did what most sequels fail to do and that is to live up to the original. HTTYD2 is what drew me in to the How to Train Your Dragon fandom. Other than that I do not care about any other films that DreamWorks Animation has made.

    • Manuel Orozco

      I don’t consider the two movies favorites but both are equally wonderful.

  • Alex Beezley

    My favorite DreamWorks Animation film is Chicken Run. However, since that film was technically made by Aardman, my favorite movie to be created entirely by the studio is How to Train Your Dragon.

    • Manuel Orozco

      I like them both equally.

  • Jordan Briskin

    Frankly, the only DreamWorks animated features that I particularly enjoy are the early hand-drawn films (PRINCE OF EGYPT, SPIRIT, SINBAD, and ROAD TO EL DORADO) and the Aardman-produced CHICKEN RUN. The few of the rest that I have seen just don’t measure up.

  • Dan Siciliano

    Sorry I’m late you guys! My computer has a little trouble with sending comments, but now I’ve upgraded my computer and now, let’s go on with the countdown.